I was reminded on June 16 by “Good Morning America” guest Dr. Mehmet Oz (recently of Oprah fame) that the apple shape starting with waistlines 35″ and above for women (40″ and above for men), increases the risk of all kinds of dread health problems from diabetes to heart attack. Waistline fat presses on the kidneys, poisons the liver, and blocks insulin production says Dr. Oz. I also learned another way to determine the proper waist size to minimize risk: one’s waist should be 1/2 one’s height says Dr. Oz. I added that to my waist-training manual along with my list of other measures applicable to women, such as the amusing Victorian ones of (1) the size of one’s thigh, and (2) the size of a man’s neck.
His comments reminded of a personal corset fitting I once conducted for a lady and her husband who sat almost on the floor as his huge weight (must have been over 300 pounds easy) crushed my couch. After I completed his wife’s order, I turned to the husband to ask if he might not wish to try on a sample men’s corset, to personally experience how he might enjoy more back and belly support and learn about the magic of corsetry regarding hunger, portion, and weight control. His answer? “Oh I don’t NEED one of those. I’m healthy as a horse. My heart is perfect. My doctors tell me I have no problems.”
I mused once again on what the individual psychology might be that allowed this man and others to perpetuate lethal self-delusion in the face of an enormous quantity of readily-available data on the health risks of fat? What social factors support this unique mass blindness as we grow larger and not smaller over the years? I’d love to hear your thoughts, because on occasion it takes all I can muster to keep on track educating about the corset waist-training solution I am convinced improves health in the most fun way possible, and encourages healthy, moderate lifestyle change in an amazingly short period of time (contrary to what I read time and again on MySpace and YouTube that serious waist training “takes years.”)
I also struggle with two contrary “pulls” in my own conscience. The first grows out of my personal awakening to women’s liberation and radical feminism in the 60s which motivated my lifelong commitment to self-determination. If I truly am so committed, then rationally I must support full-figured men and women who “choose” to be fat. At the same time I know the facts about fat and risk. And, I promote waist-training motivated by my professional and personal commitment to health first, both mine and that of my clients and friends. Without health and the contentment and well-being that comes from feeling good, nothing else much matters. When we feel badly physically for whatever reason, all else dims, doesn’t it?
So how do I square two apparently contrary pulls in my psyche? To date I haven’t adequately managed that, and so I continue to stand back and merely muse at the personal choices each human being makes in life, while vigorously supporting low body fat–and waistlines under 35″!