Skinny vs. Healthy

In the last week there have been so many opportunities for me to educate the people around me about healthy living, particularly the young ones. Thing is, it’s not very easy.

This morning, my daughter got on the scale which she sees me use every Saturday morning. When she gets off, she complains that she hasn’t lost any weight. At that point, her father and I try to explain tho her that she is a growing girl and that she is not supposed to lose weight, but instead, gain as she gets taller.

“But Mommy, I want to be skinny.”

This is where I sigh and give a shake of the head.

“No, you want to be healthy.”

“But you exercise so you can be skinny.”

“No, I exercise to be healthy.”

At this point I let her know that skinny does not necessarily mean healthy. Thing is, even though she is only 6 years-old, she is among a large part of society that equates being skinny with being fit and healthy. And even though I have been working out for years (consistently for 11 months),  and I’ve lost 60 pounds, since I am still larger than what would be considered the “norm”, people will still see me as being unhealthy. Well fitness doesn’t necessarily have a particular look. Being healthy can come in many different forms.

Healthy can run a half-marathon.

Skinny can have heart disease.

Healthy can do 20 push ups in one shot.

Skinny can be diabetic.

Healthy eats lean proteins and foods high in fiber and other nutrients.

Skinny’s cholesterol could be through the roof.

Healthy does not necessarily wear a size 2.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being “skinny”.  I just don’t believe it is something the entire planet of women need to strive for because skinny is just a look. Healthy is feeling. Healthy is a mentality. Healthy is a lifestyle.

So how do explain being “skinny” to your kids?

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