There is no secret to this. I am overweight. It is not something that I hide because, well, I can’t!
On a trip to India I had my palm read and the guru looked at me and said “You like to eat lots of Gravy”. I laughed and told him that he didn’t have to read my palm to know that. You can see by looking at me that I weigh more than I should, but this does not necessarily mean that I am a lazy slob.
Here’s the thing; take many of my friends who are of a healthy weight and I could probably outrun them, I can certainly out lift them. Somehow, the perceptions of others are that being overweight must mean that I am unhealthy. But it is the old adage; don’t judge a book by its cover.
Recently as part of my HIIT (high Intensity Interval training) I took part in a fitness test and I was delighted that I not only kept up with the others in the class, in some areas I was well above average. The biggest thing for me was in 3 minutes, I mastered 113 push ups. I was so utterly thrilled with myself. Two years ago I could barely do 3 push ups alone, never mind do them for 3 full minutes. I told anyone who would listen, including an excited shout out on snapchat, but the responses were not what I expected.
“Wow, I can’t even do that” said one. “Even I couldn’t do that many” said another. “I train daily and I couldn’t do that” and so came a list of people comparing themselves to me in the most obvious way…. They were shocked that someone like me could be fitter than someone like them.
This goes so far to show the perceptions we have of people and their abilities. Just because I appear to be heavy, that doesn’t mean that I can’t be fit and I can’t be healthy. Let me make it clear that I am not now, nor have I ever been an advocate for anyone being an unhealthy weight and although I am proud of where I am, I don’t plan to stop any time soon.
Two years ago I made the huge decision to take control of my own health and began working with a personal trainer. At my heaviest I was approaching 15 stone and I knew that the upward spiral could not continue. For this first time in my life I realised that being overweight and unfit was hard. Carrying excess weight around with me was a 24/7 job. Exercise was something I only had to do 3 times a week for one hour at a time. It was very hard at first, aching, sweating, and feeling weak and exhausted, but each week I found it hurt a little less.
Training itself hasn’t gotten easier, in fact I am just expected to go faster and lift heavier, but the recovery time gets quicker and I notice the results. There is just one problem. I am still Fat! It’s not that I have not lost any weight, I have lost 27 pounds in fact, but the process has been slow and the scale has not always reflected the effort that I have put in.
So I would like to ask everyone to stop believing that you can tell a person’s abilities by the way they appear and please don’t answer them in disbelief when they tell you of an achievement they are proud of.
It IS possible to be fat AND fit and it is possible that what you see is not the person’s end point. Some of us are only getting started.