I never know what to say when someone I haven’t seen in a long time says, “You look so great, I didn’t even recognize you!” I know that usually, the person means well, and I always accept the compliment. But that doesn’t stop the little thought niggling in the back of my mind about how terrible I must have looked before.

However, the one comment — not compliment — that makes me snap is “Don’t get too thin.”  I’ve heard that twice this weekend. I am not close to too thin. I am on the chubby side of average. If you hadn’t known me when I weighed 300 pounds and saw me walking down the street today, you would not think, “That girl needs to eat a cheeseburger.”

I explain that health is my goal and also that I have a hormonal condition that will probably prevent me from ever being too thin.

I also come right out and tell them that I weigh about 180 pounds and wear a size 12. Those are two numbers that I used to keep an absolute secret. I’m not proud of those numbers by any means, but I’m also not ashamed of them. They are what they are.

What bothers me the most, I think, is our tendency to accept overweight as normal. Because for the most  part, in this country, it is. It makes my hair stand on end when I hear that statistic that “the average woman wears a size 14.”

You know what? The average woman is overweight. Fat. And even if you don’t care about skinny jeans and wearing the clothes in the September Vogue, it’s not healthy. It’s deadly.

So don’t tell the 180-pound girl she’s on the verge of becoming “too thin.” Because she’s not. She’s on the verge of becoming really healthy, actually.