CAN YOU BE FAT AND FIT?
Is it possible to maintain good overall health while being overweight? As an intriguing paradox, I have decided to delve deeper into the complexities of body composition, metabolism, health, and the importance of a healthy approach to our bodies.
Yesterday while at the gym I noticed a clinically obese man in his thirties really cranking on the arc trainer for over 45 minutes, and he did not even look winded! I was impressed by his incredible cardiovascular endurance and strength, as I would be of any gym goer of any size. I thought to myself “I feel bad for the person who tries to out-compete this guy!” So, is it just a myth that we cannot be overweight and fit? What are your thoughts?
I know this is a very divisive topic. Many people are of the mindset that you cannot be fat and fit. For example, a friend of mine recently quit yoga classes at a local gym because she did not like taking lessons from an overweight yoga instructor. How do you feel about taking yoga or exercise classes with an overweight instructor? Do you fall into the above mindset? Why?
Plus Size & Healthy at The Same Time?
The medical community views obesity as the number one contributor to various metabolic and other health issues, some of which are extremely serious. These include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and insulin resistance.
Medical experts agree there is a strong correlation between excessive weight and overall health. Most endorse the body mass index (BMI) as an overall measure of health that represents the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy body. This number, widely considered a sole indicator of health status, is calculated using the height and weight of the individual. However, it neglects to account for all the differences between body types. Take muscle mass as an example – it weighs more than fat mass. In turn, this produces a higher BMI in those with more muscle mass.
Consequently, athletes and sports people are classified overweight and even obese simply because of this number. Being healthy at any size certainly challenges the relationship between health and weight as we know it.
However, many determinants of health go beyond the limitations of a simplistic BMI number. Furthermore, there is ample evidence that not all individuals deal with dangerous bodily disturbances like insulin resistance, despite being obese or overweight.
Can We Support Body Inclusivity?
The answer is a definite YES! How? Simple. By looking beyond weight as the sole indicator of health status. Activity levels are also an important indicator of an individual’s health status. Individuals of ALL sizes that have reported higher activity levels and are physically active tend to have a reduced risk of any inflammation, insulin sensitivity, and cardiovascular issues. Emphasizing the importance of physical fitness rather than BMI alone is the best way to evaluate your current health status. So, whether you’re going to the gym for weight loss or simply taking a stroll around the neighborhood, remember to stay active as much as possible.
A New Outlook on Life
The answer to the question “Can you be fat and fit?” lies in the ability to grasp the concept of a healthy body. The essential components of overall health include muscular strength, physical fitness, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. Have you mastered them? Or are you currently working toward these goals? Are you kind to yourself when you experience setbacks? I hope you answer - Yes!
I encourage you to look at yourself in the mirror and accept the nuanced complexity of this question. Recognize that weight and BMI alone do not represent a healthy or an unhealthy person. Maybe you went from fat to fit to fat again, however, do not stress over it. Instead, develop a healthy mindset and create a positive body image for yourself. Celebrate the fat and fit paradox instead of contributing to the traditional viewpoint. Regardless of your weight, plus size or not, you are doing plenty to contribute to a healthy body and mind – and that is all that matters!
Thank you for reading my blog. There are more blogs awaiting your discovery! If you love this one, the other ones will surely pique your interest. Want to enjoy it a little more? Please consider supporting small business by browsing through my fitness wear, spreading the word about She Rebel’s size inclusive mission, and follow my social media pages.