Can You Be Fit AND “Fat?” | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Can You Be Fit AND “Fat?”

fitandfat

From NBC Nightly News, I bring you this delicate little issue with the sensational little title.

My thoughts were, of course you can be fit and “fat.” And considering how “fat” in America is anything over a size 4 – depending upon who you talk to – MANY of us are “fat” in someone else’s eyes… clearly that doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as the stuff that keeps us alive. That stuff is filed under that “fit” label.

Those who I’ve dialogued with outside of the site know how I feel about this “fat” thing. As I’ve said before, my primary goal was just being a healthy weight. The vanity aspect of it came when I could afford to be vain and think about looks.. which, basically, was when I had my health situated.

There’s a point in that clip that disturbed me, though – the thinner woman said, “Because I am thin, because I’ve never been sick,” she never thought that her system could be in such bad shape because her body wasn’t in bad shape. I think that the American understanding that our “outer” is a direct reflection of our “inner” is what’s making it so hard for us to have these conversations about health.

What do I mean? I mean that we keep connecting a person’s size to their ability to be healthy. It shortchanges the people on both ends of the spectrum. If being obese is the epitome of poor health, then if I’m superskinny I should be good, right? I should be able to avoid all of that, right? Ever heard of metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a series of diseases that appear in the body in conjunction with one another as a result of a poor diet yet doesn’t always result in obesity. It creeps up on people because, since they believe their small frames alleviate them of the responsibility of caring for their systems, they tend to not only ignore any warning signs that their habits might be unhealthy but this also results in them continuing in said damaging behavior!

I guess I wanted to share this because I want us to stop thinking this skinny/fat thing is so linear. Good health manifests itself within ourselves mentally as well as physically. It extends itself far beyond a nice body. Taking care of ourselves means inside as WELL as outside. Don’t let yourselves get caught up in BEING skinny or shooting for skinny. Aim for better health first and foremost, and I can assure you everything else will become MUCH simpler!

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.

36 Comments

  1. Tracy

    February 2, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    On the other end of the spectrum, I’d hate for a “fat” person that is healthy to rest upon that. I believe that I am healthy and can do a lot of things that “skinny” girls can do. However, I would have for a “fat” person to receive a clean bill of health and feel as though they don’t have to lose weight.

    • Katryna

      March 4, 2011 at 7:30 PM

      But Tracy, if the “fat” person receives a clean bill of health, why should she have to lose weight? If the fat isn’t actually impacting her negatively, then who are we to say that she has too much of it? What if she is eating healthfully and exercising and she stays the exact same weight?

      I believe we should all be healthy, but when things like this are said, then it’s really about aesthetics. The problem with the aesthetic focus is that it gives others the ability to presume to set priorities for you. If a fat person with a clean bill of health chooses not to go the extra mile and lose weight, it’s really up to her and not anyone else.

      • Aja

        May 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        Fat with a clean bill of health… currently. Yeah that is great. But what is to said for the next couple of months, or years? The thing that I dislike so much about our culture (medicine mainly) is that we are very symptom-conscious. This whole mentality to take action when the body decides to display signs of disease. Instead of taking preventive measures. We see daily what people are going through as a results of not acting. I have a skinny friend who doesn’t see that her once a week bm’s, insomnia and awful menstrual periods could be a sign that she is unhealthy. Why?because she is thin. We know that having a great deal of fat around your organs isn’t healthy so what if you don’t have high blood pressure, a cholesterol problems etc…. right now. Those issues don’t happen overnight they happen over time and are progressive. So does the fact that this woman has a clean bill of health currently surprise me? No. The human body is resilient and will do alot but when it fails it fails. Why chance it?

  2. Erika

    February 2, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    I don’t know, Tracy… I’d have to wonder – how much weight are we talking? Like I mentioned earlier, everyone has different definitions of “fat.” Would they be losing weight purely for aesthetic purposes at that point?

    • Aja

      May 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Currently I am 5’4″ and 138. When folks see me or inquire about my efforts to lose weight and build muscle it is so frustrating to explain. No, I don’t look fat to you, Yes I have been the same weight since my third child was born. But what you don’t see is that the composition of my body is not what it used be a 138. I am flabby, lack muscle tone and I am not the same. I am fat not in the aesthetic way, but health-wise I am fat. I hope that I am making sense.

  3. Tracy

    February 2, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Based on the results in the video, I guess it would be aesthetic. And you’re right. “Fat” is subjective, especially in America. However, we hear all the time that “you might be healthy now, but your weight CAN (and WILL) eventually lead to health problems.” If it’s true that one can be fit and “fat,” then why encourage people to lose weight? Even at my weight and all my stats being good, should I even bother losing weight? I get so confused with all these reports. As soon as I try to lose weight to get “healthy” and save myself from future complications, I get reports telling me that I can be healthy and fat. I feel like a hamster on a wheel…

    • Caressa

      March 24, 2013 at 5:48 AM

      Tracy, I totally feel you. I was the same way my whole life until I started educating myself and realized what fat, calories, energy, etc. actually was. Don’t listen to anybody but your own body. An abundance of fat simply means that, for whatever reason, you are eating more calories than your body is burning. So the doctor may say you are healthy literally, but you know your body. If you can grab a hefty handfull of body fat, then you are probably eating too many calories and need to adjust your diet and bump up your exercise. As long as you are eating healthy and exercising, the weight will come off and your body will adjust (of course this will happen slowly, but it will be permanent). Don’t attempt to lose weight, attempt to live healthy, focus on total wellness, and it will be much easier for you. Your body will tell you what you need

  4. Ashley

    February 2, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    I have a friend who is SKINNY as a beanpole and she just got diagnosed with high cholesterol. I think it’s partially due to her love of butter and partially from genetics. No matter what you look like, it’s important to have a balanced diet and lots of exercise!

  5. Brittany

    February 3, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    I am SO going to be posting this video (and linking you of course) on my blog. I am much like the “fat” woman in the video in that I work-out daily, eat well but still manage to weigh about 180-ish and wear a size 12. On the outside I may not “look” like I work-out as much as I do but my doctor says I am in great health and my BP has gone from the 140′s to 120′s.

    I do wish the disclaimer was a little more thorough. “Healthy” can come in all sizes but there are a lot of us that think being “thick” without weight/diet consideration is okay.

    Great post!

  6. Erika

    February 4, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    @Tracy, I think we’re mixing signals, here. If a person has a clean bill of health and their weight is kept in check, losing weight would be for aesthetic purposes. And when I say “kept in check,” I mean as in it doesn’t fluctuate to beyond 5lbs north or south of an intended goal.

    I think you’re touching on a bigger issue within mixed signals, here. Additional weight isn’t usually the problem, it’s a visible symptom of the larger problem… which IS an unhealthy lifestyle. You’re generally told to “lose weight” because there’s a market for thing to HELP you lose weight. The woman in the video didn’t need to lose weight, and she was all jacked up on the insides – hence the problem with the focus being on LOSING WEIGHT and not being HEALTHY.

    Combine that with the fact that the image of the “tiny woman” is constantly being put in our faces, and the message quickly becomes “lose weight, be healthy.” It then mutates into “lose weight to be healthy.” All wrong. You feel me?

    If you are completely healthy and living a healthy and active lifestyle, you couldn’t possibly keep on the excess weight. It’s not physically possible. Because of that, I question the definition of “healthy” we are using here. I don’t know you or your stats to pass judgment, so I hope you don’t think that’s what I’m doing. But this is why I always say the focus should be on living a healthier lifestyle.. because once you fix that, the weight literally FALLS off. You dig?

    Having said allllll that… at the end of the day, we just need to be honest with ourselves. Honest about what “fit” and “healthy” really mean, whether we are “close to” or “far away from” the definition of those… and what we really want out of life. After that.. just go after it. That’s all. :)

  7. PhluffyPrincess

    February 19, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    great post! i agree wholeheartedly with your objection to the statement “because i am thin i have never been sick” that is not true. being within a healthy weight just places you at lower risk, not guarantees you will not ever be sick or develop certain diseases.

  8. Hidi

    March 11, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    I like your article; it’s really interesting.

    :)

  9. Heli

    August 12, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    I haven’t watched the video (I’m at work) but this issue is a big one for me. I am active, eat a healthier diet than most people I know (whole fresh foods, tons of veggies, no refined sugar or starch, etc.), and I am also still overweight. I can definitely do more to lose weight more quickly, and I am plodding along on that journey, but I totally disagree with the idea that if you’re doing everything right, eating well, exercising, and living a healthy and active lifestyle, you cannot possibly keep any excess weight on. That’s simply not true. A 40yr old woman who eats a moderate diet of 1400 calories coming from fresh whole foods, and who gets an hour of real exercise every day (Zumba, weights, whatever), could very easily hold on to an extra 30-40lbs forever. I would argue that she is healthy and fit while being overweight. Aging, metabolic resistance, body type, heredity, and other factors all come into play.

    The weight doesn’t fall off as easily as we women get older. Sure, if a person is making a lifestyle change and suddenly becoming a better eater, starting to work out, etc., yes, those lifestyle corrections will bring positive changes. But if someone is already a healthy eater, already getting adequate vigorous exercise, already doing everything right, she could be very healthy by all metrics and still be overweight.

    • Erika

      August 12, 2010 at 3:52 PM

      I’m sorry, we’ll simply have to agree to disagree.

      I’ve already written about aging here, but if a 40yr old woman is still holding onto 30-40lbs, its because she is creating an environment that allows for that 30-40lbs to be maintain. 1400 calories and active EVERY day? 30-40lbs? I’m sorry, I’d require more details regarding “1400 calories from fresh whole foods” because “fresh whole foods” can be abused just like processed foods. Add to that the fact that most people more often than not underreport their caloric intake? No, I’m sorry… there’s not enough detail for me to change my stance on that. I can understand the struggle, but 30-40 is a little much to be claiming to do everything right.

      If a woman is still having trouble losing weight after “doing everything right,” then outside of a hormonal imbalance (which, at 40, if you’re enduring a hormonal issue – as, unfortunately, a lot of us do – you should feel like an exception to what I’m saying here, anyway) it means you simply need to change your environment/intake/activity.

      I don’t want you to think I’m chiding you or chastizing you, but since you offered your situation up as a reason for me to not think the way I do, I did take a look at it honestly. I hope you don’t feel offended, because I know that kind of scrutiny can put people off.

      • Bannef

        May 18, 2011 at 9:42 PM

        See, this is confusing me – the woman in the video who exercises regularly, and has a doctor saying she is healthy – has a BMI of 29.8. As someone who has a pretty similar BMI, that isn’t too different from being 30-40 pounds overweight. (I don’t know her height, so I can’t say for sure, but let’s just say I’m a 28 and am approximately 30-35 pounds overweight). So… Is she not doing everything right, even though her doctor says she is? (Obviously she might be lying to him about her food intake and exercise level, but she can’t lie about the fact that “healthy” presumably means her weight isn’t fluctuating greatly over visits, and she sure as hell can’t hide a bad heart or cholesterol.) So isn’t this video going against what you said – that weight just “falls off” when someone has healthy practices?

        (And for the record, I DEFINITELY don’t have healthy practices, and in fact guess that genes are the only reason I’m not heavier. Of course I’m working to change that – that’s why I’m here! – but this is just the disclaimer saying I’m not talking about me. :D)

        • Erika Nicole Kendall

          May 18, 2011 at 9:58 PM

          People can avoid disease and maintain health without living 100% healthily. Perhaps that last few percentage points are what keep the additional weight on for her. Perhaps she likes the additional weight. I’own know – I gave up trying to size up other people’s bodies a long time ago, mama.

  10. Trina

    August 12, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    People look at me and think I’m unhealthy all the time. I’m a runner. I watch what I eat religiously…there are no short cuts. I work out everyday to the point that I don’t miss a day…haven’t missed a day since June 4th and I may still be mad about that…LOL! I’m really good at maintaining weight, but not particularly good at losing it. I have test results…I’m not borderline anything–hypertensive, diabetic, cholesterol is excellent. But I am a big girl–again, this is subjective…to my eyes, I’m fat, to friends and guys, I’m thick and to the doctors, I’m super morbidly obese (at a size 14). I don’t believe that my weight will eventually lead to complications—I mean, what more can I do? I’m healthy, the doctor says I’m healthy. Yeah, folks give me the side eye when I say that, but *kanye shrug*

  11. Heli

    August 12, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Don’t worry, I’m not offended–I’m not really talking about myself. I freely admit I don’t exercise as regularly as I should, and go over my calorie limit more often than I should. Sure, if I cut my sleep back to 5hrs a night I could get up extra early and work out, then get my kids up & out, get to work on time, etc. I’m not going to do that on a daily basis (can’t, won’t) so I have to be satisfied with super slow weight loss and fitting in a few great workouts a week, plus a few minutes of basic exercise everyday. I’m still working on baby weight, and just barely stopped nursing, so it’s cool. My goals are realistic and reasonable for me right now.

    But short of going to extreme lengths (and yes, I do think exercising more than 60-90min every day on top of having little kids and a FT job is extreme), sometimes those last 30lbs just aren’t going to come off. I think what you call a hormonal imbalance/issue can also simply be a natural hormonal shift due to aging, which I would argue is closer to the rule, not the exception.

    Just ask my 45yr old fat runner friend. This woman runs about 10mi/day. She’s 100% vegan, mostly raw. And she is fat. Chunky, thick, solid, fat. To see her in shorts you can tell she’s solid, but she’s got some serious padding and it’s not all muscle. Metabolic anomaly? I guess…but maybe her body’s healthy place is truly a slightly soft but truly fit 170lbs. *shrug*

    • ab

      April 9, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      @heli,
      I don’t think you are really hearing what erica is saying. You do raise interesting points which I want to address.

      1) Being a vegan/eating raw food doesn’t mean you will lose weight. for example :
      – beets, carrots, fruits, veg, are all good but they are all carbs/sugars)
      - nuts (almonds, brazil, peanuts e.t.c.) are all lovely and natural but they are HIGH in fat.
      what are her protein sources? does she eat enough.

      There is a huge myth out there that if you just switch to raw food, you diet will be great!. It is a myth. You still need to learn about food and what a balanced RAW diet is.
      It works for some people initially cos their eating habits were atrocious to begin with, when you’ve lived on a diet of fried, battered, sugary e.t.c. food. An initial switch to raw/vegan will have your body singing praises to the most high and it will reward you as such…. for a while.

      2) The body is a beautiful machine, it is an efficient, adaptive,resilient & learning machine.
      – start running 5miles a week. 1st few weeks you will drop weight, but the 4th week your body will stabilise unless you change something.
      I’ve cycle over 80miles per week for more than 2 years. after the the frist 3weeks. No more weight loss, but cardio vascular fitness was way up.

      3) Muscle. Running will not help your friend build muscle. Matter of fact her 10mile/day running will ensure that whatever little muscle on her frame is being burnt away.
      For muscle she needs incorporate weights into her regime. She needs to life (HEAVY) period. (well unless she is genetically gifted and nope she won’t look like a man unless she takes some ‘stuff’)

      In addition, muscle is built at rest. at 10miles/day your friend is not going to see anything until she incorporates a decent rest cycle and actually reduces her running.

      Finally,
      This is for you. I really wish you good luck in and on your journey. I think you are closer than you think. :-)

      1) you mentioned working out for 60 – 90 minutes is too much. I completely agree.
      If you can, buy a skipping rope and start practising. skip for 10sec, rest for 30 (for a duration of 5 minutes) gradually increase skipping rounds to 30secs. when you can do that, then keep increasing.

      This means there is a continual improvement, your body doesn’t have time to adapt to that regular pattern.

      2) You must examine your food choices and eat regularly. breakfast is a must, protein is a must, water = essential! sleep/rest = the most important of all

      3) If you can find a way to incorporate your kids into your fitness lifestyle (market it lol) that will help. throw a frisbee, kick a ball with the kids, it will help.

      That 30lbs is not shifting, because it requires you to workout smarter not workout more.
      The things you did before will not work, you need new tools to deal with this and those tools involve learning about proper diet and nutrition.

      I wish you luck.

  12. chocolate milk

    March 4, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    I read a great piece called confessions of a fat runner by jennifer graham a while back. She is a very fit “fat” women after reading this article I think about how even when I was fit and smaller I was always at top of my “normal weight” bracket. I think you can definitely be fit and fat.

  13. Diane

    April 8, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    I think some people here have missed the point. The point is you absolutely cannot make assumptions about the state of ones health based on the size of their bodies especially if they are thin or within a normal weight range.

    Working in healthcare I see thin to normal weight people all the time who are absolutely shocked to find they have major life threatening diseases that are nearly always associated with being overweight. Yes, thin/normal weight people can have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardio/vascular disease, metabolic syndrome which is basically pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes and even gall badder disease. A person can also be morbidly obese and not have any such diseases and generally be in good health.

    The point is a person’s size is not the best indicator for health. The danger is thin/normal weight persons in this society like the woman in the video can be very easily deceived into believing that just because their weight is normal they are healthy. Such deceptions can cost a person their life.

    On the other hand a person who is overweight must be demanding of the healthcare system when they do have health issues because people working in healthcare like everybody else in this society have been conditioned to believe that everything is related to their weight and not take them seriously, which again can cost a person their life.

    A friend who is also a medical doctor almost died because at 4’10″ and weighing maybe 100 lbs she is absolutely tiny. She had very severe gall bladder disease which is considered a “fat persons” disease. She suffered greatly and had many complications following her surgery because of the state of her health, not her size. It was her assumption as well as that of other physicians that she her size meant she was generally healthy which she wasn’t and that she was too thin to have this disease.

    Another friend also in the healthcare profession spent years trying to get a correct diagnosis and treatment for a life threating disease hypoparathyroidism w/tumors and hypothyroidism but was not taken seriously because at around 215 lbs she is morbidly obese. Every doctor assumed that if she just lost weight all her other symptoms would resolve. By the time she got a correct diagnosis she had suffered tremendously. She recovered well from surgery with zero complication because despite being fat she had a good diet and exercised regularly and was generally in good health.

    The point is size should never be the measure for the state of a persons health regardless of if the person is thin or fat. There are too many other factors and too much at stake to make assumptions.

  14. Katy B

    June 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    I have been guilty of the “I’m-doing-everything-right-my-body-just-must-not-be-able-to-loose-these-last-30-lbs,” excuse. And after reeeeealy changing to full clean living and constant motion, I have to say I was FULL of it.

    If or metabolism clings on to pounds for dear life, it means 1 hour of exercise (no matter how intense) isn’t enough. I learned that from taking boot camp classes at 6am. I didn’t loose weight, but I became crazy strong and full of energy. By jump starting a day with a trainer (I weight train in private, but NO ONE, especially the overweight know how far to push themselves without years of practice) I have the energy for the rest of the day to eat small smart portions. To think of food as fuel, not as a reward, or an addiction. And then after work, I have hd energy to go for a run and to yoga.

    I work with kids, so I make every single moment of our day active, good for them, good for me. So if you work a desk job and come home to kids, make the kids time as active as yours. Good for you, good for them. In short, if you’re too tired at the end of the day to work out, you’re not eating as smart as you say, or aren’t exercising enough.

    Being clean, healthy and very active will always drop weight. You just have to be honest about how hard you’re actually working, and most people aren’t.

  15. ab

    April 9, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    The thing that stands out the most to me is that even though the article talks about being fit & fat, some of the commenters still seem to be thinking in terms of fat = unhealthy and unfit.

    Fat has become a dirty word in our current lexicon. I wonder would we get the same reaction around an article about the possibilities of being ‘skinny & fit’?.

    Its curious how we can look at a alcoholic chain smoker and deduce that she is healthy because she wears a size 2. We can see his/her thin arms, lack of any muscle on their frame, thinning hair, and inability to walk for any decent length of time and still look/think about them as ‘healthy’.

    How we seem women who have long gone past puberty but evidently are suffering from effects of malnutrition with a lack of adult body development and we still in our heads call that healthy.

    The diet industry has performed a really cool spell on us. We don’t even recognise ‘healthy’ any more.

  16. Ms. Lady

    April 10, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    I was watching Freaky Eaters over the weekend and there was a guy..thin, skateboarded every day and he THOUGHT he was the picture of health because he was “thin and active”, but he only ate French Fries for the most part. When they did his blood work, he already had heart disease and there was some marker that should have hovered around 7, that was 56 which was 8 times higher than what it should have been. Amanda Beard, I think that is her name, the swimmer, has a book out called, “No one can see you crying in the water” or something like that ..Here she is an Olympic athlete FIGHTING to stay thin by abusing her body with an eating disorder and disordered eating because she had to LOOK a certain way to still be considered beautiful… No one is promoting obesity, but people think FAT is bad and THIN is good and that tells the whole story..It is NOT the whole story. When I hear women saying I hate my thighs or I hate my poofy belly.. and/or the idolize a certain races standard of beauty as the end all be all when there is a lot of “beauty” along what is considered beautiful…

  17. KJD

    April 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    The thing to remember is that the terms “fat” and “skinny” are static, while being “fit” or “healthy” are far more dynamic and works in progress. So, yes, I am fat, but I am not living a healthy lifestyle. I eat clean, exercise, have normal metabolic and cardiovascular numbers, and have lost weight! I am not delusional, I also know that my size puts me at risk to go down that unhealthy slippery slope if I stop. At the end of the day, I know that strangers won’t see this about me while looking at my outer appearance, but I don’t give a crap. I am LIVING healthy, while still BEING fat.

    • ab

      April 12, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      Don’t you mean that in the reverse?

      I don’t think the terms ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ have ever been static.
      nowadays if you are slim but toned people would call you fat or ‘thick’, skinny can range anything from calista flockhart (i defy anyone to tell me she wasn’t anorexic) – rhianna, naomi campbell – angelina jolie. all diff bodies all skinny.

      FIT and HEALTHY however those terms are a lot better to describe and don’t necessarily depend on the arbitary skinny or fat scale.

  18. Nicole

    July 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Fitness and Fatness are two separate, yet important issues. Fitness can be defined as cardiovascular strength, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and flexibility. Fatness is basically a measure of adipose (fat) tissue–which in recent years has been discovered to not just be storage for extra energy stores but also produces hormones that regulate energy balance/metabolism. Fitness can counteract some of the negative effects of fatness, but not completely. This article and the citations within discuss this in more detail: http://www.theheart.org/article/1351677.do
    So the bottom line is BOTH are important for optimal health.

    • Nicole

      July 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

      So to clarify, it depends on if you are talking about “fatness” from a physiologic standpoint (how much adipose tissue do you have, and where is it distributed, and how does that impact your risk of health problems) vs. “fatness” from an aesthetic standpoint (how do you look/feel based on personal preferences and social norms). I think the use of “fat” for both concepts tends to be a bit confusing.

  19. Sam

    December 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    This is a great article. I think it is telling of the fact that obesity in and of itself is not a problem, rather obesity is a symptom of a problem. Two people can both get the same virus and one of them may suffer with a sore throat while the other experiences a stuffy nose. The have the same problem but it has manifested differently in each individual. That is the same as two people eating poor diets but one becomes obese while the other may remain thin but suffer from other diet related conditions. Obesity can also be a symptom of multiple conditions. Often it is a symptom of poor nutrition but it can also be a symptom of a variety of biological factors. I think it would do a world of good to approach obesity this way. First your determine the cause of your obesity and then you determine a course of treatment.

  20. Lee

    December 18, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    My doctor quickly told me to “let go” of the notion that I should be a certain size to be “healthy”. I didn’t quite understand until some of my associates (who are way thinner) and I went for a walk on a trail. They were exhausted midway through while I was fine. I am not saying by any means I am at the level of in shape as I would like to be, but I can understand what my doc’ was saying now.
    I do think you can be fit and fat at the same time. Just like a person can be a size 4 and be quite unfit.

  21. BrittanyBanks

    January 15, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    I often tell doctors that if they’re going to use the BMI system and ‘i can tell by looking at you’ system that they can kiss my husband’s and my behind. In military bootcamp, I was running a 10 min mile (a feat for someone 4’11 and never ran) did 61 push ups in a minute and had the core of Denise Austin. When I became injured, the quack doc looked at my thighs (-_-) and told me I was over weight. I should be 100 lbs. I was 128. He said my BMI was at 29%. I went to a nutritionist who told me that my body type couldn’t handle being 100 lbs. My fat percentage was 21%. Same with my husband. He’s 200 lbs, 5’11. He’s 9% fat, in the military. The system is so flawed that they have to measure him to ‘make sure’ he’s not fat. -_-

  22. peechie

    June 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I just wanted to point out that “nice body” doesn’t automatically equal thin, though. thank you so much for posting so regularly. i really love reading your site as it’s more focused on health than asthetics.

  23. Kaycee

    June 30, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Erika and I have talked about his before. I had a bad ass pilates instructor last year who was fit but clearly overweight. E said she thought the woman had an underlying health issue. This chick was bad—nothing jiggled but could stand to lose @ 30.

    She’s no longer employed by my gym and I’m almost certain it’s because of her appearance.

  24. Bethany

    December 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    I don’t think you can look at BMI and suggest that a person is healthy because it falls into the desired range. I am 5’7 155lbs. I am considered healthy by my doctor because I do not have any illnesses and all my levels are where they should be. However, I do not exercise regularly and my diet is far from balanced. Many people look at me and think “You don’t need to workout”. Let me tell you, this “healthy” girl can’t even walk around the house having a casual conversation without being out of breath. I can’t run more than 1/2-3/4 of a mile at a time. I have played sports my whole life. I do not feel healthy. I am tired, I have no energy. All of this has to do with my inactivity and my diet. I think if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing you will be where you are supposed to be for your body type.

  25. Elle

    December 10, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Love this article. I personally think this and try to remember this for myself. I’m not one to go to the doctor and I have to say that aside from my seasonal allergies, I haven’t been sick in a long while. I’m a bigger person, but I always think about how I can get my vegetables in, take my vitamins, take my probiotics, and cut down on all things processed. I try as hard as I can, but I’m sure people still see me as “fat”. At this point, I just can’t care. I’m 26 years now, and I was actually “fat” for most of my life. I want to lose more weight but I know I’ll never been crazy thin, and that’s so ok with me. It’s hard to know in your head that you’re healthy while other people overlook it.

    I think about my family for example. My younger cousin is very small, but I swear she eats Popeye’s like at least 3 times a week, soda everyday and other junk! And I’ve noticed that she breaks out a lot which I think is due to her unhealthy eating habits, but she doesn’t listen to me. Idk what’s happening for her on the inside, but I try to encourage her to eat better because yes, people may find her attractive, but that’s not something that truly matters and I worry about her health. Her mother (my aunt) has gout despite also being “small” b/c she has similar (bad) eating habits. Yep.

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