Monday, 25 April 2011

The Size Issue–Which size is the ‘happiest’?


There was a feature in yesterday’s Sunday Times Style magazine, which stated that the average size 14 is happier than those skinnier.  And a similar piece in The Daily Telegraph a few years back.

I have to admit that I find this kind of generalisation utterly ridiculous. 

First off, whatever size you are, are you healthy?  If you hit the scales at what is termed a clinically obese (horrible term) level, then for goodness sake wake up and do something about it because otherwise you may become sick at some stage.  

Secondly your ‘happy’ weight is likely to be a factor of your height and your build, as well as what you put into your body.  A 5’2” size 14 is totally different to a 5’8” size 14.  One may be well outside the boundaries for what is healthy, and the other may be inside them, but they are technically both the same dress size.  Have a quick look at this table and you can see the difference.

Of course even this doesn’t take into account your age, or the amount of muscle you’re carrying around with you as a result of all those hours in the gym, but for the point of this let’s take those out of the equation.

In terms of happiness you are more likely to be happy, at least in my opinion, if you look the best that you can, if you know that you’re a weight that is healthy and likely to stay that way, if you eat good food, if you exercise regularly.  I don’t believe that the debate is about fat versus skinny (and who wants skinny, anyway? Curvy is so much more attractive) but about what is good for you, body and brain, against what is not.

Exercise has several benefits, it doesn’t only tone your body, we know that it also has a chemical ‘happiness’ effect.  It’s hard to get started particularly in winter but once you do and you find something you enjoy doing and start to see the results it easily becomes habit forming.  And it doesn’t have to take up a huge amount of time, nor require an expensive gym membership.  All it takes is a little bit of real determination.

Diet is a matter of motivation at first, and then again, once you see the results of eating more healthily and looking better becomes addictive.  Very fast. 

You may be ‘right’ for your body at any mainstream size. Undoubtedly curvy is sexier and potentially more glamorous than skinny.  Curvy does not equate to overweight.  And happiness regarding your dress size?  Only you can really answer that one……….