Thinking Out Loud: Can You Be “Fat” But Fit?

19 Jun

So I posted this link on my Facebook a few weeks ago, called “Can You Be Fat But Fit?” I have meant to write something about it for a while but just never got around to it.

Then, I read Cori’s post (she blogs at Olive To Run) about accepting your weight for what it is, and it got me thinking.

PS – Go read her post (linked above), it is a lot more inspirational than my short blurb about it!

Anyway, it got me thinking about how I have been stressing a bit about my weight. After half marathon training ended, I gained a little bit of weight because I let myself slack in terms of eating. I have not been happy with my body, but I’m working to get back on track.

The article I mentioned by Yahoo discusses this issue of being “overweight” or have a bit extra body fat, and whether or not that means your healthy or not.

You would think it would mean that you aren’t as healthy as someone who is thinner, right? Wrong.

 “What we’re learning is that a body that exercises regularly is generally a healthy body, whether that body is fat or thin,” says Glenn Gaesser, PhD, a professor of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University and the author of Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health. “The message should really be that if you are exercising regularly, you shouldn’t necessarily be looking at the scale to determine how healthy or fit you are,” Gaesser says.

I know this from first-hand experience. When I went to get a check-up, I told my doctor about my concerns. I was a few pounds heavier. My body fat percentage is on the higher end. But she took all my vitals, did extensive blood tests…and they all came back fine. In fact, my HDL levels (good cholesterol) are high, which is really good for my heart health.

So what does this mean? Ignore the scale! You may feel like you have weight or inches to lose, but don’t let that negativity overshadow the positivity of what you’re doing. You’re running. You’re lifting. You’re lifting heavy. You’re cycling. Think of all that next time you bring yourself down when looking in the mirror.

Also, let’s just not forget that the number on the scale means nothing in general because you may have gained weight but in fact it is muscle weight. I prefer to use body fat percentages and tape measurements to track progress.

While I may be a few pounds heavier than I have been in the past, and my body fat percentage is higher than it should be, I AM fit. I am able to run miles upon miles…I am able to lift and do yoga…well…kinda…

And I need to remember all of this next time I start to get negative.

Do you sometimes let the number on the scale affect you? What do you think about this?

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7 Responses to “Thinking Out Loud: Can You Be “Fat” But Fit?”

  1. siany1 June 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Look at you – you are so slim and certainly shouldn’t be worried about your weight! The only caveat I would add is that I did used to be fit, but a lot heavier – 41 lbs heavier, but it did put an awful strain on joints, leg muscles etc. I am much happier being lighter and it makes running a whole lot easier!

  2. Lori June 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Great posts (and I love Cori’s blog too!). I agree, it is hard to ignore the scale because it’s hard-data right in front you–but I also agree that you can be fit and not be at the prescribed weight for your height/age/gender. If you exercise, eat right and get a clean bill of health from your doctor (good blood/lab results, low blood pressure, etc), then you are either fit or on the road to becoming fit. And just remember, NOT all those skinny folks are FIT and healthy!

    • reach-yourpeak June 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      Exactly, very true!

    • olivetorun June 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

      Thanks ladies! ❤
      Completely agree- I know some VERY unhealthy skinny people!!

  3. LivingMintGreen June 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi! I’m new here…
    When I started incorporating more strength training into my fitness life a year ago I was shocked to see the scale increase by 10lb and I thought I was doing something wrong! I started questioning myself, too – am I eating too much? Am I messing up my hormones? But it was mostly muscle gain. Hahaha. Some of it was a little fat, but to be honest, I needed it – and I feel better, which is ultimately, all that matters, right? (I haven’t stepped on the scale since then)

    • reach-yourpeak June 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Once I started lifting, I gained about 10 lb too but knew it was muscle so that comforted me a bit haha. Keep up the good work!

  4. seethisgirlrun June 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Oh I have a big problem with this. I’ve stopped getting on the scale at all and I just try to focus on how my body looks, feels and the progress I’m making in my training. It’s better that way for me 🙂 Then I’m not focusing on numbers, which totally do NOT tell the whole story!

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