Updated: May 1, 2020
Imagine for a moment, if we talked about changing our eye color the way we talk about changing our body size. “Wait a minute,” you might say, “That’s like talking about apples as though they are oranges. They’re not the same thing!”
You’re right, there are many differences between eyes and bodies: eyes are a part of a body, eyes do very specific functions while the body is an all-encompassing entity, we could continue. But in a similar way that the color of an eye doesn’t impact the eye’s performance, neither does the size of a body imply anything about that body’s performance.
I repeat: the size of a body and the color of an eye are similar in that they are traits, independent of performance.
Now before you scroll to the comments section and tell me why I’m wrong, allow me to clarify. I’m not saying that anyone, no matter their body and history can do anything any other body can. What I’m saying is that we cannot assume ability and performance based on the size of a body. We cannot assume a larger body is incapable of running a marathon. We cannot assume a smaller body is incapable of bodybuilding. We cannot assume any size body is any healthier than another size body. Funny that there is a correlation between increased mortality and bodies in the “normal weight” category but you don’t hear them getting reprimanded for their size.The size of a body has no bearing on its ability. Just like eye color, it is genetically determined and capable of high-performance.
Another similarity between eye color and body size is they will sometimes, temporarily change depending on how you care for them. Temporary adaptation is an intended function. When our eyes are irritated, they will be red. When there’s too much sun exposure, they’ll produce melanin as a protective measure. When the light is dim, the pupils get larger. And at the end of the day, when the acute interference is gone, the eye will return to the genetically predetermined color.
Body size is very similar. We are genetically predisposed to be a certain size. If we over-nourish, our fullness cues will engage and we may see a temporary change in size until the over-nourishing stops and we return to neutral. If we under-nourish, we will have hunger-cues and our body may change in size until the under-nourishing stops and we return to neutral. If we expose our bodies to too much stress for too long of a time, our size may change as a protective measure from further exposure to stressful situations such as starvation or excessive movement.
Just like our eye color, our bodies have a predetermined happy-size and going too far away from that place will trigger a series of stress-induced reactions until we return to neutral. Once our bodies are in neutral, and we’re game to help it stay there, we can ask it to do just about anything we set ourselves to practicing. And our bodies will answer as long as our goal is not changing size.