A Touchy Subject That Needs To Be Heard
I was a size 6 in high school. I had an hourglass figure, grabable ass, and huge boobs. I weighed 120 pounds. My doctor thought that I was borderline overweight based solely on the fact that I am only 5 ft tall. My parents told me I was fat. My boyfriend told me I was chubby - he even went so far as to nickname me after a specific food because I had thighs like that animal. My Body Mass Index was perfectly normal, I was as perfectly healthy as I could ever be expected to be (a few minor genetic malfunctions, but nobody is perfect).

I was still considered "plus size" in certain clothing areas. My bra size, in high school, was a 34 D. This is not a very common size, at least it wasn't 6 years ago. I also had a hard time finding jeans that fit just right because I had an ass. (Note: about four years ago, I found Levi Strauss Signature Series. Best. Jeans. Ever. Perfect fit, every time.)

When I finally got out on my own, my self esteem was shot. I still struggle with my self-image, only because I eventually grew into the big image they pushed on me - but not because I was depressed and ate my way to this size. I have health issues and have taken medications that have caused my weight gain and inability to lose anything significant.

My husband has been a major contributing factor in my "wake-up to reality" that I'm not fat. My doctors are working up yet another treatment in an attempt to balance my system so that my body can properly handle foods and help me shed a good portion of this extra weight.

My journey to where I am is not the stereotypical "plus size" growth path. My diet has changed drastically since high school, but not gotten worse. I eat a relatively balanced diet and try to eat the healthier varieties of things. And yet I still gained weight. My blood sugar, cholesterol, and everything else comes back perfectly normal at every 6 month check-up. My health issues are, unfortunately, genetic, and until the doctors find the right cocktail of drugs, I won't be seeing 120 pounds on that scale ever again. Chances are, if I'm lucky, I will drop back to where I was when I first met my husband: 135 pounds, a healthy hourglass figure, and still be shopping in the plus size clothing stores. Because I'm barely 5 ft tall and not the "fashion ideal" stick figure.

* For those curious
I starved myself for my wedding. In addition to the exercise, I cut out a lot of necessary foods. I dropped 25-30 pounds to fit into a size 16 wedding dress, which is the highest size available before extra money is tacked onto the price for the plus size gowns. My average caloric and carb intake per day was equal to that required to keep an anorexic alive. It was an extreme move that I do no recommend for anyone. My doctors were shocked and disapproving and admonished me for it all when they found out.

Needless to say, if you've seen me, you know that I have gained it all back because I started to eat properly again.
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Health Does Not Equal Being Extremely Thin

This news article I'm linking is important about body image, although some photos are tastefully nude to make a point.

I can't tell you how many times I have received compliments about "how good I look" when that I have lost 55 lbs and gone from around size 14 down to size 4 in the past year.... although I have done so by unintentionally getting some horrible gastrointestinal bug/condition that in reality makes me extremely unhealthy and is dangerous to my life. (Probably Clostridium difficile, or else Crohn's disease.) The tests are still being done to determine exactly what.

It makes me feel sad about the superficiality with which we judge people based on body size, and not on overall health. Your health is not equated to your BMI, but rather to how much you're able to exercise and how healthy you feel.

It's wrong to judge people who have a healthy BMI on the size of their bodies, especially when an American size 0-4 means you have so little fat on you that it's actually a danger to your body. You are at higher risk for many conditions when you maintain a below normal BMI. The fashion industry needs to work to change this stereotype, and instead view health as the overall goal. The average fashion model nowdays has the same BMI criteria used for anorexia.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2085226/PLUS-Model-Magazines-Katya-Zharkova-cover-highlights-body-image-fashion-industry.html
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