OVERWEIGHT MODELS SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE

before afterAs a caring physician, it is painful to witness the increasing number of models claiming their substantial weight gain (to the point of overweight and/or obesity) has produced a healthier happier person.

Screenshot-2017-11-26 Instagram post by Alyssa Alexander • Nov 22, 2017 at 8 23pm UTC450

Alyssa Alexander

In the United States, our rates of cancer, diabetes, cardiac disease and stroke have proven to be associated with unhealthy weight gain. As a precursor to these conditions, metabolic syndrome  is a major factor crippling the health of our population. Metabolic syndrome leads to chronic inflammation within the body creating a conducive environment for life threatening diseases. For more about metabolic disease you can click on the following link: (What is metabolic syndrome?)

  “Nearly 35% of all adults and 50% of those aged 60 years or older were estimated to have metabolic syndrome, a concerning observation given the aging US population.”

(REFERENCE: Journal of The American Medical Association: Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012)

AshleyGrahamMain

Ashley Graham

I’m aware these models are speaking out to help those with distorted body images recognize that “beauty” and “happiness” comes in ALL sizes. While I understand the intentions, the health risks associated with behaviors (lifestyles) that lead to excessive body weight and body fat place the average person in serious danger.

It would be wiser to improve self esteem by discovering purposeful living; an approach that increases self value and self confidence. People that choose this approach often experience greater joy, happiness and improved health.

Although many of these models claim to eat healthy and exercise, it is unlikely their approach to either one adequately satisfies their physical (and likely emotional) needs for quality health.  These models are typically “young” and often at a stage in life where their bodies are capable of compensating for harmful actions. Using lab values as exclusive guidelines to determine one’s health is highly inaccurate.

Although I truly believe these model’s “coming out” testimonials are meant to help, the overweight and obese population will likely suffer irreversible harms as they try to emulate these models in finding “happiness.” What they are more likely to find is eventual cancer, diabetes, vascular disease, liver disease, gall bladder disease and/or stroke.

“Happiness” is an emotion existing within oneself. Changing one’s appearance on the “outside” doesn’t create everlasting “happiness.” If it did, all those dieters over the years would never have regained their weight.

I suggest rather than focusing on weight gain or weight loss, each of us focus on a lifestyle that provides the essential needs necessary for achieving true “happiness.” A healthy BALANCED weight becomes the OUTCOME of this journey rather than the FOCUS. This removes the anxiety and stress that unhealthy obsessions about weight causes and keeps us on a path where purposeful living can be discovered.

These models feel a sense of “freedom” as they pursue careers in modeling no longer subjected to highly restrictive weight guidelines. This, however, doesn’t mean their newly discovered “freedom” will result in LONG TERM happiness or better health.

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Tess Holliday

If this type of weight gain is needed to create individual beauty, freedom and happiness, is the price we’ll face (increasing chronic diseases) too high?

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48 comments

  1. Well written! I do agree with the statements in this post, although people should be free with their body image and self confidence, that doesn’t mean being over weight is good for your health. Something needs to be done about these issues.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I agree with you that we should be happy with who we are. Weight should not define our character or our value.

      It is, however, part of the equation when it comes to health risks. This concept is avoided when these women share their stories.

      Many people have commented that “something needs to be done.” The problem is society is not interested in taking responsibility to make this HEALTHY CHANGE happen. We choose instead to withhold essential nutrients, toxify ourselves with cheaper processed foods containing preservatives, dyes, pesticides, antibiotics, etc…, abstain from NECESSARY exercise, refuse to drink essential water, experience poor sleep (often as a result of the previous factors mentioned) and CHOOSE to address the diseases we suffer resulting from this behavior by going to our doctors and taking their pharmaceutical drugs.

      This is the SOLUTION society has decided to follow.

      We have CHOSEN the “sheep mentality” and continue to follow the herd right off the cliff!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whereas they try to help I think they hurt people more. Yes a healthy body image is important but a healthy body is more so. We only have one body….we have to take care of it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good intentions sometime create disastrous results. This is why I wrote this article. It provides a non biased approach to weight and health and addresses the hidden issues these women exclude from their stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It appears these models have swung too far from the former expectation that a typical model needed to appear to be anorexic!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As I replied to Tony, The important question to ask is, “what motivates a person to increase their personal self value where they’re willing to follow a healthier path in life to obtain a quality outcome?” The answer is different for many people. This is why a one size fits all SOLUTION doesn’t exist.

      If we remain focused on “weight” we’re avoiding the CAUSE of the problem. Weight gain is the RESULT, not the CAUSE of weight issues. We turn to food to satiate painful emotions rather than hunger.

      How many people do you know with high self esteem, high self worth and value, live a life of PASSION and PURPOSE, yet suffer from health issues including weight problems. There will always be exceptions to the rule, however, most people that satisfy this description value health and provide their bodies and minds what is necessary to be healthy. In most cases, the result is QUALITY HEALTH!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice, Doctor Jonathan! It really is true that the pendulum always swings too far, isn’t it? The skinny little anorexics damage women’s self image, but these chubbies damage their own and other women’s actual health in possibly worse ways. Once again, it comes down to working on living a health life and not getting hung up on how we look to others.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The important question to ask is, “what motivates a person to increase their personal self value where they’re willing to follow a healthier path in life to obtain a quality outcome?” The answer is different for many people. This is why a one size fits all SOLUTION doesn’t exist.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100 and commented:
    There are some really good and important points in this post about women’s reactions to the skinny fashion models pushed into our consciousness by the clothes industry.

    Tony

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Tony. I hope this article provides a perspective that better reflects a healthier attitude regarding body weight and body image.

      If more people understood what it meant to VALUE health taking the necessary steps to implement REALISTIC plans that include the various components necessary for achieving quality health, fewer people would suffer from current day diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease (as well as) overweight and obesity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Doctor. This is truly a one day at a time process. You made some great points in your post.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. In this materialistic world young girls are taught that material possessions and outer appearance equates to happiness. They are not taught to value themselves for WHO they are on the inside. Then they are bombarded with images of how they “should” look. First, its the underweight models, now its overweight. The messages we are sending are never the same, so this creates confusion, especially in vulnerable ages, middle and high school. As parents we need to teach and model healthy lifestyles and teach them that true joy comes from within.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Life is full of pressure. If we aren’t capable or knowledgeable to channel these pressures using positive releases, they accumulate over the years. This “baggage” impacts self esteem. Peer pressure magnifies these issues causing many to hide deep within themselves. This becomes a negative vicious cycle resulting in self sabotage and other harmful results (ex. obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, cancer)

      I agree with you that parents need to be ROLE MODELS. Unfortunately, nearly 70% of adults are overweight (1/3 of which are obese.) They do NOT practice lifestyle habits which children need to emulate. Self destruction is taught and passed from generation to generation. Education and implementation of essential lifestyle habits and needs are nowhere to be found.

      In general, we know what is needed. We are, however, unwilling to commit ourselves to the task of getting the job done for ourselves and just as uncommitted to getting the job done for our children. I know there are exceptions, but exceptions do not reverse the harmful path we’re following.

      The REAL SOLUTIONS will only become visible when the masses of people become willing to follow a consistently healthier path in life. As of now, the masses have chosen to ignore essential needs in favor of medicating diseases (many of which are self imposed.)

      Thank you so much for sharing your comment. We need more dialogue among all of us to motivate a needed change.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Great post, body image is a delicate subject these days, I love that heavy woman can feel comfortable with who they are, but lets be honest, are we, the heavy set ones who are okay with who and what we look like, healthy?? Just because your okay with your image, and gives you sense of freedom to let the world know they aren’t bothering you with anything they say, It definitely doesn’t mean your body is happy with caring the extra #’s…its better to listen to what a lab value says about how happy you are with where you are in life, in regards to your metabolic weight results. Great post Jonathan….I can certainly say my MD doesn’t hold my puppet springs, I do. Kat

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Being OK with oneself shouldn’t center around weight and/or body image. The quality of a person’s essence and character is certainly more important than their size.

      It is my opinion that people choosing unhealthy lifestyles often make themselves scapegoats. There certainly is prejudice is society, but this prejudice would be significantly less painful if people truly felt good about themselves.

      We choose to believe that HEALTH requires little effort. We cut ourselves and heal without conscious effort; we breathe nearly every breath without conscious effort; our heart beats continuously without any conscious effort. Rather than showing appreciation for this amazing body and mind, we choose to give it harmful substances; we choose to withhold essential nutrients for proper function; we choose to ignore harmful emotional feelings leaving problems unresolved and then blame society for not accepting us for who we are.

      Maybe it’s time we start blaming ourselves and making positive changes in our lives if we want to experience a better future. Weight is NOT our central problem. Attitude, work ethic, personal responsibility and willingness to learn AND IMPLEMENT essential lifestyle habits is the “CURE” to most diseases including Overweight and Obesity.

      Like

      1. Well said,, I know I certainly only have myself to blame for my weight gain. No gun to my head, but with great determination and self love, I will beat the rebel in me back with a stick. I deserve to be whom I want to be. No one in my head or heart can change that!! XXxxXX

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There you go!!!!

          Like

  8. How you see your body is your perceptual body image. This is not always a correct representation of how you actually look. For example, a person may perceive themselves as overweight when they are actually underweight and vice-versa. Just as much, to your point, a person may perceive themselves as healthy when they are actually not. I do applaud the efforts of these woman to show that beauty does not look the same on everyone; however, this does not/should not negate the medical facts regarding being over-weight or under-weight. Finding the balance of being happy with your body and being healthy comes with a lot of self-discovery and education – especially from wise & caring medical professionals such as yourself! Hugs to you for posting on a sensitive issue.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Marie. People should not judge themselves using body image alone as a primary criteria. What many people don’t realize is our appearance is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. If we have high self esteem and self worth/value, we are less inclined to intentionally harm ourselves with recurring lifestyle habits that lead to self destruction. Whether the result is Obesity or Diabetes or Cardiovascular Disease, etc…, the ROOT CAUSE commonly includes SELF PERCEPTION.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. From one extreme to the next. It really is sad. Super thin to overweight ! Neither is good. Neither is healthy. What happened about just general good balance in life and healthy eating. That surely brings happiness and healthiness. Mindsets need to change.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Changing mindsets, however, is easier said than done!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. doctressdiaries · · Reply

    NORMALISATION. Instead of tackling obesity, it has been projected to be normal. Statistically speaking, we are shifting the mean and standard deviation to the right! Being healthy doesn’t only pertain to the body but includes the mind as well. We take care of our expensive cars, leathers, purses etc. What about our body and mind?
    I truly agree with your post. Self respect will lead to self care!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It is easier to take care of material possessions than to take care of our dynamic bodies and minds. If people would be willing to shift their ATTITUDES and view life’s requirements for HEALTH as an opportunity for quality functional wellness, their feelings of deprivation and sense of being overwhelmed would dissipate.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Doc, do I dare start by candidly saying good I have but boys? Ok back to me, just last week I made the peace with myself not to worry about the numbers on a scale again. How I feel even with a probable +/- 2 kgs is more VIP to me especially at this stage and age. The fun is, many around me murmur am small but in the end, my holistic wellbeing is my priority

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your priority will help keep you BALANCED. Perfection is a silly goal for many people because it is unlikely achievable. Even for the few able to reach this level, NONE are able to MAINTAIN it. Why these people create a goal destined to fail is beyond me? Your approach requires a healthy level of ongoing monitoring…a process necessary to sustain a dynamic body and mind.

      Like

      1. Doc, I chased perfection because I thought there lay my worth and validation. Ongoing monitoring of all components is indeed the key. Currently on the night bus to my village where I get to be closer to nature and with my dad for 3 4 good days. I can only imagine how recharged my positive energy bars will be at the end of my trip

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Seeking activities, events, etc… that restores positive energy is a must if people don’t want to self implode. Those creating these outlets BEFORE the need arises experience much less anger and anxiety and much more satisfaction and joy in life.

          Like

          1. Doc, I just came in from the village and my body indicates needing big rest. So it is “self care mode activated unapologetically”, sports however resumes only tomorrow for I feel the joints and all need rest and not exercise to add their stretching and hurt. When I listen to myself and my body so, I indeed experience less anger and anxiety and struggles less with the fact that my routine is interrupted – this used to be a big and sometimes irritating struggle

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sounds like another piece of the puzzle has been found and used to discovering a better quality of life. When we listen rather than compete with ourselves the results are usually better! 😀

              Like

  12. My guess is that it’s also an attempt to overcome models (or women in general) trying to starve themselves into an extremely thin body. However, it does seem like the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m certain the intent is to show people it’s OK to be “who we are.” This, however, does not mean we should sacrifice our health in the process. A world suffering from Obesity and Diabetes needs to create perspective demonstrating that “HEALTH” not “AESTHETICS” should be the guideline determining weight and appearance. This creates a positive measure to focus on rather than subjecting our men and women to unrealistic expectations.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Our children are our greatest resource, no matter where in the world we live. We need to care for them, cultivate them, and grow them in a vibrant, HEALTHY manner. We need to guard their health vigilantly.

    I appreciate this article on the wrong message. I am also saddened, embarrassed, and disgusted that one of things America is known for is its unaccaptably high rate of obesity and obesity related diseases. The people who created fast food, the folks who marketed it there in those LABS used to create the ever evil “bliss point” should be ashamed of their greedy selves. 😖

    Super great article, Dr. Colter.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very well said love this! It’s sadly true how weight gain is a big factor here in the United States. I totally agree with your statements. We only live once and so goes to our body we only have one not many so we gotta take care of it and be happy eat we’ll eat in portions exercise and the list goes on some models tends to be super skinny and some tend to gain weight they got to understand the word control confidence and portions thanks doc for this🙌🏼 do take a read at my new blog post would love to know what you think😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your comment with all of us. Interacting dialogue teaches all of us new perspectives offering new possibilities.

      P.S. I stopped by your blog and appreciate the hard work you obviously put into it. It’s a great site that people should take the time and visit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally thanks doc very much appreciated 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for the blog post. Well said! Have you seen a video of the young lady who eats large amounts of calories on a daily basis in order to gain lots of weight? The more she gains, the happier she becomes and the more money she makes… sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The act of doing damage to oneself clearly defines a person is NOT HAPPY. The superficial (for the cameras “happiness”) only covers up a deeper personal “demon.” Some will pursue financial gains to be able to afford personal luxuries. One day, however, these same people will discover the price they will likely have to pay (developing various chronic diseases) and will only then reveal the TRUTH of their unhappiness/depression they tried to cover up using material possessions.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. […] via OVERWEIGHT MODELS SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE — All About Healthy Choices […]

    Liked by 1 person

  17. i completely agree, it is sending out the wrong message. It is not okay to be overweight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even though there are some people who are overweight and are considered low risk for disease (based on lab values,) it doesn’t equate with overweight as a reasonably healthy objective. As we age, more effort is required to maintain lean body mass for health AND function. Lab values are NOT SUFFICIENT to determine health risks. For instance, they do not measure atherosclerosis sufficiently to determine risks of heart disease and/or stroke. These truths are not shared with the public. All the public wants to hear from their doctor is “all is good” regardless of the truth. If a person is on 6 different medications and lab values in a given visit are within normal standards, doctors will commonly say the patient is “healthy.” If the patient was truly HEALTHY, they wouldn’t need to be on 6 different medications, would they?

      Like

  18. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    ANOTHER VIEW ABOUT “PLUS” FASHIONS!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this important message with your readers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. PLUS–YOU’VE GOT A NAME i LIKE 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks to the Mighty Mumford, I didn’t miss this post.

    We went from one extreme to another. The message that America’s youth is receiving from these overweight models is not good. It is not okay to be overweight, not when we are playing with our health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many people seem caught up in aesthetics, prejudice and the idea of “acceptance” when the focus should be on whether fluctuations in weight result in harmful health outcomes.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Brother…I absolutely love this post.

    It’s so clinically and professionally thought.

    I love the vibrancy…and the passion within this post.

    I really respect it and the reasons behind your rationale.

    As a soft tissue specialist…movement analyst and elite performance coach…who runs his own clinic…fixing “broken people,” and working with professional athletes…I sincerely commend you.

    You are a true inspiration to both women and men

    Never forget that 99% of people wouldn’t put their hearts and soul on the line…for us all to read.

    That is a special trait.

    I wish you nothing but prosperity and success

    Have an amazing day

    Mr Cleaver

    Like

  21. […] via OVERWEIGHT MODELS SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE — All About Healthy Choices […]

    Like

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