Picture: mynameisjessamy/Instagram
Picture: mynameisjessamy/Instagram

A 'healthy' body is usually synonymous with an image of a lightly muscled man or a woman clutching a bottle of water in one hand and an apple in the other.

Well, yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley would disagree with that.

Stanley told runawayriot:

Basically, I’m the unicorn of health. A healthy fat person is an oxymoron to most people. People don’t realize that they can’t tell anything about someone else’s health by just looking at them. Realistically, that just is not the case…there are so many different ways to be healthy – why are we conforming to just one type of ‘healthy’ body?

With almost 20,000 followers on Instagram, Stanley uses her platform to post about yoga, and records body-positive messages. In one video, she said:

I started practising in a Brikam studio (yoga) class. I started going to other studios and noticed how rude – unintentionally rude other students and especially teachers [were]...being almost invariably the fattest person in the room, it can be a lot to feel like there are people staring at you, to feel like the teacher is judging you.

So what is the definition of a 'healthy body?'

A study published in the European Heart Journal in 2012 analysed over 40,000 obese people and found that people could be both obese and metabolically healthy and fit, and at no greater risk from dying of heart disease than those people with a ‘normal’ weight.

A separate study by US epidemiologist Katherine Flegal found that, after analysing hundreds of mortality studies, the lowest death rates were found among people in the overweight or mildly obese category.

A campaign called Health at Every Size encourages people to adopt health habits for the sake of well-being as opposed to weight control.

Being healthy requires a balanced lifestyle, but that doesn't necessarily mean there is only one type of healthy body...

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