The fat vs. thin debate bothers me very much for reasons that I can’t quite pinpoint. The only thing I can come up with at the moment is guilt.

I’m fat. I think it’s fine to be ok with being fat. I think one of the most important things we can do for each other is to practice acceptance and understanding of all aspects of humanity. I think people of all sizes are beautiful. I read quite a few fat acceptance blogs and sites and I’m happy that they are available to anyone who might be struggling. My self-esteem is great (been called arrogant, in fact). I know that I’m perfectly capable of living a full, happy life as a fat woman because I was doing it.

Having said that, I hate being fat. I really just hate it. I hate it because I’m not fit. I don’t believe that a person can be fat and fit, which means that I certainly don’t believe that it is better to be fat and fit than skinny and unfit. (Cue GUILT)

It’s probably unfair for me to have this belief, so I will admit that I’m not basing it on research of any kind. I’m basing this belief solely on my experience as a fat person who doesn’t know another fat person over the age of 45 who is fit or who doesn’t have an obesity related issue of some kind.

Maybe I just don’t know how to be fat and fit. Maybe I’m missing something since my fat is going away throughout my quest to be fit. I don’t believe that my current fitness level would’ve been possible at my highest weight, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe that’s not the point.

Maybe fat and fit are extremely relative terms. What is fit, anyway? None of the articles seem to clearly define it. The article I linked says women qualified as fit (for the particular study) if they could stay on a treadmill for 5.5 minutes. It doesn’t clarify what “brisk walking pace” is, but still … Seriously?

That is not what fit is to me. I was not what fit is to me. Fit, to me, is being able to jog without dying. It’s being able to do push ups and squats and lunges with injuring something. It’s having lots of energy. It’s being able to walk around a hilly campus without needing a break. It’s taking the stairs and not the elevator. It’s finding myself jogging to my car when I’m in a hurry. It’s seeing muscle definition. It’s being able to play on the floor with the dog. It’s being able to tell my trainer that I’ve moved up a level on the stairmaster. It will someday mean being able to run a 10k. Honestly, it’s being able to keep up with the skinny people around me.

I’m not so naive that I’m willing to believe being skinny will guarantee health and I certainly don’t believe that being skinny equals being fit. I do, however, believe that being skinny gives a person a health and fitness advantage. I am 100% certain that diabetes, high blood pressure and/or heart disease would’ve been coming had I stayed at my highest weight or continued to gain. Fit or not, I believe being fat puts me at a disadvantage because I feel and see the disadvantage. I see it in myself, my overweight family members, and in lots of the fat acceptance blogs I read.

I don’t know how it works out for other people and will never claim that my experience is the common experience.  I know that fat and fit don’t work together for me. I’m ok with that.

Advertisements