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How Do You Define Healthy? [Plus: 22 "Men's" Exercises Women Should Do]

Posted Sep 09 2011 12:11am

This is how Gym Buddy Megan defines healthy. And also, this is hands-down my absolute fave picture of her ever.

Six scrambled eggs cooked in butter, a half pound of bacon, four potatoes worth of hash browns, six pieces of buttered toast, and a 32 oz. milkshake. And that’s just for  breakfast . As the world watches in horror and fascination, Susanne Eman just keeps eating — literally — at her goal to become the fattest woman in history. Says Eman to  The Sun , “The bigger I get, the better I feel. I feel more confident and sexy. Why shouldn’t I push the limits and see how fat I can get and stay healthy?” Her ultimate goal: 1 ton, or 1,800 pounds.

While Eman’s blood work has consistently been in the normal(ish) range, her doctor thinks she’s playing Russian roulette with her life and many are questioning how she can really consider herself healthy when she can barely walk without assistance. Eman, who eats more than 20,000 calories a day, needs her two sons, six carts and a motorized scooter to do her grocery shopping — a feat she only attempts once a month because it takes her eight hours.

One person who could understand the pains of being that heavy is Donna Simpson — earlier this year a 600-lb Simpson made headlines for being “the world’s heaviest mother” and announcing her weight goal of 1,000 pounds. But perhaps more newsworthy was the fact that she supported her increasing waistline with a fetish website where men paid to watch her eat in her underwear. She felt sexy! She felt great! But now that Simpson has broken up with her boyfriend of five years,  she’s decided to drop some of the pounds.  She’s not doing it because she thinks she has to be svelte to find another man. In fact, she says that she would happily ditch the  should another “feeder” boyfriend come a-knocking. Simpson is losing weight because she simply can’t function. She cannot effectively take care of herself or her day-to-day affairs at her size.

“The health and welfare of my family was always my priority and they were well taken care of by my ex. Now that I have sole responsibility of taking care of my children, I must drastically change my lifestyle. Most people see me as a woman who became famous for wanting to gain weight while the rest of the world was trying to slim down. This was true as I was in a relationship that was based on a fetish that exists only in a fantasy.” Simpson goes on to call her relationship which was based on “feeding,” abusive.

I originally wrote this piece for iVillage but I’ll admit to still having a lot of conflicting feelings about this story. I admire both women for feeling so great in their own skin and for bucking convention. And I do think it’s possible to be perfectly healthy and still weigh more than what is currently deemed ideal. But, when your weight (either too low or too high) interferes with your ability to meet your basic needs, that’s kind of the definition of unhealthy right? Or does health not matter as long as what she’s doing makes her happy?

How do you define healthy – is it about what your numbers say or about how well you can function? Or is it something else entirely?

Other places I am this week:

Shape Magazine: Can Pinterest Change Your Life? Science says yes! And you thought it was just another fun way to procrastinate…

iVillage: Kninkles: The One Body Part Gwyneth Paltrow and I have in Common . Another day, another manufactured body “flaw” to hate on.

Redbook: Are Leashes for Kids Cruel or Kind? I once had a girl ask me in a store why I brought my puppy. It was actually my 3-year-old on a toddler leash. (He liked being on a leash about as much as a cat does.)

Shape Magazine:  22 Men’s Exercises Women Should Do – my latest slideshow – is their featured story this week as, just like many of you commented earlier this week, women are learning that we don’t need to be afraid to lift like the dudes.

Here are the outtakes from our super manly photoshoot. Dude Tip #1: Always wear your best workout skirt! (Ours are courtesy of Dirty Red Gear .)

We started out with the manliest of all lifts: the chest press. And yes, Allison really does bench 135.


Then we moved on to the Olympic lifts. Ok, deep breath! I can do this! I’m so ready to clean-and-jerk this baby! (Oh if I had a nickle for every time someone yelled “That’s what SHE said” during this photo shoot.) Wha…? Who took my weights?


 Nothing says DUDE like jazz hands and duck lips.


Megan takes her kettlebell workout to Broadway. Totally manly.


Where does a kick line rank on the testosterone meter, exactly?


And of course in true male fashion, we ended the workout with a group tickle fight! Who’s got pillows, girls?!


This pose was literally ripped from the pages of my childhood photo album: Ballet Recital 1982. All we’re missing is my Little Orphan Annie wig and some garish makeup.

To see the actual weight-lifting moves and to read my hilarious instructions on how to master them, check out the slideshow on !

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