Ok, I have held my tongue for a bit, but alas I can do it no longer. I want to scream it from the treetops: LOSING WEIGHT IS NOT THE CURE FOR EVERY AILMENT!
Having struggled with my weight most of my life, it gets to be a bit exhausting when you are told that being overweight is this horrid curse that is going to make you lose limbs, die of heart attacks, affect your loves life, or (insert whatever crack pot thing being fat might do here)
Before all the health nuts jump down my throat, don’t get me wrong being overweight can cause problems for SOME, but my point is that being fat isn’t the SOLE factor for EVERYONE that is going to make you go down like the Titanic.
You might be prompted what lead me on this rant, well it was actually a trip to the gym. That might not sound shocking but let me explain. After being injure for a year, I decided to join a gym again. Until recently I have not even been able to WALK without a limp. When asked my goals by the personal training manager, I thought this guy was actually there to HELP ME or at least listen. He asked me my goals for joining the gym, and I shared with him that my direct goals are to feel better and to get back to my normal level of activity that despite my weight I am actually a very active person and my injury has hindered that.
When I left my goals at that, he paused and circled “lose weight” as a goal ANYWAY. It took me every inch of my strength not to reach across the desk and slap him. Yes, I am overweight. Yes, I would like to lose some weight, but that is not and will never be my main goal. That’s because I know once I get my body healthy enough to be active again the weight will come off because I am naturally an active person.
During the rest of the “interview”, he kept peppering in things like “losing weight will also help get you back to your level of activity,” or “having a trainer will help get you there faster!” Two things became really clear. All he did was want to sell some training packages and that he wasn’t listening. I didn’t get hurt because I was fat. I got hurt because I was unaware that elliptical machines can cause achilles tendon issues.
It is REALLY frustrating when you are overweight and people treat you like you have a disease. My love of chocolate bars is NOT a disease. My size 18 pants are not a condition that needs to be cured. Despite my recent inactivity, I am really healthy. My cholesterol is at normal levels. My resting heart rate is below 60. Sometimes my blood pressure is so low that the cuff can’t even read it. Really I am HEALTHY!
If you walk into a doctor’s office or a gym or anywhere it seems, people can’t understand how losing weight is not a number one priority. How is possible that someone doesn’t care what they weigh, they have goals about becoming more active first? I find it hard to understand why this is so shocking. Don’t get me wrong it will be nice to lose some weight after having had 2 surgeries in four years. I know I will look and feel better, but it’s not because of some ill begotten disease I supposedly have looming on the horizon. It’s because I want to be able to do the things in my life that my body can’t do right now. You know like walking without a limp.
For all of you out there that are overweight and are constantly getting this message, tell them to stick it. Eat in moderation, or practice eating moderately for YOU! Get active because you want to be able to do the activities you enjoy in life. Don’t listen to all the hype that there is some mysterious disease you MIGHT get because you are overweight. There are PLENTY of skinny people with diabetes and awful cholesterol. We just don’t hear about them as much.
If you are active and eat moderately (which does not include starving yourself) your body will find it’s own perfect spot to be, and you will be happy and healthy!
If you guys want to check out an amazing read on how being fat isn’t the plague we have been told, make sure to read Health at Every Size! It’s a great (research based) book that shares how we can all find what is right for OUR bodies instead of applying this “fat is bad” medicine to life! It is by FAR one of my favorite books of all time.