Being Overweight And Happy Is Not A Paradox! I Am, You Can Be Too.

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When a girl comes of age and is to be married off, “Moti larkion ko koi pasand nahin kerta” is the age-old advice her mother gives and most of us have been on the receiving end of this statement at some point in our lives.

Apart from the psychological stress on the women desperately trying to cut down on their food intake to become the perfect slim “shaadi material” girl, the families of the bride go on to make her feel even guiltier for having either been genetically obese or being vested too much in studies to have messed up her priorities for her life. Have you ever heard of someone being punished for being too focused?

Our Pakistani society is, unfortunately, one which is currently swarming with cultures and traditions that are not only inconsiderate for the people they are being forced upon but also two-faced. Our social media has been a big factor in promoting slim models as the most desirable women or the ones who deserve to have a stress-free, happy and a blessed life. Does it really come down to this?

Excess of everything is bad

Overweight and obesity refer to the excessive fat accumulation in our body and leads to build up of diseases that we would ideally want to steer clear of. However, genetically many people are programmed to gain weight even if all they do is look at chocolate. So really, how do we disentangle the myths our life is riddled with? I know: live simply and modestly.

Research shows that being overweight, and not morbidly obese (BMI>40), carries health benefits unknown to most of us, as well! While I am not a promoter of excess in anything, I for one am a foodie (prefer to have all that life has to offer me), overweight and HAPPY!

Benefits of being Overweight

Overweight or fat people are associated with having a stronger immune system. The fat (adipose tissue, for the biological minds) produces a calming effect on the body’s immune system when it is fighting off infections and hence causes the prevention of overreactions and damage to the neighbouring organs. The adipose tissue present in the abdomen (omentum) also has the magical powers, similar to those of stem cells, to repair the tissue that has been ruptured.

Furthermore, people with greater BMI also have low chances of developing chronic arthritis (present from a low of 14.8% in Pakistan to a high of 27.4%), especially male. Research conducted by the professor of the Lund University in Sweden was able to show 63% less likely probability of developing chronic arthritis in overweight males. An excessive amount of visceral fat in the abdomen is able to induce the production of hormones that are able to create a protective bubble and prevent the onset of disease.

Did you expect to be protected against dementia through your personal fat reserves? I didn’t think so either. Being overweight is considered one of the ways in which the brain is protected against the onset of dementia. And even when that isn’t enough, fat reserves help to boost the body for fighting off infections and diseases, against all odds.

So for all those, who like me, have to face the brunt of their mothers worried whether we would be lucky enough to secure a respectable marriage proposal, or better, have a long happy life and see our own kids married off, need to remember something.

Happiness comes from within.

The little good things we choose to do in our lives always come around in the form of a happier and satisfied inner self. And blubber only helps your potential of absorbing all the gloom anyone has for throwing at you. Did you know that overweight people fight off depression better than their slimmer counterparts (Aha!)? Did you know that winter is never a problem for us and that counts for a lot, okay? Most importantly, as Master Olaf said, warm hugs are the best hugs! So, live happy for as long as you live, a bit of food passion never hurt anybody!

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Norin Chaudhry