Over the years, Joni Edelman's weight has shot up and down, and the ride has been "like a roller coaster, only way less fun." The mom of five recently wrote a viral post in which she claimed she was happier "being fat" than when she was a svelte size four.
"But now, I see dramatic changes not only in my body, but also in my mind," writes Edelman. "There is a stillness, a joy, and a peace I've never had. It's worth 10 pounds. Ten pounds are insignificant when compared to my willingness to let some things go, to sit with my kids, to sleep."
Being "Skinny Fat" Is Hurting Your Health
In the blog, she posted "before" and "after" photos that reared the usual weight loss success story on its head. Edelman achieved her "hot" bikini look by eating a "plentiful" 1,000 calories a day; by running 35 miles a week (10 on Sunday); by sleeping an average of three hours a day; by counting every bit of food I ate, down to a single cherry tomato; by writing and tracking my weight every day for a year; by running the stairs of the hospital during my 12-hour shifts; by losing my period; by denying myself food when I was hungry; by denying myself sleep."
But ultimately the weight piled on "after losing one sweet baby girl; after being married, divorced, married; after a half dozen moves; after a broken leg and a broken ankle; after catching a dozen babies not my own as a labor and delivery nurse; after ushering more than a dozen people into death as a hospice nurse."
And here's the real deal: Edelman is happier now, in the so-called "fat" picture. It's a fact many people simply cannot grasp. After all, as a society we invest far too much of our time (and our money, billions of it) on the skinny quest to accept that anyone could be cool with being heavy.
Witness the volume of hate mail directed at Tess Munster, the size 22 model who shot to fame recently. Ditto the #Fatkini campaign.
It's precisely this "happiness requires thinness," "fatness presumes sadness" ideology that Edelman wants to shatter. The disheartened overweight person we get. After all, claims blogger Jes Baker, we can empathize with the perennial struggle to lose pounds. It's the unapologetic fat person that throws us for a loop.
Nothing against the number per se, yet being a four made Edelman miserable, obsessive. It goes without saying, some people can healthily wear that tag without the incumbent suffering that she personally experienced.
Happy comes in a range of sizes. So does healthy, and beautiful for that matter. None of this should be a revelation, except that it is.
Let's leave "fat" and "thin" on the cutting room floor, shall we, and talk "healthy" instead? (And by healthy, I don't mean exercising and eating to the point of self-loathing.) Healthy is the sweet spot that works for us personally, whether it wears a size 2 or 22.