Can you be fat AND happy?

A woman I know is a large, and what I call overweight, person. But for whatever reason, she seems to be really happy and never cares about what she's eating or her lack of exercise. When I was "fat" I was the opposite of happy. I was so unhappy that I've blocked about six years of my life from memory. I really don't feel like I'm that person anymore (which I think entails it's own post, so I won't dwell on that thought) but I know that when I think about that girl, she was depressed and lonely even though the outside might have appeared "happy." I went out with my friends. I made new friends in college. I pretended to have a good time and smile and laugh, but deep down I wasn't really happy with myself. I didn't have a bad life overall - I didn't live on a bed like some really large people do. I still went to class in college. I worked on breaks when I was back home. I still kept moving forward in life. But I don't feel like I started living MY life until the weight began to come off.

So I'm curious - do you think the woman I know (or others you might know like her) is really truly happy? Or is she just faking it like I did?


Katie O'Something said...

I think it depends on a lot of things. Like, when you say overweight, do you really mean obese? I think many people can be happy with being overweight. To me, overweight is bad, but it doesn't always effect the health of everyone. Some people look overweight but can still be reasonably healthy. An obese person, to me, is going to be dealing with MANY more health issues than your average overweight person would. And for me, that would be something to be upset about.

Then again, it seems like a lot of people in America don't realize how unhealthy they are, so maybe it's an ignorance is bliss kinda thing.

Also, I think age plays a factor. I know a lot of my mom's friends have become "overweight" in their middle ages, but are very happy people that have led full lives. They have husbands, kids, grandkids. They go on vacations and enjoy their time at home. They don't seem to be depressed about their weight or try to lose it b/c they are still having a lot of fun. I wonder if they don't care about being in shape b/c they have so many other things to care about. But these people are just overweight, not obese, so maybe that would make a difference.

I guess I think that as long as they don't have any health risks and aren't morbidly obese and can be happy with themselves, then that's a good thing.

MJ said...

I agree with what Katie said. Also, it may be a cultural issue. I know my body in the African American community is fine. A lot of cultures celebrate curves, hips, and a large butt.

WW says my target weight is 134, which I personally think is a joke. I weight 134 once - I looked like an emaciated anorexic. Even DH says I looked too thin. I do know I'm really happy with my body around 175, which is considered obese. I look healthy and I feel healthy. All blood panel tests show extremely healthy levels.

So, maybe this lady is happy with her weight. Stores are more accommodating than in the past when it comes to plus sizes. Also, she might not even be aware of her size. Being large is so acceptable these days, that maybe it doesn't bother her or just feels like the norm-- (though I doubt this - the media does a good job of making women feel terrible about themselves, no matter what they look like)