Assumed: Not all fat people are unhealthy, and not all thin people are healthy

This is another entry in my “assumptions” series, in which my intention is to explain one of my underlying assumptions definitively, so the next time I feel the need to veer away from a post’s point at hand to provide full background, I can just link to the full thought and let others veer, if they choose to.

Assumption: Not all fat people are unhealthy, and not all thin people are healthy. But overweight does correlate with ill health, and the greater the overweight, the greater the likelihood and severity of ill health.

As a male for most of my 56 years (OK, all of ‘em), I have not been society’s bitch, at least not on the body issue thing. No one has ever considered me trim or particularly fit, but neither have they faulted my very being for every out-of-place ounce, of which I have many, even today.

I understand that from childhood, women *have* been relentlessly judged by their conformity to mechanically enhanced, unattainable ideals, but I can’t relate.

The practical effect of that is that I need to remind myself that “weight” and “wellness” overlap only partially. Feel free, readers, to point out when I have failed to remember it; I need the feedback.

In one way, “weight is not the issue” is central to my message. The first two times I dropped more than 100 pounds, I was focused only on the weight, instead of the reasons I was so overweight. Of course I needed a different plan for food, but a different plan wasn’t going to address the reasons. Weight was *an” issue, but not *the* issue.

I’m working to make the other interpretation just as central: Health is the issue. Thin isn’t well, necessarily. Some people are over their “ideal” weight, and still healthy.

The fact is, my BMI is 29.4, one-tenth from rounding up to obesity. I have skin folds that I wish I didn’t have. But I’m healthy, by any number of measures. When I argue that thinner is better, it’s from my perspective of having maintained a 155-pound weight loss for more than 20 years. IMO, no one even 70 or 80 pounds above their “ideal” weight is very healthy, or for that matter, unaffected by the extra poundage.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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