“Wait, what?” you’re probably thinking. “There are PROS to being a big woman, in today’s society of ‘thin is in’ and size 0-2 being glorified in every clothing store?”
Yes, there are pros. As a big woman myself, it’s taken me many years to come to terms with my shape and size since I plumped up and began to gain my adult form at 11 years old. But I’ve finally reached a place where I am content with my body whatever shape it takes. And in this skinny-crazed society we live in, it’s important for all of us bigger ladies to stop hating and punishing ourselves because we don’t “look thin” or “weigh X amount.” There’s more to fitness than just weight, as I’ll discuss in a moment.
One Important Note Before We Begin: “Big” Does Not Always Equal “Fat/Obese”
Now, I am not saying that there are pros to having severe obesity which causes medical problems. Believe me, I began to suffer a painful pre-arthritic condition in several of my lower body joints about six years ago due to weight, and through exercise I am beginning to conquer it. Body size which compromises health is something that must be addressed medically (not just with fad diets and such), otherwise one’s quality of life will wither away–I experienced that firsthand.
Fitness is NOT Measured in Body Weight Alone
BUT! My body frame is just larger than what’s considered “thin/small enough,” and I would guess that I’m not the only woman built like this. (From shoulder to shoulder, I’m 17 inches wide; from hip bone to hip bone, I’m 25 inches wide.) My shoulders and hips are just wider than some girls’, and all of my bones are thicker than most. (Even doctors have marveled at the thickness/density of my bones on X-rays.) Because of my skeleton’s structure and density, I can carry more weight without it looking like I weigh that much. Most people who look at me cannot believe I’m 300 pounds (yep, I said it–it’s just a number!); most folks guess that I’m 200 pounds or so.
Too many people focus on just their weight number, thinking that fitness is solely based on how much you weigh, and it just isn’t. There are plenty more factors that go into fitness, such as muscle flexibility and strength, heart health, joint flexibility, lung capacity, ability to walk and move easily, etc. My doctor tells me my knees are stronger and my heart and lungs are performing better than they were six years ago, yet I’m the first to admit I’m not completely fit yet.
But even with all the exercise classes I take and healthy food I eat, I will never shrink down to be a smaller woman skeletally. I will never be dainty, petite, and tiny. I am a tall woman (5’8″) with broad shoulders and wide hips. This is something I must accept about myself, because it has to do with how my body is formed at the skeletal level, something that diet and exercise cannot change. I and other girls built like me will always be somewhat larger than “model” size.
And you know what? THAT IS OKAY. In fact, it’s more than okay to be big–sometimes, there are even advantages! Thus, the reason I came up with the following tongue-in-cheek yet accurate list:
Why It’s Great to Be a Big Woman
- Our height and body structure makes us look more authoritative/confident
- No breast augmentation surgery needed–large breasts usually come with the “big woman” package
- More padding, so if you fall or bump into things, you won’t break a bone or damage internal organs
- Halter tops look great on broad shoulders and large busts like ours
- We can use our weight against potential attackers
- Wringing out clothes is easy–just wrap the clothing in a towel and sit on it! LOL
- Our figures can look more like the vintage “pinup girl” posters
- There are good men out there who genuinely appreciate our bodies
- We got hips that don’t lie (and that can shut car doors by themselves)
- Carrying/delivering children is a little easier (especially with our wider hips)
- We can pull off those lovely retro-style dresses and skirts
- Since we can carry more weight on our frames, we can usually carry heavier things more easily
- Who needs body pillows to snuggle with when you’ve got us? 😀