QotD: Fat & Exercising

I think a lot of people look to exercise to help them lose weight, and when they don’t lose weight immediately with exercise, they quit. They return to the couch, and they basically never move again. What is lost in that is that fitness is almost certainly more important than fatness. [...]

If someone starts an exercise program and improves his fitness, even if he doesn’t lose an ounce, he will generally have a longer life and a much healthier life. It would be nice if people would look at exercise as a way to make themselves feel better and live longer and not necessarily as a way to make themselves skinnier.

Gretchen Reynolds discussing her bookThe First 20 Minutes (emphasis added)

I bolded what I did for a reason.  Like many who grew up fat, I was nagged to exercise with an emphasis on taking all the fun AND usefulness out of it.   I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to exercise.  But I also think facts are useful.

Exercise doesn’t have to suck.  It doesn’t have to be an obligation.  Ideally it’s a choice made from facts not hatred and rebellion.  It seriously pissed my mother off when, as a child, I played soccer and had fun and felt great and didn’t lose weight.  She’s dead now.  But somehow I think she’s still pissed off when I exercise for my own selfish reasons that have nothing to do with becoming “more beautiful” or “a better person” or “a thinner person or making her happy.  And that’s fine. 

12 thoughts on “QotD: Fat & Exercising

  1. I was a black belt in tae kwon do (a senior first degree, so I’d been through all the colored belt testings, plus 3 black belt testings). I could spar for an hour, I could kick a tall man in the head, I could break boards with a spin jump kick, I could kick ass. But all my then-husband could say was, “What’s the point of doing all that? You haven’t lost any weight.” And that’s why he’s an ex.

  2. I think my parents are somewhat bemused at how much of a fitness nerd I am. I was really into bellydance for a while, and these days it’s aerial silks and weightlifting. I think my dad is a bit amazed that I regularly deadlift his bodyweight. But I love the activities and I love feeling strong.

  3. Oh, I bought into the exercise to be thin model, and yes I got fed up with it when it wasn’t having the effect I wanted. And yes I was doing stuff I didn’t especially enjoy. Now I am basically starting from scratch in order to be fit enough to do things I will enjoy. Stupid media.

  4. I stopped exercising many a time because it wasn’t making me “thin enough.” I also labeled myself a failure and a “fat, disgusting pig who no-one could ever love.”
    Thank the Goddess that in my mid forties I have found size acceptance and health at every size. I actually like to exercise. This time when I started again, I made myself a promise that weight loss would have nothing to do with it. This time I have suck with it for six months, and will continue to stick with it. I never get on a scale, and my strength and flexibility has improved immensely.
    It’s also necessary to do exercises that work with your body. I have fibromyalgia and sciatica. I can’t do high impact exercises unless I want to be in agony for a week.
    I work out in a therapy pool. Granted, not everyone has access to a therapy pool, but if you live near a gym that has a pool, what I do can be approximated. I recommend that anyone interested in water workouts google Dr. Jane Katz. Also, there might be aqua aerobics classes at a gym or rec center near you. Myself, I’m not the work out with other people type, but that might be just your thing if you’re a little more sociable than I am!

    • I water-run at a college pool nearly every day. I am 54, with ankle and knee problems, so I can’t run on land. But I love water-running;some impact so that the bones remain strong, but not too much to aggravate things. When I started, the swimmers would stare; now, at least half the people in the pool water-run. I love how I feel, both during and after.

    • The trick is to find something that really doesn’t feel like exercise. For me, I like the water. I also like walking and dancing. Of course I can do both of these in the water! We’ve been taught that exercise has to be hard. If you find something that your mind doesn’t think of as “exercise,” that will be the key!

  5. I was doing an exercise/PT program but got sick, now I have to make sure I get right back into it. I think the best exercise is when you do not feel like you are exercising. I want to do things that are useful and fun, not rote and boring.

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