What your body shape says about your health

November 11, 2019

Dear Readers,

Annemarie emails Check Up about her body shape. She is 23 years old and is concerned that the top of her body is a smaller size than the lower portion of her body. Her breasts are small to medium and she wears size 10 to 12 shirts, while her hips and thighs fit a size-16 pants! She wonders what can be done to get a more uniform body which is one size.


Annemarie is describing what seems to be an hour-glass figure with dominance on the lower curves! A lot of men and women would find that a blessing!

Women of childbearing age, who are still producing the required levels of oestrogen to be fertile, tend to deposit most of the fat they carry in the hips, buttock and thighs. And, of course, black women genetically tend to have more ‘bottom’ and heavier thighs for the most part than the other races. Mostly, this is often considered a positive asset!

As women age and pass through menopause and their oestrogen levels fall, weight gain becomes more centrally located and fat deposits occur mainly to the abdomen and breasts. This results in the ‘tummy’ older women lament over as well as the increased bra sizes, which can be a mixed blessing.

Most of these changes in body shape are determined by genetics, our environment and, of course, are very much related to our dietary choices and how much exercise we fit into our weekly schedules; that is, our practice of healthy lifestyles. With proper diet, exercise and body toning through working out at a gym, we can make our bodies fit and healthy as we work with the body given to us by nature.

No two bodies are the same but with exercise we can, for example, build muscles on the upper chest wall, under the breasts, which would increase the size of the chest wall, resulting in what would look like bigger breasts! Weight loss and exercise can also change the size and shape of the thighs and tighten the buttock to give a very attractive look! Naturally, we have to work with what nature has chosen to gift us. We don’t have a choice there.

Surgery an option

Of course, one can always, for a cost, opt for breast-augmentation (or reduction) surgery and buttock-augmentation or reduction surgery! These are modern times, and the choices are available. Surgery is quicker and there’s just so much change to breast and buttock that can occur through weight loss, exercise and body toning. However, the practice of healthy lifestyles, with or without surgical augmentation or reduction, is likely to result in more long-lasting health benefits for a lifetime!

Annemarie should spend some time thinking through what she really wants to achieve, and how. She could see her family doctor, who could advise her and refer her to a dietitian and plastic and reconstructive surgeon so she could hear what change entails; and she can also register with a good gym and personal trainer to see how best to achieve her goals about her body image (real versus perceived). Annemarie might even benefit from some counselling and guidance as she seeks to obtain and appreciate an acceptable body image.


Write Check Up: PO Box 1731, Kgn 8. Email: arnaj56@gmail.com

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