What would you rather be? Thin or fit?
Leading on from my post about body self-loathing, I have felt the need to come back to the subject. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, these are simply the clumsily gathered thoughts of a chunky thighed runner.
First of all, let me state that all these various campaigns for curves and real women are potentially just as damaging in their way as the media expectations that we should all be thin. Crying that a size 12 is fat is damaging. But equally, crying that size 6 is too thin is also damaging. We are all different and I hope that this blog post isn’t taking as an attack on the naturally thin amongst us.
In my previous post about self-loathing, I was really interested to read the comments left and it was mentioned by Mercy that she wished that running and fitness could be disconnected from weight loss. I thought that this was a really interesting comment as whilst we know that regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet can lead to weight loss, many of us exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My normal pre-pregnancy weight hovers around 11 stone. I’m 5’5, usually wear a size 12 and have chunky thighs. No doubt some of you are reading this and thinking that sounds porky.
I’m not a thin girl, but I am a pretty fit girl. I may not be a speedy runner, but I can run a 5k faster than many of my thin friends. I’ve completed a marathon. I know I would rather be a little bigger and able to run for the bus and make it, rather than be skinny and then collapse after 3 steps and miss it, whilst gasping for breath.
This is not an exercise in bigging myself up. I’m simply trying to make the point that being thin does not necessarily equal being fit. And being fit is surely more important than being thin. It is entirely possible to be thin and unfit and this is where I think that fad diets are absolutely ridiculous. On a diet? It’s more than calorie counting. Avoid processed foods and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Cuppa soups for lunch are ridiculous. Eating only eggs and grapefruit is a recipe for disaster. Eat healthy, well balanced meals and move more instead. It’s horrifying the number of women (and men too for that matter) who buy into the various meal replacement shake programmes (Body By Vi, Slimfast and others, I’m looking at you), replacing 2 meals a day with a sub-100 calorie shake. You may lose weight quickly but you will probably put it back on after and it doesn’t make you fit. Perhaps for the morbidly obese under the advice of a medical professional, these shakes can help them but for the majority of people, they are an unnecessary fad. You may be thin, but will you be fit? Probably not.
In an ideal world, we would stop worrying about how we look and how we compare to others. Eat a healthy, balanced diet (and include some cake every now and again, cake is good), move around, go for a walk and whatever weight you are is probably what is healthy for you. It would be a boring world if we all looked the same and newsflash: we don’t. We never will.