One of the biggest and most persistent criticisms of the body positivity movement is the notion that it promotes obesity and in turn, poor health. Yes, there are strong correlations of high BMIs with heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and even depression. “Fat and happy” is often a myth.
The reason that I am strongly body positive is that I want to feel good about myself as I make lifestyle changes that support my overall health. I have always had a higher BMI. “Skinny” is not in my genes, but “healthy” can be in my habits and my choices.
To that end, I want to remind women everywhere that February is Heart Health Month. Heart disease the leading cause of death for women, according to the FDA.
According to the FDA, heart attacks manifest differently in women than in men:
The signs of a heart attack can be different for women than they are for men.
- Heavy ache in your chest or back between your shoulder blades
- Sharp pain in your upper body
- Shortness of breath
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Unusual or unexplained tiredness
- Feeling dizzy or light-headed
- Feeling sick to your stomach
You can have a heart attack without experiencing chest pain or pressure. Women may also experience back pain, jaw pain, shortness of breath, indigestion, and nausea or vomiting.
Whether you’re lithe or voluptuous, ladies, please schedule a heart check up if you haven’t had one in awhile. That saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is true. You only have one heart. Take care of it for a long, healthy life.
From my big heart to yours, I wish you all a Happy Heart Health Month. Keep your hearts happy and beating strong.
Follow Actress & Producer Kristin West on her adventures, whether on a movie set, at a film festival or on her travels.