Total health is more than a clothing size

Jessica Zemlicka

Students should worry more about being healthy than skinny. Health is not measured in pounds and it cannot be generalized to an entire population. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines healthy as “enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit.” Nowhere in the definition does it say a girl has to be a size two or a guy has to look like Ryan Reynolds. Health is having a strong mind, body and spirit. Too often young people hear they are not good enough because of their weight or how they look on the outside. The outside should not signify happiness. It is what’s going on inside that leads a healthy lifestyle. According to medical researcher Bridget Coila of, being healthy means understanding health indicators like cholesterol and blood pressure and living an active lifestyle. “Engaging in physical exercise for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week and eating a diet high in lean protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, whole grains, vegetables and fruit, while avoiding refined grains, added sugars and saturated fat can help you achieve BMI, cholesterol and blood pressure readings within the ideal ranges,” Colia said. Blogger and Editor-in-Chief of Joni Edelman’s article “Being Thin Didn’t Make Me Happy, But Being Fat Does,” explored her journey from thin and miserable to fat and loving life. Edelman said when she had a six-pack she was only eating 1,000 calories per day and ran 35 miles a week to maintain her physique. She did all that on top of caring for three children and working 12-hour night shifts in the medical field. After losing a child, having marital difficulties and breaking an ankle and a leg, Edelman said she gained weight but finally felt happy. “I see dramatic changes not only in my body, but also in my mind,” Edelman said. “There is a stillness, a joy, and a peace I’ve never had.” According to Edelman, not worrying about constantly working out to be skinny gave her the willingness to let things go and be happier more often. “Happiness does not require thinness,” Edelman said. “Fatness does not presume sadness.” Images of women in magazine and the internet are constantly in the eyes of young women. Young women project these unrealistic and photoshopped images upon themselves, according to Just Say YES, a nonprofit organization empowering students to pursue their dreams. “These images are airbrushed versions of models who weigh 23 percent less than the average woman,” the organization posted. “Nevertheless, millions of teens believe the lies and resort to unhealthy measures to try to fit themselves into that impossible mold.” College students and anyone influenced by these images so everyone should realize society and the images it projects are false, according to Edelman. “The world wants you to want to be thin,” Edelman said. “There are whole industries built on your insecurity. They are bullshit. The world wants you to believe that thin and beautiful equals happy. It wants you to believe that you’re only worthy of love, and life, if you are beautiful.”