Exercising and Still Heavy? Being Healthy is more Important


Our society is fixated on being young and skinny. There are variations in nature, and some of us just aren’t meant to be thin, just as some of us aren’t meant to be fat. Some of us are going to be tall, short, fat, thin, have dark hair or light hair, and so on. To a certain degree we can alter these characteristics that we are born with, but to a large degree we cannot alter them.

People have different body types. If you are big boned and have been heavier for your entire life, then chances are that you are not going to be able to have 6 pack abs or 4% body fat. Maybe you can get yourself to that point, but it would take a lot of hard work and a lot of depriving your body through drastic changes. The changes to your body would last as long as you could maintain the drastic changes that it took to lose the weight in the first place.

I feel that it just isn’t worth it to suffer and to negatively affect your health so you can look like a certain societal ideal. If it is your job to look good then that may be a different story. But for most of us, being thin and looking good is not our job. The main focus of exercise and eating right should be to feel good and be healthy, not to just look good. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly an esthetic component to exercising, and everyone wants to look and feel good. I just feel that you should make being healthy your main concern, and then the weight changes will follow.

This is true for those of you who are larger and big boned, and the same is true for those of you who are naturally thin. I feel that if you don’t exercise it will catch up with you in one way or another. There are those people who are naturally thin. There are those who have to work at it to keep weight on or to gain weight. But just because someone is thin, doesn’t mean that they are healthy. And if they haven’t exercised or taken care of themselves because they have been thin, it will catch up with them in one way or another sooner or later.

I commonly see people who have recently started a new exercise routine, have been sticking with it for 6 months to a year, and have their weight loss has leveled off or they haven’t lost much weight. Weight should not be the focus, as long as they are exercising then they will feel better and the better they feel the more activity they will be able to do. The more activity they are able to do, the more weight they will lose long term.

Weight loss is something that has to be looked at long term. If you are overweight or obese, chances are that you did not put on the weight all at once. Chances are that you slowly put it on over time. So with that in mind, the weight that took 20 years to put on is not going to be taken off within a month or 2, or even a year. It takes time to lose weight.

The article that I attached talks about those who are metabolically healthy. The metabolically healthy, overweight people have healthy levels of triglycerides, HDLs and LDLs, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose levels. It is also referred to as “uncomplicated obesity” or “metabolically benign obesity”. This means that those who are overweight but are taking care of themselves and exercising and eating right do not show the signs and symptoms that those who are not taking care of themselves show.

Dr. Francisco Ortega, lead study author of Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, told CNN that “Our study, together with previous literature, strongly suggest that a better cardiorespiratory fitness will make you healthier regardless of your weight status.”

It is hard when you have been heavy all of your life and you have been exercising consistently for the past year and you still are heavy. Don’t get discouraged though, because you are healthier and probably feeling better since you started exercising. And at the very least you will not put any more weight on if you are exercising. Sometimes it is hard to get your body past its’ set point for weight. But keep working at it. The alternative is that if you don’t exercise you will gain more weight, become less mobile, be able to do less of the activities that you enjoy doing, and die younger then you would otherwise. If you don’t exercise the quality of your life will be worse, and you won’t live as long either. For me, there is no choice.