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Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

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Staying at a Healthy Weight

Rich H.

The other day, when I was in a store, someone approached me that I hadn’t seen in a while. We used to go to the same gym. He said “you need to gain some weight, you’re getting too skinny.” This stunned me as I am the same weight I’ve been for the past 5 years, having leveled off at around 195 pounds. At 6'3" tall, this seems like my ideal weight. It made me think of what Dr. Fuhrman said many times. The average American has no idea what a normal weight looks like.

I just looked up what my BMI (Body Mass Index) is and it’s at 24.5. This is actually a little high, not that I want to get a BMI any lower. This seems to be where my body wants to be, as I eat Nutritarian foods. When you eat fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, you get a variety of nutrients and your body gets what it needs to keep going at a steady weight. I do not worry about losing weight or gaining weight. When I was obese, I feared I would never stop gaining. It actually feels like freedom knowing I don’t have to worry about weight gain (or loss).

But back to that guy’s comment about my weight. Now, I could have responded with “you could stand to lose some pounds“, as he, himself, was probably 30-50 pounds overweight. Or I could have defended myself and said I’m the same weight as the last time you saw me. But I just kept it to myself.

As a society, we worry about fat shaming. I don’t think anyone should ever be fat shamed, nor should they be shamed for any other kind of body shape. It’s not appropriate to go up to someone and discuss their weight when they are shopping, It should be saved for doctors to discuss, as it’s about their patient’s health. We don’t know everyone’s health history. The one person you fat shamed may be someone who has tried over the years to break away from food addiction. I was also fat shamed when I was heavy and it’s not fun. Now, I have to hear it on the opposite side of the spectrum, even though I am considered normal weight.

I am on a journey that I am proud of, following a whole food plant based diet that gives me energy and health. The average American is eating the standard American diet. They will also have the weight gain and other health issues associated with that way of eating. They will most likely end up on blood pressure meds, diabetic, heart disease, etc.

When I lost the weight, it was all about health. I did not want to go on blood pressure meds. Here I am over 10 years after starting the journey and I’m on zero meds. My blood pressure typically reads 110/70. I am able to do intense workouts, using the stair stepper, lifting weights, doing the treadmill, things I could never accomplish when I was heavy. So do you really think I will listen to some guy who says I need to gain weight?

Should I throw away being a Nutritarian so I can fit in to this guy’s standards? Do you really think I would want to give up the health benefits? As I said earlier, my BMI is 24.5, which is not technically on the skinny side of normal. For me, if someone looks too skinny in some people’s eyes means that Dr. Fuhrman is right, normal weight is not considered normal in this country. thankfully, the one guy’s comment is a rarity. Typically, I get comments on how healthy I look. And really, that’s what it’s all about for me... health. This should be everyone’s priority.

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