Sunday, January 16, 2011

It’s Possible to be FIT and FAT

Last week this article appeared in our paper. Here are a few points from the article:

It’s possible to be FIT and FAT
  • Chubby exercisers are healthier than skinny couch potatoes. Being skinny isn’t the panacea for all that ails you. When it comes to health and well-being, the numbers on the scale don’t tell the whole story. In a 2003 study by Steven Blair, moderately fit women of all weights had a 48 per cent lower risk of dying prematurely (from all causes) when compared to unfit women — even the skinny ones. The conclusion, said Blair, is that it’s entirely possible to be fit and fat.
This is the photo that accompanied the article.
Funny but the guy looks like he's sleeping!
  • In a society where the Biggest Loser is the biggest winner, that message needs more play. Being skinny isn’t the panacea for all that ails you. When it comes to health and well-being, the numbers on the scale don’t tell the whole story. Before chubby people from coast to coast let out a cheer, these results in no way suggest that it’s OK to pack on extra weight. High blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and breast, colon and endometrial cancer are all more prevalent in the overweight population. But for those who struggle to reach their goal weight, exercise can ameliorate a lot of the risk factors associated with obesity.
  • This is an important message because not everyone can be slim. The same can’t be said for fitness. Its benefits don’t discriminate. So while there are those who think that fit and healthy comes only in small sizes, there are plenty of studies out there that say differently.
  • Before concluding, it’s worth making clear once again that the fit and fat principle doesn’t give you licence to let unnecessary pounds accumulate. The studies offer hope to those who haven’t found success reaching their goal weight. So while it’s a given that there will always be small, medium and large sized bodies, exercise benefits all sizes equally.

This is just my opinion but I feel it is actually true. Over the last 35 years I have exercised almost continually. In my twenties I was in the Armed Forces Reserves and this included a lot of running and keeping fit. It was also when I first joined a gym. Into my 30’s, more gym memberships, and yes I actually went many times a week. I felt the burn many many times. In my 40’s I used the gym a bit, but invested in home equipment. I also walked 5km (3mi) almost daily. I did try running but hated it, so I defaulted to walking. A few times I just gave up as not an ounce of weight came off my body. But I felt great. Into my 50’s it is back to the gym during the winter and back to walking outside during the warmer months. 

I used to wonder why I did all this work when I would see all my skinny relatives and some friends sitting on their duffs. Their only exercise was pushing the buttons on the remote. I do have friends who do workout/run/walk/exercise, some big, some small. But I knew I was different and even with the extra weight, I knew the exercise was really important.

Currently I am at a BMI of about 27 which is “still” overweight. To get to what everyone considers a “normal” BMI, I would have to lose 15 pounds. If I get there, I get there. The numbers don’t really mean a lot to me at this point but it is a personal choice to keep losing pounds. If I don’t lose any more, I will work through this and decide if that is what I truly want.

If I choose (and it is my choice).
If not, I will be one of those Fat but Fit people that studies like the one above talk about.

But don't call me Chubby...

What do you think?


Michelle said...

Wow a BMI of 27 that is awesome. I am going to be so happy when mine hits 29.. I just want to be below 30... Lol. the other number is being below 100 kg. I am at 100.8 I think now. That will be sooo awesome.

I totally agree with your blog. I have friends that are heavy and they are fit.

Justawallflower said...

I have said this exact same thing for years. I am not a small girl, but I was never "fat" until my 20's. I will never be considered "fit" if you use my number to judge me. Even when I was in the military, I was always "overweight" but was considered healthy, when my measurements were taken. Just because someone is thin does not automatically make them healthy. Especially if they drink a six pack of beer every night, and gorge on candy bars, and no exercise. Thanks for posting this, I think it will help a lot of people!

Lee Ann said...

Chubby? What's wrong with Chubby? I don't think you are chubby, but I personally prefer "chubby" to 'fat', lol. Anywho. The BMI is so flawed I think we should kinda ignore it---or at least recognize that it does not take bone density and muscle mass into the equation. I've read that some doctors just want your BMI to start with a "2." And yours does! So good for you!!!

Drazil said...

Love all the info in this post.

Barbara said...

Well Sweetie.. being "Fit" is really subjective.. you can exercise your ass off and still eat like crap.. lots of Skinny people are not healthy (as are fat people). Like they say, everything in moderation. I don't believe in killing your self, but I also think that you need to move your body..
I think you are PERFECT! the way you are, as long as you are happy.

Read said...

Very, very interesting. I think you'll know where you're going when you get there.

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

Great post! We seem to be on the same wave length.

Jacquie said...

That BMI chart is so subjective. I use it as a guide only! I too will probably end up in the 'fat but fit' category as I think I too need to lose 15 lbs or so to get into a normal BMI. I don't know if i can or want to get there. I know I dont' need to and that is a very freeing feeling.

You look great sista....not to worry!

~Lisa~ said...

Terrific post!! I've always said that at this point in my life I want to be healthy. Fit and healthy. Whether I lose 10 pounds or 100 - that is secondary to my ultimate goal of being the best I can be!

I've always been big. Big and fit. Now I'm just big.. My goal is to get back to that "fit" part!!

You're my inspiration!! Thank you!

Joey said...

High five what Jax said. Are you healthy? Check. Do you look good? Double check. BMI She-em-eye.

Victoria said...

I think comparing size is wrong, don't get me wrong you can get an idea of someones health if they are very overweight as health risks automatically come with added weight and these are completely proven but just looking at 'skinny' vs 'fat' is not the right way to go about it.
Someone 'skinny' can have equal health risks as someone 10lbs overweight and of course some people lets say 10 lbs overweight can be fitter then someone in the middle of their weight range. What I'm saying is you and anyone shouldn't compare themselves to anyone else, period! Health advice, health checks and fitness tests tell you where you are and that's all one should be concerned about, not if they are fatter or thinner than someone next to them and if they are fitter than the said person.

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