Zulekha Haywood, the daughter of former NBA star Spencer Haywood and the legendary model Iman, has written an article for Glamour where she talks about her journey from a size 26 to a size 6, and how she was happy all along.
Even though she was satisfied with herself as a person, she was getting disturbing signals from her body that made her unhappy with her health. She writes in Glamour:
At 330 pounds, I had developed heel spurs and swollen knees that made it excruciatingly painful to stand up after lying down for eight hours, so getting out of bed was always an orchestrated event. I’d send any man who slept over off to shower, and once the coast was clear, I’d swing my legs out and put my feet on the ground gingerly, allowing the blood to return to my feet and legs. After a minute, I could stand. After another minute, I was comfortable enough to start walking.
On the Today show, she mentioned that she "wasn't feeling vital anymore" and, along with having a hard time getting out of bed, she had started to develop osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis. Zulekha said that she was worried. "If this is at 26, then what’s going to happen down the line? I tried everything, and gastric bypass was the last resort.”
I am glad that Zulekha is emphasizing her contentment and the full life that she lead before she lost the weight. I am also happy that she is not glossing over the very real, and preventable, health issues that she faced as such a young age. I am against "fat shaming" - especially for the sake of having everybody conform to one "acceptable" look. However, I am also against de-emphasizing some of the health issues related to obesity. Somewhere along the line, we have to find balance, that happy medium of what looks and feels good to us. It's nice to see that Zulekha Haywood seems to have found it.