Ten days into Katie Hopkin’s weight loss program of eating when she was hungry, about an average of 1700 calories, walking at least 10,000 steps per day, and exercising an hour three times per week, her doctor weighed her. She had lost a whopping 11 pounds in ten days, bringing herself to what is considered a healthy weight (BMI of 24.6) in a little more than a week! No wonders she thinks maintaining a healthy weight is easy. As I stated in my previous post, Hopkins has Some Sketchy Arithmetic Skills and No Ability for Empathy, if as she says, weight loss is simple math, she should have lost about 3 pounds. I have done the same thing she has for the same amount of time. I have lost 6/10ths of a pound. If I continue to lose weight at the same rate, I would be down to a healthy weight in 283 days (or about 9 and a half months). It would take me 273 days more than her to reach the same results although we are both exerting the same amount of effort. Our experiences are not similar in the least bit but Hopkins finds it impossible to believe that anyone can think, feel, or have experiences that are different than hers.
As another example of her inability to understand other people’s emotions was that Hopkins claimed in her reality TV show that she didn’t believe that anyone who is fat is happy.
I would have a hard time believing that Hopkin’s could be overweight and happy. First, she has to eat an enormous amount of food and basically do no physical activity to gain any weight. That sounds like a miserable existence for anyone. Secondly, she is used to her super skinny athletic body. It is hard on the psyche to have big changes in one’s body. Ask anyone who has been pregnant or had dramatic weight loss. While these can be good and even strived for changes, one can sometimes feel like an alien in an unknown body. Thirdly, Hopkins uses the control of her weight as a psychological crutch due to her lack of control of her epilepsy. Finally, she views overweight people as disgusting and viewed her own body as disgusting when she was barely overweight. So it’s not remarkable that Hopkin’s wouldn’t be happy if she had a few extra pounds on her. However, happiness and being overweight or even obese are not mutually exclusive.
Recently, People Magazine reported on Hopkins attempted to “fat-shame” Kelly Clarkson, a beautiful talented singer who had a baby about a year ago. Hopkin’s reduced Clarkson’s worth to her weight, claiming she looked like she had eaten her backup singers and said that her weight wasn’t baby weight it was “carrot cake weight”. Clarkson had a beautiful response. She said “I’ve just never cared what people think. It’s more if I’m happy and I’m confident and feeling good. That’s always been my thing. And more so now, since having a family – I don’t seek out any other acceptance.” It’s not hard for me to believe that Clarkson is happy with her growing family. Apparently, Hopkins doesn’t understand that our happiness can come from something a little deeper than our appearance.
In fact, our desire for thinness can actually impede happiness. As Joni Edelman wrote in the amazing piece, “Being Thin Didn’t Make Me Happy, But Being “Fat” Does” (please go over and read this immediately), she obtained a size 4, 125 lb figure by running 35 miles per week, eating 1000 calories per day, having a high activity job, and sleeping three hours a night. She lost her period, went hungry and denied herself sleep to stay at this weight. She wasn’t happy, she obsessed over every perceived flaw in her body, and was hit on by strangers. When she gained weight due to having more children, injuries, loss of a child, divorce, and medication, she actually is happier. She spends time with her children, she sleeps, she eats vegetables and she eats cake.
While Clarkson and Edelman’s stories are anecdotal, in 2013 a poll of 2000 British women showed that women were happiest at size 16 (size 12 in the US), a size Hopkins considers disgusting, but actually is probably pretty healthy and comfortable for most American and British women, since it is close to the average size of women overall in those countries.
If you have to starve yourself and exercise excessively to be thin, you probably won’t be happy. If you have to gorge yourself and not move around at all to be fat, you probably won’t be happy. If you can eat a normal for you amount of healthy food with a few treats and exercise moderately, all things being equal, you will probably be fairly comfortable since both moderate excercise and healthy amount of food help fight stress, depression, and anxiety.
In my own experiences, a lot of things make me happy. My dog hopping with excitement as she greets me at the door, my son vacuuming the floor without being asked, a run in the Alaskan sunshine, binge watching the Middle with my friends, eating a chewy chocolate chip cookie, and kissing my husband. All of these things I can do while I am overweight or if I am underweight. As Edelman says in her article “Happiness does not require thinness. Fatness does not presume sadness.”
*I am using the word “fat” throughout this article as Hopkin’s uses it to describe people. I personally believe that people have fat. People are not fat.