Column: Healthy living – Web Exclusive

Janica Kaneshiro | Staff Writer

With prom just around the corner, the talk of losing weight is growing. More Mason girls are going hungry at lunch, and carrying around 100 calorie packs in their purses in case they get hungry. But honestly, what for? Prom? Really? Being skinny for prom doesn’t so much appeal to me. I can’t seem to find the motivation to starve myself in hopes of a “better” body.

My friend and I decided to go prom dress shopping a few weekends back, and, admittedly, I was a bit worried about my size and how the dresses were going to look on me. All girls go through it. Before we started though, we went to Whole Foods and picked up some healthy lunch. Some fresh greens with all the garnishing.

Throughout the day, I felt great, and I realized it wasn’t even a matter of feeling skinny. The dresses didn’t fit any better, and I didn’t suddenly t urn into a Victoria’s Secret model or anything. Eating healthier felt better than any no carb, no dairy, no anything diet.

That’s when I realized the true foundations of weight-loss: health.

Yes, indeed, we are a weight-obsessed society.

Just flip through the channels on TV, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. There’s “The Biggest Loser,” “I Used to be Fat” and “Heavy.” Don’t forget the Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers commercials scattered between the scenes of brutal workouts and weight measurements for the entire country to see.

Okay, so we’re inundated with messages basically saying, “Hey, you. We want you. You’re fat. Pay us, and lose weight.” Not exactly the message I want while I lounge in front of my television eating potato chips at the end of a long day.

“Well, maybe this will serve as motivation to lose some weight,” I think while tuning it. But the truth is: I simply can’t put down my chips based on that motivation. Heck, I don’t even know what skinny means. Sure who doesn’t want a “perfect” body? But the road to being model-thin looks awful. Who wants to eat microwavable meals for a year or work out six hours a day to lose 20 pounds a week? Not I.

Now you could argue that losing 20 pounds on “The Biggest Loser” is a much-needed health change, but honestly, do we ever see what they eat each day? No. But do we see if they can fit in a bikini or what have you in the end of the show? Certainly. It isn’t just Mason girls around prom time who have lose the fundamentals of weight-loss. It’s our entire weight-obsessed world.

We’ve really lost the value of being a healthy person. For some reason, health concerns are secondary to flat tummies and defined hip bones. But think about it, weight isn’t going to determine your health and well-being. You can be a size zero and be just as healthy as the size 14 next to you.

Maybe being skinny isn’t in the playing cards for you. Sure TV says it should be, but it also says that people like Christina Aguilera are fat.  Yeah. She’s probably a whole size two now. That’s after the baby, mind you.

Fellow Masonites have lost the meaning of weight-loss in translation. Health and weight-loss are connected, sure but for some reason we seem to think health is the less important of the two. Healthy weights vary, and honestly, I’d rather eat healthy, feel great and be my size than be on a frozen meal diet and “skinny” in my prom pictures.

I’m thinking on prom night, I’ll order something off that “lighter side” of the menu. Not for a flatter tummy, but for the energy to spend the whole night dancing. Isn’t that how it should be?