Yes, yes, 100 times I’ll say yes! It IS possible to be fit and fat and we need to stop assuming that everyone that is overweight is a medical disaster waiting to happen. It’s simply not true.
Smaller does not always equal healthy just as larger does not always equal unhealthy. Both are generalizations that keep people trapped. What makes a man or woman is their behavior, NOT their size.
The true issue is poor eating and inactivity...behaviors that are typically associated (but are not always present) with larger people. I have said and will continue to say that I'd rather see a larger person who eats healthy and is regularly active than a slim inactive person that eats horribly. Just think about it, it’s not just overweight people that end up sick, people that appear to be at a healthy weight end up with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer too. And it’s not all because they have a genetic predisposition to. The onset of disease is often the result of poor lifestyle choices not a jacked up family history.
You may be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I hear you, but there is there proof?” As a matter of fact, there is! In a 2007 death rates study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and later covered by the NY Times, there was a striking revelation -- death rates among the overweight, those with a B.M.I. of 25 to 30, were slightly lower than in normal weight adults. Yes, death rates were highest among those with a B.M.I. of 35 or more – that’s probably not a surprise to anyone. However, you may be surprised to know that participants with a minimal level of fitness were 50% less likely to die an early death when compared with those who were least fit (and in some instances skinny). Oh and in case you’re wondering, the results were adjusted to control for age, smoking and underlying heart problems so even after all of the adjustments, fitness, not weight, was the most prevalent factor in forecasting death rates. The moral of the story? It’s not just about fatness; fitness matters…for everyone.
Fitness is not a svelte body or a “cut” appearance. Those things are sometimes byproducts but not always. Our level of fitness is a measure of our ability to perform physical activity. It is the result of good nutrition, exercise, hygiene and rest; things that can’t always be measured by outward appearance.
So give the "chunky" girl at the gym a break. She’s trying and she just might be healthier than you think.
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!