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Are you fit or fat?

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

When you look up the definition of the word "fitness", you get a few responses - each of which I feel is subject to interpretation:

1. Fitness is the condition of being physically fit and healthy. Um, isn't there a rule that says you can't use the use word you are defining in it's definition?

2. Fitness is the condition of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task. So I guess this applies to baseball players, power lifters, runners, tennis players and stuff right? They are trained to be suitable.

3. Fitness is an organism's ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment. Well, well, well....I guess we're all fit then huh?

Then there's "fat". For the record, I absolutely hate that word. I hate the way it sounds when people describe others that way and I especially hate it when people describe themselves that way. For such a small word, I've seen it have huge impact on a person's mental and emotional state - some almost beyond repair.

"Fat", on the Google as an adjective, says it is describing a person or animal with an excess amount of flesh. Fair.

So, when the new year came upon us, did you file the 2019 version of yourself away under fit or fat.

One of my clients and I had a small debate about Tess Holiday. I don't follow her but apparently there is news going around where she refers to herself as fit AND fat. If we were to use the definitions above as a reference point - I guess we'd have to agree right? From what the Google showed me, she has a personal trainer and excess amounts of flesh - she is fit and fat.

These days, there is a lot of social media within the health and fitness industry that advertises the importance of body confidence. Body confidence is how a person feels about the way they look. When we have body confidence we accept, and are happy with, how we look and what our bodies can do. So, if you're body confident, are you fit?

Can you be fat (again, not a fan of that word) and body confident? Absolutely.

Can you be thin and completely hate the way you look? Absolutely.

What defines fit for you?

For all intents and purposes, I'm going to go with definition #2 above which read:

"Fitness is the condition of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task."

Now, the question is - what are those tasks. I think you'd have to agree that those tasks should include being able to get out of bed or from the couch fairly effortlessly, tie-ing your shoe, being able to walk up a flight of stairs without losing your breadth entirely, picking yourself up after falling down, reaching above your head to put stuff away if needed - you know, everyday tasks like that.

But don't you want to be able to do more?

When your daughter runs into your arms, don't you want to be able to pick her up without throwing our your back or pulling something in your neck?

When you slip on ice, don't you want to be able to catch your balance so you don't actually fall and hit the ice causing a boom boom on your bum bum?

When someone is chasing you, don't you want to be able to outrun them? Or at the very least be able to somewhat kick their ass?

For me, being fit is being able to do all those things and more. I think what a lot of people don't realize is that "all those things" and "and more" depends on the person and their lifestyle. That threshold is different for everyone and it moves as you continue to move - as you continue to improve.

Sure you can be confident in your own excess amount of flesh and maybe you can do all of the things I named above, but does that make you fit?

If your BMI is over 30, can you be fit?

If it's over 40, can you be fit?

Well, here are some hardcore facts taken from about obesity that have nothing to do with how confident you are in your own skin:

1. Obesity can strain muscles in the pelvic area, weakening muscles, contributing to vaginal prolapse.

2. As of 2006, there were more people in the world who are overweight than malnourished.

3. Obesity is linked to at least 15 medical conditions.

4. Nearly 4 million Americans weigh more than 300 pounds.

5. Excessive visceral fat, the fat around your organs, can exist in thin and overweight people.

6. Visceral fat increases risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease.

7. Women who are obese and near retirement are more likely to become disabled in their later years.

8. Obesity is strongly related to osteoarthritis and knee osteoarthritis.

9. Obesity is linked to not only pancreatic cancer but also to lower survival rates of that cancer.

10. Drinking one can of soda a day can cause a person to gain 15 pounds in one year.

If you are struggling with your weight, you don't have to go to the extremes of fad diets but you certainly must stop lying to yourself thinking that "this" is okay.

You do need to put the work in to re-learn good habits though. Those good habits should be based on data you have found, collected and maintained. You cannot be intuitive about anything if you don't know what's wrong, right, available or not available to you. You will never have body confidence if you don't have the data and experience to back up the results you are seeing or the results that are coming.

So with all of the above said, it appears you can in fact be fit and fat but I think it's important to be honest with yourself in that any "excess flesh" you maintain may prohibit you from those particular roles and tasks that allow you the status of fit. You cannot have both and many times if you try, there are serious health consequences.

What does fit mean to you?

What does fat mean to you?

Are you fit or fat?

Whatever you are, remember that it's your choice.

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