Fit or fat, or both?

A big front moving in…
Heavy rain and potentially gale force winds…
The first big storm of this autumn season…
Possibility of damaging gusts…etc, etc…

Of course, this WOULD be the current forecast for this coming Sunday, the first free day that the husband and I have had together in ages!  I’m not usually a weather wimp, but the idea of heading up into the Slieve Blooms for the day is not nearly as appealing as staying home, battening down the hatches and lighting the fire instead.
I haven’t been able to get out into the hills nearly as much over the summer months as I would have liked, mostly due to being busy with my business, but there have been a few camper van trips too, so not all “work but no play”…however it looks like reacquainting myself with my hiking boots will have to wait another short while!

I have, nevertheless, still been walking the local lanes daily in an effort to keep my fitness up, whilst trying to be careful with what I eat.  It’s frustrating, that my weight stubbornly refuses to go down.  I try to stop myself from using the bathroom scales.  I hide them under ‘stuff’ so they are a pain to get out and use, otherwise I get fixated and demoralised by the numbers they show me.  But I do get them out every once in a while, just to see what’s what.  And what’s what is that nothing changes.  I gain and lose the same 3-4lbs over and over again, and have done all year long.

The Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred is something I kept coming across, and a friend suggested that she had achieved great things with it (and I concur, she looks fab!).  I found Level One on YouTube, and did it Mon-Fri religiously for 2 weeks, in addition to my road walking, (until Church curb stones and busted knees stopped me) and I have to say, after just 10 days I could see and feel a difference. (No, I won’t be posting any before & after pics of wobbly bits and less-wobbly bits!  No-one needs that kind of mental scarring!)  Of course, my injured knee curtailed that idea for a wee while, and the ‘firmer’ bits went wobbly again.  But I conceded that it was doing something positive for me, so I broke the piggy bank and coughed up for the DVD on Amazon.  My knee is telling me how much it wants to do each day right now, but I’ve re-started Level One, and, oh my, am I feeling it!

The downside of finding wobbly bits that were becoming firmer bits was that my bathroom scales were calling out to me every time I passed, only for me to find firmer bits didn’t necessarily mean lighter bits…And then I watched the fabulous The Men Who Made Us Thin documentaries on BBC Two, by Jacques Peretti – fascinating and eye-opening. in particular the segment where he attends a Boot Camp and goes head to head in a fitness challenge with two obese women (and gets throughly beaten!) particularly resonated with me.  In his own words, “Being beaten was a real lesson – it proved that being fit is more important than what size you are“.

This idea of being ‘fat but fit’ intrigued me, and so I hit Google with a vengeance!  I came across the phrase ‘metabolically healthy’, which appears to be loosely defined as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other indicators falling within a healthy range.
(
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/body/head-to-toe/fat-but-fit/)

The consensus appears to be that metabolically healthy people, who are still classed as obese, are at no greater risk of dying from heart disease or cancer than those who are of normal weight, due to their fitness.  Obviously there are still the detrimental affects of carrying extra weight on joints, plus the fact that the more overweight you are, the more likely it is that your metabolic health will take a hit at some point, now or in the future.

It feels funny to think of myself in terms of being metabolically healthy, when ultimately it is my screwed up metabolism that is one the big factors responsible for my size – but I presently tick lots of the ‘fat but fit’ boxes, and my GP agrees.  My blood pressure is comfortably within normal range (In addition to being checked by my GP, I check this weekly at home).  My cholesterol levels are spot on (full blood tests every 6 months).  I can’t seem go anywhere near a hospital without getting my fingertips pricked, sometimes more than once, presumably because the nurses make a snap judgement and simply don’t believe that my blood sugars/glucose levels are good too!  My resting heart rate is generally in the low to mid 60’s.  Other than my weight, and lack of thyroid gland, my GP generally considers me to be in good health.

In light of this, I’m learning to be happy with how I feel, to embrace my new understanding of metabolic health (to continue to read up as much on this as I can!), and to focus on my fitness, on doing exercise that counts and on eating a healthy diet…and not to let those pesky scales torment me! Oh, and to enjoy any weight loss that simply ‘happens’ as an added bonus!

Some further reading, should you be curious about the ‘fat but fit’ phenomenon:

Can you be fat but fit?

What is metabolically healthy obesity?

And the blog post that got me thinking about how often we are judged by how we look, and also points out that being lean isn’t always healthy either!
The Lean Physique And Why It’s Dangerous

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2 thoughts on “Fit or fat, or both?

  1. Obviously I don’t know your personal history, but just letting you know that hubby and I have both lost 2 stone since Christmas with the massive help of this website:

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

    If you input the exercise you do each day (as well as what you eat, obviously!), it tells you how many extra calories you’ve earned and can eat….. It’s the only way we could have done it without feeling permanently starving.

    We’ve now been stable at our target weights for about 2 months and hoping it will continue to last!

    Of course, being happy with who you are is also very important, and is something I could do with a bit of from time to time… 🙂

    • Well done on the weightloss and the subsequent maintain Chrissie, great achievement!
      I did try MFP earlier in the year, but got frustrated with some of the nutrition data anomalies on some of the brand foods entered on the system, so it was showing me less calories etc than I was actually consuming, when checked against the product packaging…I couldn’t see where to edit the values, so I just went back to my handwritten food diary instead. Maybe I’ll give it another go, and see if I can work out how to edit the incorrect food values? :-/ It’s probably really simple if I bother to read the instructions haha!

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