Posts tagged health
Posts tagged health
What are thigh gaps and why you probably aren’t going to get one from weight loss
If you have been apart of tumblr for long enough or have wanted to lose weight at some point while on tumblr you’d notice a lot of blogs in the “thinspiration” community have a desire for thigh gaps.
What is a thigh gap you may ask? Essentially it’s a gap between a persons thighs, preferably desired by women.
Why do people want one?
Chances are if you are trying to get one by losing weight for whatever reason then you may not be able to get it.
“BUT WHY?!” you may cry. Very simple, my dear person. It’s all about your skeleton.
You cannot change the structure of your skeleton very easily (and it would be painful if you could. For example: child birth)
Some people are naturally able to have a thigh gap at a certain size, but that doesn’t automatically mean that you have to very thin. People who are at different sizes can have them but can every fit/thin person have one? No
Fact of the matter is that you probably won’t get one and it’s not a big deal. You don’t die if you don’t have one, and no one really cares about them as much as you do persons-who-want-a-thigh-gap-who-is-reading-this. Well, unless you’re this guy
There are two main reasons for why you probably won’t get one even if you lose weight.
One reason why you won’t get one is because of your hips. If you have narrow hips it’ll be a bit harder to obtain. Here are some examples
You can’t really change your genetics or bone structure…so…
Although, some of you might be thinking “fuck yeah! I have wide hips I’m going to get a thigh gap!!”
Sorry but that also might not be the case. The second reason for why you probably won’t get one is because of your legs. Let me explain a bit.
This is what the leg bones look like when you’re standing
So because your femurs are going in-ward like the image above it would be difficult to obtain a thigh gap even if you have wide hips. Also considering that you also have muscle, skin, fat, veins, around your bones to make, well, legs. It would be hard to achieve it. You need these things to you know, move.
Also remember that people on tumblr stick out their butts, straighten their legs, bending forward with their heels apart, or stand with their feet wider apart for the illusion for a thigh gap in these photos. So really, if they can’t have one naturally what’s the chances of you having one? Here is a great example
If you’re worried about chafing then a quick google search will show you that there are ways to remedy one without achieving a thigh gap. Remember that sometimes every-ones skin is different as well. Some are more or less sensitive than others. So having a thigh gap isn’t an automatic answer to not have any chafing. Many people in my life don’t have thigh gaps and they have no issues with rashes or chafing.
If you’re still wanting a thigh gap despite of what I said you can get one easily by standing like peter pan and walk like that for the rest of your life.
Which goes to show that a thigh gap can be very relative of how you stand.
If you’re still wanting a thigh gap because you see models and other girls in the media having one just remember that the super thin body type portrayed by women in the media only effects 5% of the population. The standards are only getting tighter since 20 years ago models weighed 8% less than a healthy weight and now it’s 23% less than a healthy weight.
Why throw away your health to try and obtain something that most people don’t naturally have? You’re in trouble if you’re going to forgo your health for the sake of something that isn’t obtainable by most human standards.
I feel the need to add that having a thigh gap is perfectly fine, there’s nothing wrong with it—it’s just something most people don’t have. Just like there’s nothing wrong with being a size 0, it’s just not something that’s realistic for most people.
Very informative post, though :)
My 2013 New Year’s Resolution Revolution!
More: water, fruits & vegs, art, SEX, writing & reading, self-care, dates w/hubby, LIPSTICK, and movement (walking, wheeling, weights, stretching)
Less (or fewer): foods that make me sick, pills (more natural treatments), sleeping in & late nights, spending $$, sugar, TV, computer, iPod
I will wear what is comfortable and makes me happy— not only what is flattering.
I will stand up for myself to doctor’s and ask for the accommodations I need!
I will remember that I am NOT a burden.
I will continue to train Cash Puppy as a service dog.
I will improve my time management skills.
Most of all, I will be EASIER on myself, and continue the progress I have made in accepting my body and loving my life.
Happy 2013, Lovelies!
Five years later I am still unable to eat bread. I cannot eat red meat unless it comes out of a slow cooker and even then, I have to be careful. Pasta is touch and go and I throw up regularly because my body has learned to fear certain textures of food, they get “stuck” and it is completely involuntary when I bring them back up. Whenever I go out to eat, I make sure I know where the bathroom is first in case I have to run. I have to take multivitamins because I do not get enough from the food I am able to digest. I was losing my hair at one point from malnutrition, thankfully it’s growing back now.
rebloggable by request
You sort of answered the question yourself, and I’ll explain why.
My definition of dieting is the act of willfully restricting yourself with the sole intention of weight loss. It’s usually put under some guise of “but I need to be HEALTHIER!” But what people usually mean by that is “my body will be smaller, so I will feel better about myself.”
This is problematic because we live in a culture that thinks losing weight automatically makes you healthier, which isn’t the case.
Diet-talk can be incredibly triggering for people (like me!) who have been told all their lives (by parents, even!) that if I went on a diet, changed what I ate, “got healthier,” etc. that someone would be able to finally love me. Which, again, reinforces the idea that fat people are inherently unlovable.
Diet-talk also reinforces ideas about “good” foods and “bad” foods which is terrible! It’s not to say that all foods are created equal, but it implies that some foods are universally healthy - and that is not the case.
Ultimately, diet-talk assumes that all bodies are created equally. That if everyone did _______ they would all end up being thin and healthy and self-fulfilling. But everyone can’t be thin. And everyone can’t be healthy. And diets aren’t a proper measure of worth.
And all of that is different than making different food choices in order to feel stronger, to feel that you have more endurance, to feel more flexible, etc. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel as though you’re nourishing your body. (Because bodies are awesome and self-care can definitely happen through food and exercise!)
When people hear “I don’t support diets” they think I’m saying “eat cheeseburgers and sit on the couch all day long.” Which isn’t what I’m saying. (But if you wanna do that, go ahead. Your body. Your choice.) What I amsaying is that there is no such thing as universally healthy. What I am saying is that it’s impossible for every person to be healthy all of the time. What I amsaying is that we live in a culture where dieting is fucking everywhere, and it hurts people like me who have been told that their abusers would stop hurting them if only they would go on a diet.
At the end of the day, as long as people aren’t hurting anyone, they should do whatever they want with their bodies. Losing weight is not counter-productive to fat politics. But intentionally losing weight solely because you’ve bought into the idea that smaller bodies are better bodies and going around telling everyone how great your diet is and how they can be just like you!!!111 is most definitely counter-productive to fat politics.
I hope that helps. :)
[Image: Typographic message on pink duotone background photo of my naked back as I perform a stretch: “I move as a form of self care, to incite mental wellness. ‘Fitness’ looks different for everybody.”]
Part four of my personal poster series focuses on the vagueness of society’s definition of “health and fitness”, how it should be defined differently for each and everyone one of us (whether we are able-bodied, disabled, mentally or chronically ill, etc), and how I’ve learned to define it for myself.
Relevant to the discussion of fat-shaming doctors, this is a list of doctors worldwide who cater to fat-bodied individuals. Many of the doctors on this list offer things such as larger blood pressure cuffs, bigger hospital gowns, and don’t blame every medical problem a patient comes in with on their weight.
It’s not by any means a full list, nor does it cover every area, so if you have a fat-friendly doctor who’s not on the list, get in contact with the site to get them added!
This is an excellent resources so I thought it would be of help to those who face stigma from their current medical professionals :)
My PSA for the day:
I’ve seen this come up a few times in my follow list today from rants and blogs and notes.
When you go to the Doctor, you have the right to not be weighed.
There was a time in my life when knowing what the numbers on the scale said would have sent me into an absolute spiral of loathing, self-injury and suicidality. And that was even if they were “good.” I finally got to the point where if I knew my weight had stayed relatively static, I refused to be weighed when seeing the Doctor.
If you have not gone to the Doctor specifically for a weight-related issue (ED treatment or other related problem that they consider to be tied to the scale), you are under no obligation to be weighed.
It took me a long time to figure that out. But once I did? I never let some know-it-all nurse shove me on the scale. I have only once ever had one even give me push back about it.
Generally my answer was, “My weight has not changed significantly since I was last here so I would prefer not to be weighed.”
The only time I had to say more than that was with one bitch nurse who said, “Well, if you don’t want to see you can just step on backwards and I won’t tell you the number.”
To which I replied, “I have a severe anxiety and depressive disorder. I have major body issues. If you TAKE my weight, I HAVE to see it. If I see it, whether it is what I expect or not, I will leave here, obsess about it, and ultimately- end up doing myself a great deal of physical and emotional harm because of that number. If you won’t let me see the Doctor without being weighed, I’m leaving.”
Your emotional and psychological health and well being are JUST as important as what the medical profession considers your physical health to be. You are a far better judge of your own health and how your emotional state plays into that than some nurse who’s never had a single second of genuine worry about what those number say about her.
Outside of being a marker for ED and recovery (which I can’t speak to very well because admittedly my ED issues were always overeating related), or a drastic change in weight which can affect dosage recommendations on SOME medications, your weight is not a diagnostic tool of any kind unless there has been a sudden or drastic change in a short period of time- which quite frankly, is usually obvious WITHOUT a scale to tell them so.
Don’t feel obligated to put your emotional and mental health aside because someone in scrubs has asked you to step on a scale.
Made in response to this little gem:
Not to mention that health has to do with a LOT more than what you put in your body. But this graphic is excellent!
Whether you think all bodies are beautiful or you never said there isn’t anything wrong with being overweight you are still missing a key point in body positivity.
Which is respect.
Saying, “but it has been proven that being extremely overweight is unhealthy” is invasive and that is disrespectful.
Saying, “aren’t you concerned for your health, though?” is invasive and disrespectful.
Saying, “I’m all for loving yourself but aren’t you concerned you are promoting an unhealthy lifestyle?” is stigmatizing fat people and therefore EXTREMELY disrespectful.
Saying, “Don’t you want to live longer? What if you have kids? Don’t you want to be there for them?” is invasive and disrespectful.
You act concerned. Maybe you are. But your concern is problematic. Often times disingenuous. And always, always hurtful.
This behavior effects self esteem. Health and self esteem are connected to fat bodies because we are told how unhealthy we are simply for existing. It shapes our self esteem. It wears down on our body image. It tears at our mental capacity to feel good about ourselves. And saying that shit perpetuates these stigmas and fucks with us. So kindly understand what your invasive, disrespectful, faux concern does to us and rework your attitude toward health and fat people.
Trigger warnings for disordered eating, depression/suicide, ableism
When I was a year old I was diagnosed with asthma. My childhood is filled with memories of hospital visits, waking up unable to breathe, and not being able to do what the other children could do.
And then there were the comments to just “push through it”, “it’s not as bad as you think it is”. This from people who have never suffocated from their lungs constricting. When I say I can’t breathe, of course I’m getting some air, but talking becomes difficult, we can only convey short sentences as our airways constrict and mucus builds up to eventually cut off you breathing entirely. Those moments are critical, that’s the moment you get your inhaler, you stop, you rest, you let the lightheaded feeling pass because you weren’t getting enough oxygen earlier.
And I’ll never forget the time my sister told me I was just faking for attention.
I’m much older now. Thankfully asthma medication has advanced to the point of controlling, I barely get an asthma attack. Unfortunately I watch as my younger sister suffers, and hear her tell me of times my older sister didn’t believe her when she needed to stop on a run because she couldn’t breathe.
Being someone who has been sick all her life, it never amazes me the presumptions healthy people have about those who are sick. They never experience what it’s like to have their throat constrict and find yourself gasping for air. Or how about sleeping with an asthma attack, having a nightmare and unable to breathe in your own dream, unable to run, and waking to find you need your spray. Somehow they think they can tell us, “just push through it”, “it’s not that bad”, “you’re being lazy”, or my favorite, “you’re just faking”.
Why is it so hard to understand that NO, sometimes we CAN’T and that’s OK because we don’t want to die or cause ourselves harm.
Now, I mentioned before that my asthma is well controlled, but I was always the unhealthiest of the 3. Mental illness, handicapped knee, surgery for a cyst the size of a grapefruit, severe absesses before a root canal, and my newest affliction, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). For a year I went through all the tests to see if it was crohns, celiac, thyroid, whatever. No results, I just have IBS.
IBS is different for many people, the thing to remember is that it’s not a specific disease but a description of symptoms that are not explained by another specific IBD. This means, there is no cure and treatment is based on what works for some people.
In my personal case, the suggested drugs didn’t help, various treatments don’t really do much and the little control I have over it is basically lots of fiber, miralax, and avoiding general trigger foods. I lost my appetite, which is to say, I felt hungry but unable to eat anything. My life became constant pain, bathroom trips, and a lack of energy that goes beyond just basic fatigue, likely from the the malnutrition.
All while this was going I would get comments in the elevator at work, “You lost weight what did you do?” and once again I’d explain, I’m doing nothing, I got sick.
Personally, I’m an upfront person. I don’t hold back about illnesses or things like that because it’s been such a constant in my life, that if something suddenly happened to me, I want coworkers and friends to know I have this and to warn medical professionals I’m on medication. Besides, I’m not ashamed of my illness, and frankly having people tell me to smile, or ask why I’m always frowning, it gets tiresome. Better just to explain I’m sick a lot then put up with people insisting I smile because it makes me look pretty.
And that brings me to the point of this entry. I don’t look sick. I was overweight when the IBS started to ruin my appetite, so as far as I look, I’m a skinny young woman, who can walk and ride a bike to work. For all outward appearances and preconceived notions about what “healthy” is, I appear fine.
Yeah, I can walk fine, but the fact is that my knee cap is slightly off center and my leg to swells. I get pain, and sometimes even need a cane. Sure I bike ride, because cyclical motion is better for the knee. Furthermore, walking gives me stomach pains, and I don’t mean cramps, I mean something in my gut from the IBS that makes me want to puke. Riding a bike puts me in a sitting a position that doesn’t cause this pain that happens if I’m walking.
Making assumptions about people’s health based on appearance does nobody good. Furthermore, assuming you know better than the people that suffer is ableist and downright insulting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told if I exercised more I’d feel better, despite explaining the fact that I wake up every morning with no energy, that just even going to a sedentary job everyday drains me dry, so when I come home all I can do is lay in bed.
I get accused of being lazy. My parents do a hard days work, they’re sore. I sit at a computer, why am I exhausted they wonder? They don’t understand that I started the day with nothing, no energy. So when I get home sometimes it’s all I can do to clean up some dishes and do the laundry. Sometimes I wonder how I even get through the day, my worst days often end up being a blur.
And then I get looks, and accusations that I’m going to lose my job because I call out sick, or leave early when I’m in so much pain I can’t focus. Or I get comments about how lucky I am for having a union job because anyone else would have fired me.
And let’s not forget that becoming so ill that you can’t really do anything beyond work and rest, you stop going out. You stop socializing, plagued by worries of “will there be a bathroom” and “do I have the energy to even go out today?”
Depression. Something I have suffered from since I was a teenager, nearly taking my own life by overdose. Now it’s back, and so all that physical pain is compounded by emotional pain and sickness.
I can go out, put on a happy face, do my work, make myself eat a small meal and everything looks ok. But people wonder why I’m lazy why I don’t smile anymore.
I just wonder how I manage to get through every day.
I share this story not for pity, but for understanding. Not all sick people look sick, and not all sick people need your advice. I’ve been to doctors and therapists, I’m getting all the care I can because I’m lucky enough to have health insurance.
I have accepted that there may be no cure for IBS, that my struggles will only continue, and I can only hope what modern medicine did for my asthma eventually works for IBS, and for my depression, because believe me I am still gripped by it as I ever was.
I don’t need advice or encouragement. I don’t need to be told it will get better, because you don’t know that. I don’t need you to encourage me to push through because if I put my mind to it I can do anything. Can’t you understand my mind is sick too? I don’t want any of that.
I just want people to understand.
This is important enough that I thought it belonged here!
Body positivity is also not shaming those of us who are trying to lose weight.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I don’t love myself because I want to be healthier and lose weight.
Me wanting to lose weight has everything to do with my own person reasons (high cholesterol, medication issues) and nothing to do with anyone else. I am sick of people impling that I don’t love myself because I’m trying to slim down enough so that my bloodwork comes back good. My doctor and I were both unconcerned about my weight until some of my bloodwork started coming back with some concerning results.
So, I am losing weight, exercising, and training myself to eat better. Not because I think I’m ugly, but because I want to be healthy for myself and for my child.
The next time someone tells me that I am fat and beautiful, I will say thank you, but if they follow that up with “You don’t need to lose weight. You should love yourself as you are,” then that person will get told to go fuck themselves.
I can’t tell you what to do with your body. You want to lose weight? Great, you do it. But don’t you dare say it’s to ‘be healthy.’
Losing weight does NOT equal better health. Better eating habits? Sure. Better exercise habits? Sure. More sleep? Sure. Reducing stress in your life? Sure. In some bodies, modifying your habits makes you lose weight. But the weight loss is a SYMPTOM, not a cause of better or worse health.
People really need to get over this fallacy of ‘Oh god I feel so sluggish because I’ve gained weight.’ or ‘Oh, I feel so much more healthy since I lost weight.’ No. You’ve changed your habits, and maybe your body changed along with it. But you know what, that doesn’t happen to everyone. Beliefs like this DIRECTLY impact the misguided viewpoint that fat=unhealthy.
It’s pretty easy.
Eating better/exercising more = better health.
Better health ≠ changes in weight. It CAN, but it’s not required.
Anyone who tries to tell you what to do with your body SHOULD be told to go fuck themselves. But YOU should also take responsibility for your reasons. Because if you truly believe the only way to be healthier is to lose weight, you’ve got a long way to go in body positivity.
Reblogging this version for commentary and to add that no one is denying that you love your body. The relationship you have with your body is personal and wonderful. Just know that your feelings and definitions about health are not universally adapted by everyone else.
Life is too short to spend hating yourself and bullying yourself! Take the time to study yourself and be grateful for what your bodies do for you daily. You are so lucky to have them!
Don’t feel pressured to run away from swimsuit season, be it because of your rolls, tummy, scars, hair, etc! Rock what you’ve got and give it the chance it deserves to have fun in the sun this summer!