Can you be fit and fat?

YES! Fit­ness and per­cent­age of fat­ness may cor­re­late but they are not the same thing. No, my friend, they are not. If you are one of those fat prej­u­diced peo­ple and you jus­tify your judg­ment by say­ing that peo­ple who are fat are being unhealthy, it is time to stop that right now! Check out this new research that I found in Kathy Smith’s blog:

“There was a lot of buzz this past week about a new study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion. Turns out fit­ness may trump fat­ness when it comes to liv­ing longer. In other words, it’s bet­ter to be fit and fat than to be at a nor­mal weight and out of shape.

I can’t tell you how happy this news makes some­one like me. I feel like I’ve known this my whole life, but never really had the sci­en­tific proof to back it up. I’ve watched thou­sands of peo­ple shape up and expe­ri­ence med­ical trans­for­ma­tions with­out nec­es­sar­ily reach­ing a weight most would call “slim.”“

Another note to any fat prej­u­diced peo­ple: Even if all peo­ple who have more fat on their bod­ies than you are com­fort­able with are unhealthy, that still does not give you an excuse to be rude, judg­men­tal, or think that you are supe­rior. You’re not!

(If you want to shift out of judg­ment: instead of think­ing some­thing along the lines of: “they shouldn’t be fat,” Try some­thing along the lines of, “I pre­fer to be at about 15% body fat. That is my strong pref­er­ence for myself. Other peo­ple can make dif­fer­ent choices.” Check out this arti­cle by Steve Andreas for an in depth look at shak­ing the black hole of judg­ment.)

Sorry for the angry lec­ture, every­one else, the fact that some peo­ple think that fat prej­u­dice is still accept­able really burns my tootsies.


4 comments to Can you be fit and fat?

  • The ques­tion shouldn’t be, “Are you fat/thin?” but “Are you fit?” Or, per­haps even more to the point: Not “Am I fat/thin?” but “Am I fit?”


  • Braidwood

    h sofia,

    That is a great point. In that same vein, I was read­ing an arti­cle on stumptuous.com that asked, “Fit for what?” She showed pic­tures of var­i­ous woman who are ath­letes and excel at their sports. They are very fit for their sport, but a diver might not be fit for run­ning a marathon and vice-versa. I like think­ing of it that way.

    I want to be fit for bound­ing up stairs, danc­ing ener­get­i­cally for at least three hours. feel­ing strong enough to sit and stand up straight!


  • Yes, another good point! What is the cri­te­ria? My def­i­n­i­tion of fit­ness is to be able to swim laps for at least half an hour, run a mile, have the energy to fight off an assailant (!) for more than five min­utes, hike a mod­er­ately dif­fi­cult trail with­out los­ing my breath, and be able to touch the floor with the palms of my hand while standing.

    I have extended fam­ily mem­bers whose def­i­n­i­tion of fit­ness is: abil­ity to play video games for 8 hours with­out fatigues.

    To each his or her own!


  • I like this. I used to get a feed for Big Fat Blog, where I read of a fat per­sonal trainer in the Bay area who taught and led two hours of car­dio daily, plus who knows what else, and I thought how unfair it was that she couldn’t lose weight even though she was stun­ningly fit. I some­times feel the same sad twinge for myself when I look at pic­tures in cloth­ing cat­a­logues, where per­fectly lovely women lounge, with longer, more slen­der limbs than I have, with curvy bust­lines, with flaw­less com­plex­ions (yes, makeup and Pho­to­shop help…but still) and so forth. No mat­ter how much I exer­cise, it’s phys­i­cally impos­si­ble for me to have that height. And I’m unwill­ing to go to the (sur­gi­cal) lengths nec­es­sary to approx­i­mate the build and com­plex­ion — which I see as emo­tion­ally dan­ger­ous paths. But know­ing that all that work put into eat­ing well and exer­cis­ing do make a tan­gi­ble improve­ment in health any­way is sat­is­fy­ing, espe­cially when I think of that trainer woman. :)


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