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17Jun

…not me…not yet anyway! Size 16 sparked a bit of a debate yesterday on Twitter and I thought it would be good to just keep on going and trample over the assumptions that a lot of people seemed to make about the Daily Mail article.

Not usually known for tact, diplomacy or even ‘of this planet’ perspectives on life, this article from the Daily Mail actually highlighted some key issues for me. You can read ithere if you want, but I will cover off the main points – or at least my interpretation of them anyway! The headline was a bit of an attention grabber and probably had women turned off straight away…or at least women of a size 16 and over! “Is size 16 normal – or a serious danger?”, it asked.

Initially, I didn’t have much of anything to say. Dawn French runs a clothing label by the name of ‘Sixteen47′ with the reason for the name being that, at the time of launching, 47% of women in the UK were a size 16 or over. Given that the company was set up a while ago, I would imagine it should now be something along the lines of ‘Sixteen87′! ;-) I am not a fat basher though, just a realist. The UK is getting larger in terms of more than just it’s population, which is quite worrying really. When I was a kid, size 16 was considered as large, quite large, yet now it seems the norm.

There are many, many beautiful and happy women who wander around in their size 16 clothes. Nobody is questioning, or doubting, their happiness just as nobody is saying that it is abnormal to be a size 16 – I would be bloody overjoyed to be a size 16 quite frankly! The point that the Daily Mail were trying to make is that even though you might share a dress size with a decent proportion of society, it doesn’t mean that you are healthy at this ‘normal’ size. People who share the same dress size have different body proportions and different health issues.

I guess for me that it highlighted how complacent we can become, and I will probably be a prime candidate for this! Imagine how great I will feel getting down to a size 16 – I will have it made in my mind…yet lurking under that label could be a host of issues that I might not even be aware of as I finally look like everyone else. This quote hit me quite hard as I really believe it to be true! “One of the problems, doctors say, is that if people feel their size is normal, it’s not a cause for concern. ‘People often don’t think of themselves as heavy because they are the same size as everyone around them – but the health risks are the same, and very serious,’ says Dr Peter Mace, Bupa Health Clinic’s assistant medical director.”

So back to the article. There were four women, all a size 16, who were given a series of medical tests; the results were quite startling! Here are the ladies in question…

20130617-201217.jpg…all beautiful and vibrant looking…but let’s see what their medical tests showed…

Hannah is 36 years old, 11st 5lbs and 5ft 6in – her results were:
BMI 25.2 – overweight
Body fat 34%
Waist-to-height ratio 52 – a dangerous amount of abdominal fat
Activity level (1-11) 4
Lung age 39 years
Total cholesterol 4mmol/l – healthy
Diabetes risk One in 100 risk of developing it in the next ten years
Coronary heart disease risk 1% risk of developing it in the next ten years (average for her age)
Blood pressure 136/88 – upper end of the healthy range
Liver function Normal

Boudicca is 44 years old, 14st 8lbs and 5ft 7in – her results were:
BMI 32 – obese
Body fat 43.4%
Waist-to-height ratio 62 – dangerous level of abdominal fat
Activity level (1-11) 3
Lung age 59
Total cholesterol 6.3mmol/l – above healthy rang
Diabetes risk Two in 100 chance of developing diabetes in the next ten years
Coronary heart disease risk 5% risk of developing it in the next ten years (above average for Boudicca’s age)
Blood pressure 128/88 (at top of the healthy range)
Liver function Normal

Sheila is 52 years old, 13st 7lbs and 5ft 4in – her results were:
BMI 32.3 – obese
Body fat 44% – way above the healthy range
Waist-to-height ratio 63 – dangerous levels of fat around abdomen
Activity level (1-11) 4
Lung age 52 years
Total cholesterol 5.6 mmol/l – above the healthy range
Diabetes risk One in three chance of developing diabetes in the next ten years
Coronary heart disease risk 2% risk of developing in the next ten years (lower than the average of 8% for Sheila’s age)
Blood pressure 115/71 (OK)
Liver function Normal

Belinda is 62 years old, 10st 8lbs and 5ft 5in – her results were:
BMI 24.7 – borderline
Body fat 38%
Waist-to-height ratio 48 – healthy fat distribution
Activity level (1-11) 6
Lung age 26 years
Total cholesterol 7.61mmol/l – way above the healthy range
Diabetes risk One in 100 risk of developing diabetes in the next ten years
Coronary heart disease risk 7% risk of it developing in the next ten years (lower than the average for Belinda’s age of 12%)
Blood pressure 120/70 (OK)
Liver function Normal

So – all a size 16, all beautiful women, all ‘normal’ looking, yet all with varying health results. The Daily Mail genuinely weren’t fat bashing! They were just showing that we need to keep on top of our health regardless of our size…a good lesson for little old me; it just means that my journey will never end. I will ensure that I keep on top of my health and fitness for good now as I have already put my poor body through far too much!

Just because you are fat, doesn’t mean that you have immediate health issues (I won’t rant about the likelihood of getting a serious illness…Russian roulette again!), just as being an average size doesn’t mean that you are healthy. Enough of my wittering though, let’s look at today’s usuals then…

I got up early to find that my waxed moustache and beardy area were sore and spotty! Not a good look for my meeting with the social worker, so I just came clean and owned up to the fact that I was trying to impress her! Luckily, she had a sense of humour – and thick dark hair like mine – so could appreciate where I was coming from. Anyway, before this there was my workout, my breakfast, some project work and a hair-straightening mission. I then had the meeting, which I think went well, and then I spent some time with my wonderful Mum. I drove back home and collected my other half so we could get some fresh air at the horses and do some shopping. My sister needed pasta from the shops, so I took this to her house and got accosted by the kids for a while. So lunch wasn’t eaten until later, much later actually as my Mum popped over with the new car she had just collected and took me for a drive. An interesting drive it was too – she was still getting to grips with the gears so we had a few mishaps and whiplash…trying to get into third gear and selecting first is not a good driving technique! It always take a few days to get used to new cars though – I remember nearly snapping a chaps neck as I braked in my new car…they were so much sharper than the ones on my old car, and he was giving me a driving assessment before handing me my company car! Lunch wasn’t eaten until nearly 4pm, which is not good, but the day was full of lovely moments so I didn’t mind. I then had a lovely chat with Catriona from Talk Health – she is the director of a great website which brings people with health issues together and offers accurate advice. They work in partnership with the NHS and have some great clinics with leading professionals…and you can ask them questions! I was on the phone for over an hour; she is a lovely lady, but I fear that I talked too much…once you get me started, I can’t stop…a bit like my crisp-eating habit really! Then it was time to chat with a lovely HOOP lady, and then dinner preparation was needed. Chopping butternut bloody squash is hard – I nearly lost a finger. And an early-ish night with a new book is in order I think…along with prayers for the scales tomorrow!

Breakfast: Strawberries, mango and a banana.

20130617-162937.jpgLunch: Two chicken tikka pizzas (2 x HEA + 2 x HEB).

20130617-191142.jpgDinner: Cajun salmon, roast butternut squash, pepper, tomatoes and homemad coleslaw (3 syns).

20130617-200021.jpgSnacks: Two packets of Snack a Jacks (9 syns).

20130617-200116.jpgBrekkie was okay, but only fruit based as I had run out of my cereal bars. This meant that I could have two of my pittas for lunch though…and pittas mean pizzas to me! I decided on chicken tikka pizzas – toasted pitta, tomato purée, garlic, madras powder, spinach, cheese, tomato, pepper and chicken tikka. They were immense, seriously – the nicest thing that I have eaten in a while! Dinner was also lush – Cajun seasoning on salmon, roasted butternut squash, homemade coleslaw (a bag of mix from Asda with lemon juice, cracked black pepper and Hellmann’s lighter than light mayo) with pepper and tomatoes. Gorgeous food again…this dieting malarkey isn’t bad at all! ;-)

Exercise: 3 x 10 minute treadmill sessions.
A rest day today, but I wanted to do a little bit and so thought 30 minutes wasn’t bad.

Thank you for reading guys!

Weight Loss Bitch xxx

  

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