My Two Cents

I suppose some of you have read some controversial posts over the past few weeks. It started with this , and then there was that, not to mention the hundreds of valid and completely irrational and crazy comments they both inspired.

I’ve never been overweight. I have a smallish frame, I mean I’m short but not tiny, you know? My metabolism isn’t the greatest, but I’ve been active my whole life, eat well and am in pretty good shape. My BMI is apparently a little high and I hover close to the top of the “healthy” rage for my height/weight. (But we all know how accurate that is.)

My husband, on the other hand, has the metabolism of a college basketball player, can eat whatever the hell he wants (and does), has a bona fide six (or more) pack and can run like the wind.

Guess what? People are different shapes, sizes and colours!

Guess what else? Being fit and healthy has very little, if anything, to do with size!

Despite what Canadian Running Magazine would have us believe (judging by the running model on the cover), you don’t have to have 5% body fat to be a good runner. Do you know what you do need? You need to run.

Do you read the Bodies in Motivation site? I write over there. There are some kick-ass women I’ve met on that site who are a far cry from a size 2.
It seems that fitness has morphed into an unhealthy being of its own. All people see (or don’t see) is size. People who are bigger than a… what? size 10 or 12 aren’t seen as healthy. Not only that, but they are seen as lazy, a tax on our healthcare system and inherently flawed. That’s bullshit.

People’s heritage, metabolism, family history, height, muscle density, all of these things affect their body. Not everyone has a size 4 hiding inside just waiting to come out, if only they worked out a little harder, ate a little less.

Yes, there are a million excuses that people make. I’m too busy, I’m too tired, it’s too hard for me, BMI isn’t accurate, I don’t like working out. And yes, usually the benefits outweigh the negatives once you get going.

But health is not about size. It is not about a number on a scale. It is about you. Your body, your life, your choices.

It’s easy to preach from one side or another, but if you’re sitting on the sidelines throwing stones, why don’t you try cheering instead?

You’ll find it’s much more fun.

5 Comments on “My Two Cents

  1. Very well said.

    You can’t deny genetics and heritage. You can’t tell me a German woman (like myself) can ever be as small as an Asian woman.

    No matter how hard I work.

  2. I don’t know where it was ever said in anything I wrote that smaller is better or more fit, or that a size 10 can’t be healthy, that’s nuts. I am 6 feet tall and large boned and will never, ever be a size 4. Nor would I want to be.

    Like I have said a million times in the last few weeks (and I swear this will be my last) — fitness is about your own goals, how you want to feel, climbing mountains with your kids and running till you’re 76. If it ups your esteem, bonus. If not, cool.

    There are a million sizes of fit.

    • I wasn’t implying that you said that, I actually thought your post was good and motivational. It was the comments that got ridiculous.

  3. Werd.

    I for one HAVE been overweight since my later teen years. I have no idea if I CAN be a small person. But I do know I want to find out. How am I finding out? Trying to be healthier by eating healthy food and exercise. I’ve tried dieting and it didn’t work for me. So I’ll try what I haven’t tried in the past, healthy eating and exercise. Perhaps I’ll find out my body is capable of being less than a size 12. Perhaps I’ll find out it isn’t. My goal, however, is to get healthy. All I know is that exercise for me is hard because I have a lot of body to move around and my rolls get in the way of free movement. I’m hoping that the more I do it, the more I shrink so that maybe those knee raises don’t meet the belly obstacle anymore. So far, I’ve found out that healthy food can actually taste pretty good. These are surprises I have to let myself experience in order to find out what works for me.

    What’s helpful to that person over there, or her, or those people over here could be completely different than what’s helpful to me. All I know is that I have some mental roadblocks of ‘can’t’ to overcome too. But frankly, all the hubbub has me scared to write about it.

  4. I think part of how that entire conversation derailed is the way people interpreted it as skinny=good, larger-sized=bad. For me personally, the greatest benefits of fitness have to do with how it’s influenced my overall happiness and energy and feelings of confidence, and those are things everyone can experience regardless of their size. When I chimed in (as I now wish I wouldn’t have, hoo boy) I meant to say that it’s up to us to take active steps to make changes, IF in fact change is what a person wants. DNA might dictate how our bodies are shaped, but it doesn’t have to keep any of us from enjoying everything a healthy lifestyle has to offer.

    I feel horrible that so many people had hurt feelings about that conversation, and I’m going to try much, much harder in the future to avoid offense when I talk about the positive effects of exercise and eating well.

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