A common stereotype is that large women get no exercise and never touch fresh fruits or vegetables.

My great-grandmother Elizabeth
was as stout and sturdy as a woman could be.
She lived on a farm in rural NH and worked hard all day every day.
She filled her family up on greens, beans, apples and whatever else they could grow.
It was a traditional country diet that also included home-made bread and pies,
lard and whole milk, meat, eggs and wild game.

Elizabeth lived a long and very active life,
even though by today’s standards she was an “unhealthy” weight,
and ate some “unhealthy” foods.

My grandmother Dorothy,
daughter-in-law to Elizabeth,
was a tiny, naturally slender woman.
She also kept a huge garden, raised a big family,
and, in addition, stood on her feet in a factory all day.
Just like Elizabeth, she fed her family a traditional country diet,
and lived a long and active life.
Both Elizabeth and Dorothy had the exact same lifestyle, filled with lots of physical labor,
and the exact same diet filled with home grown vegetables and unprocessed food,
but each had bodies of very different size and shape.

My very different grandmothers demonstrate a truth, not a stereotype:
Women lead full, active, healthy lives at a range of sizes and weights.
Let’s stop stereotyping people’s health, level of activity and eating habits based on their size!

Not everyone has the luxury and pleasure of a local farmer’s market,
or even a decent produce section in a local store!
In many places, junk food is far cheaper and more available
than the vegetables once commonly grown out in the backyard garden.
If we really care about health, let’s not stop at “eat more vegetables”,
let’s promote the availability of them for everyone!

Here is a close-up of the painting.
Not only am I excited to paint tomatoes, but this year, (after getting permission from the zoning board to put a vegetable garden in my front yard) I am growing my own!