Fit vs. Fat

I am in a pondering kind of mood, and I blame it firmly on my twitter buddy Fluffiebunnie.  She blogged today about her progress with Enter the Kettlebell, and also mentioned that though she’s made less progress than she’d like towards her body fat/lean mass goals, she’s actually not too bothered because right now, she has other priorities.

This is something rather close to home for me, as I’ve tended to be overweight my entire life.  I have also been fat, but not necessarily at the same time.

I suppose this post is really just a rant against what society expects, and also against the now discredited, yet still accepted standard that is the body mass index.  According to my BMI, at 5’7” and 75kg (165lb) I am overweight; I should be trying to lose at least 5kg.  As we all know, BMI allows absolutely no room for body composition, meaning that 2 people with vastly differing body fat percentages could theoretically be given exactly the same advice from a doctor.  Madness, no?

As for that 5kg (minimum) that I should be losing, well I’ve worked HARD for that weight, I’ve paid for it with blood, sweat, tears and ripped up calluses.  Last time my lean mass was checked it was in the region of 60kg and there’s no way I’m giving up a single gram of that.  Add to which, the last time my body fat was checked, it was in the healthy range (I can’t remember precisely what it was – 20-something).  I suspect in the intervening time that it’s crept upwards, but you know what?  I’m not really bothered.  I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and fitter too.  My body fat doesn’t need to be my enemy; as a woman it gives me shape – boobs and a butt and hips – and it has an important role in several aspects of my health (hormonal health, fertility).

So I refuse to jump on the bandwagon.  I’m not going to join the angst-ridden ranks of the size zero chasers.  I don’t care if my thighs are bigger than that other girl, or my weight/body fat/hair colour/shoe size is not “right”.  Because I’m fit, I’m healthy, and I’m getting stronger every day.

So there 😀

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Aug 23, 2009 @ 20:00:39

    Rock on! And don’t lose a gram. I’ve got a client who’s about 5’9″, who is large-framed and builds muscle easily. Based on the amount of lean mass she carries, the absolute perfect weight for her is in the high 170s. She looks like a freaking goddess at that weight. Only an idiot would say she needs to lose 30 pounds, yet she has gotten that exact advice from doctors who are still hung up on those ridiculous height-weight charts that don’t take body fat percentage into account. Fortunately she’s had the good sense to lose the doctors and not the weight 🙂 I think one of the great things about exercise is that it gives women the confidence to reject bad advice from doctors, dieticians and (Lord help us!) beauty experts who think health and attractiveness are limited to a single size and shape.

    Reply

    • ultranatomy
      May 26, 2010 @ 19:24:45

      If doctors pulled their heads out of their arses and actually LOOKED at the patient with whom they were dealing, maybe they’d keep ignorant comments to themselves.

      And how many doctors, dietitians, etc. themselves could truly stand to drop some fat?

      Reply

  2. Beth
    Aug 24, 2009 @ 10:05:24

    Great post Nancy! You are so right. BMI just doesn’t work for many people. Dave looks like this:

    http://kettlebelling.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/wednesday-workout/

    (bottom pic!) but according to the BMI scale he is still overweight and needs to lose about a stone and a half to get down to BMI of 25. He would be waaaaaaaaay skinny at that weight. But because he has very muscular legs and a huge broad chest the BMI just doesn’t work for him.

    Me, I’m at the lower end of the BMI scale because I have teeny tiny bones – I can touch my thumb and little finger together around my wrist. So really, BMI doesn’t work for me either – I weigh 118lbs and am 5’4″ so I could put on nearly two stone and go up to 145lbs and still be just under BMI of 25 – but I would most definitely be fat and unhealthy at this weight!!

    Reply

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