RK Tip of the Week|Accept the person, not the unhealthy fat

Posted on May 14, 2010


Only 2 in 10 Americans are NOT overweight. Which means there is a possibility that you reading this are overweight orobese – and if you are, and are sitting here fat & happy, God bless you, but I’m sorry but today’s tip won’t have much for you. Now, no one is saying you have to strive for thin perfection…not at all…but focus instead on making the right choices every day. When you do this, your body is going to look & feel how it was designed to look & feel – and that does not include carrying lots of extra weight.

“Can you be healthy at any size?”…that’s what Women’s Health magazine asked recently…as they outlined the recent 21st century trend of “fat acceptance”. And the writers of the Women’s Health article did what we do way too much in the world today – find the farthest extremes and jump on them. A former 95lb model is quoted talking about how much she hated life eating only veggies & coffee to maintain her model-figure. Well duh.

The “fat acceptance movement” is a group of people pushing for the acceptance of overweight & obese people in society. And any group that ‘s for the acceptance of others is a kick-ass group in my book (unless you’re for the acceptance of Nazis or something …then you’re just strange). However, there’s a real problem with telling people it’s OK to be something that has such clear health risks associated with it. Would you tell a pregnant woman it’s ok to chain smoke while boozing her day away? There’s equally as obvious health risks with both situations.

If you are overweight or obese, you will cost yourself & others lots of money – the latest figures put the cost of being overweight/obese in America at an extra $147 billion with a B per year. That’s INSANE! If you choose to remain at an unhealthy weight and fitness level, you will predispose yourself for health risks & diseases you’d otherwise have a very low likelihood of developing.

And with weight being the main measuring tool, this is where the argument for fat acceptance gets messy – a big part of the movement encourages us to stop using BMI as a measuring tool of health – and they are dead on correct! BMI is a less than reliable indicator of overall health & fitness since a person who has lots of muscle & low body fat may weigh on the scale heavier than someone who has less muscle & more body fat. BMI is measured by taking the ratio of weight to height. But another almost as large part of the movement wants fat acceptance to be about letting someone eat with reckless abandon, sit down for the vast majority of their life, and trash their body however they feel like it. Not ok.

We can accept any person who has good human qualities regardless of their size, but no one has to accept unhealthy fat that could very well kill that person with all those good human qualities. And if we accept it, it says that we don’t mind that the fat may win out in the battle for a long, happy, healthy life.

No one should feel expected to be a twig or a bulging muscle man – but somewhere in between those two ends are a whole lot of fit, healthy people carrying around the right amount of weight & body fat. And they got there by making the right choices for their body every single day. And if they chose to make a less than optimal choice, the next choice they made was right back on track and then some!

Make the right choices every day and your body will show you just how much fat and weight you need. It will give you energy you need. It will boost your mood. It will digest how it’s meant to. It will clear its skin to be fresh & bright. All you have to do is make a good choice for your body.

Eat breakfast. Every day. Not from McDonald’s. Cut the crap & eat more vegetables. Learn how much a serving of meat is & stick to that size. For God’s sake, save yourself a dime (and your waistline) & learn to cook. Learn to channel your emotions through activity, not food or couch potatoing. Suck it up and go sweat. It won’t kill you. Not doing it? That may kill you.

So can you be healthy at any size? And the truth is, when it comes to comparing people of a healthy body fat % to those with a high % of body fat, the answer is a flat NO. But if you do the right things for your body on a consistent basis, you can be healthy at the size your body was made to be – whether it be lean, muscular, athletic, trim – your body is smart, it will figure out where it needs to be when you send it the right signals.