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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:

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“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.””
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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.

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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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