Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fit versus lazy.

I have seen it pop up on my Facebook quite a bit in different forms over the last few months. I have gotten into some interesting conversations with people in regards to it on both sides of the fence. I think a few of my friends were kind of surprised where I stood on it considering I'm not the skinniest gal on the block.

Of course I'm talking about the weight debate. The "what's your excuse" campaign versus curvy girls being proud and loud, etc.

I will always be that person who thinks you should love yourself  how you are. We are all different, we all have different chemistry that makes us all really unique and great. Nobody should make you feel inferior because you possess a different something about you than them, whether it be internal or external. At the same time, you should never let a person dictate how you feel about yourself.

I also think that if you're really obese? Well, you've got to work on that. I'm not saying it because being overweight makes you less pretty or less great as a person, but because it isn't healthy for you. Your organs and internal system were never meant to accommodate large amounts of weight. You might be big and beautiful, but you're unhealthy. You could be the most physically fit person, but if you are technically overweight? You aren't healthy. You are still a candidate for all of the things they tell you about when you go to the doctor.

I am admittedly not the skinniest person. I'm not. I'm overweight. I am currently 5'3 and I am 172 pounds. Certainly not the heaviest I've been but it's also not the smallest I have been either. Do I look fat? No. Do I find myself physically unappealing? No. Does my husband make me feel bad about any of this? God, no. He has always embraced me at whatever I am because he loves me. So then the question is, why am I even working out? If I don't feel fat, look fat, and my husband doesn't care- why bother?

Because I want to be healthy. I don't want to develop diabetes, I don't want to have a heart attack, I want my organs to be happy and function for as long as they can without any kind of medical intervention. Because I'm not at a healthy weight despite how I look or feel. I'm perfectly happy with how I look. I don't like climbing a few flights of stairs and feel winded. I want to be able to run and play tag with my kids in a park and not have to take a rest. I want to run and enjoy it. I want to hike and not feel like my lungs are going to explode.

And what was my excuse?

My excuse has always been that I work a lot, I'm busy with kids, I'm tired, I have to clean the house, I have things to do for everyone, etc.

And it is really all just a bunch of crap. What it comes down to is that essentially, I'm a lazy person at heart.

You could argue that I wasn't when you see all that I do in a week, or even in a day. But I'm lazy in terms of physical activity. I will wimp out on everything. I avoid things that require me to do physical activity. Every time a friend would ask if I want to work out with them, I've always used the, "I'm fine with how I look. I'm chunky and proud.", because I am. I don't feel badly about how I look. Genetically, I have a large ass, large breasts, and thunder thighs. I can't fight genetics and I'm alright with that. Terrible realization to have at age 19 but at least I'm not 45 and in gross denial about it. But that doesn't mean I can't tone things up and be less flappy. That's my current goal: get less flappy.

But when I see these "thinspiration" things on Pinterest right next to the "be big and proud" things, it makes my eye twitch. Because neither are really getting it. It's not about being thin, it's about being healthy. I think society goes from one extreme to the other. They either want you stick skinny where you can count bones, or they say being overweight should be accepted.

Neither should be accepted, because neither are healthy.

This country is incredibly lazy. People are rude, they feel entitled, and they want to be right. There really is an obesity epidemic in this country and instead of finding ways to combat that through healthy diet and exercise, we have an entire movement of people saying, "You can't tell I'm not a healthy person by how I look". Um, yes. Yes I can because a human body is not made to sustain 200+ pounds of weight. It's just not. Just like if I saw a person who was jaundice, but felt fine otherwise, I could tell you something isn't right and you might have great blood pressure but hey, your liver appears to not work.

Admittedly, there are people out there who are overweight and have legitimate health reasons for this despite all of their best efforts. But at least they still make the effort any ways because they know to remain healthy and not get worse, that's what they need to do. Lord knows I will never be a size 2. I may realistically never see single digits again. I'm totally fine with that. But what I do need to improve is my heart health. I have to work out so my body is healthy and fit. I know I will likely face cancer in my lifetime at least once and when that happens I want to be ready. I want to have every advantage that I can so I can live a long life and see my children grow. I'm not working out so I can wear a bikini, I'm working out so I can increase my life expectancy.

I don't think things like the "what's your excuse" campaign is a put down at all. It's meant to be a question that gets you to look at the things you list as excuses, and what can you do about them so you CAN work out and get healthy. Not that they aren't valid obstacles, because they are. I have a list, you have a list. My list isn't more important than yours and vice versa. I think of instead of rolling your eyes at the women who are trying to improve their fitness, maybe ask them to show you the ropes. And instead of fat bashing someone, ask them if they want to go for a walk. It's OK to be not stick thin, you are still worthwhile, valued, and beautiful. But take care of your vessel. You only get one and if you can make any kind of difference in your life by going for a walk every night, why would you not do that? If you knew that 30 minutes of exercise could change your entire outlook on life, wouldn't you do it? My mental health is directly tied to how active I am and I never realized it until I became active. You might think you are happy, but just wait until how you feel when you are doing even simple things every day for 30 minutes. It's a huge difference.

5 comments:

This Old Guy said...

Well said and pretty much how I look at it myself.

Jane Marynik said...

I think that people don't want see the connection between being overweight to many of their health ailments. It's much easier to pop a pill than to go for a walk or lift a few weights. I've always liked the "if you can't make time for exercise now, you'll have to make time for illness later".
Yes, one can be as accepting and proud of their body as they want, but pride isn't going to offer you protection from heart disease and diabetes. And you are right, having too much weight on your frame is making your body work too hard and it's probably not working as well as it should.
And just to poke you . . . it's not ALL about exercise, it'd about what kinds of food goes into you body.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

The people that take the "what's your excuse" the wrong way use it as their own "excuse". Instead of seeing someone who is trying to motivate people to get off their couch and be active they only see her tight abs and think "that's not even possible". She's not saying you have to bounce a quarter off your abs, she's just saying to get out and be active. Our lives have turned around 100% since I've decided to go out and do things. Our shitty relationship has turned into bonding time while we go out and torture ourselves on long hilly bike rides and go on little mini vacations together to run or bike in new places. Before we had nothing to talk about and now we have a great time hanging out. Guess this kind of turned a bit long sorry! lol

Ruth said...

I believe you are what you eat and sitting on your butt all the time isn't good either.
I was fine with my size- to a point. But, with my frame I had to lose weight. My knees hurt and I got out of breath too easily. So I lost weight and I get moving.
You have to take care of yourself now or your health will turn to shit.

Tamara said...

Like you, I actually am VERY happy in my body. I don't really mind at all that I'm technically overweight because I'm comfortable in my worth as a human being and because I am actively working on being healthy. I work out because I enjoy the way I feel about myself when I do so, if the scale happens to drop a little - YAY but if it doesn't, that's okay too.
There's nothing wrong with loving yourself and wanting to change yourself at the same time.
I do think people twist those thinspiration/fitspiration mottos to better suit themselves, or to better justify whatever/whereever they are currently at health-wise.
It's annoying that there is hardly ever any good moderation/in between - it's always ALL OR NOTHING. And the fact is, I CAN maintain my current level of fitness at 180 lbs and run for 3 damn hours and then eat 3 slices of pizza. I don't have to restrict myself but I do have to be okay with my decisions. Lots to say about this but basically, yes, you have hit the nail on the head again. Keep up your workouts, you're doing great and setting a wonderful healthy example for your kids!