Why I'm still fat.
I wrote this a year ago.. it's the most read blog I've ever written and so I thought I'd refresh it a bit.
It annoys the shit out of people.
I eat really well. A big ass salad pretty much every day for lunch.
Loads of fresh veggies and fruit and lean protein.
I live at the gym. Although I’m not training as hard as I usually do, I’m still exercising to some degree 3-5 times per week.
My blood pressure is super good. Much to the dismay of some doctors, my sugar in blood metric is good, and my cholesterol both good and bad is in a good zone too.
Healthy and happy as a clam.
Strong and getting stronger.
I’m not afraid of the stairs.
Still fat though. And I’m lucky I have a thick skin and well as thick thighs because working in the fitness industry as I do, means a lot of barriers to cross.
Even my initial training I’ve had to confirm in exams and nod along with others in training courses that obesity is bad.
Listening to podcasts for trainers, listening to fitness professionals I respect and look up to say “when a fat person walks into the gym we can guess what their goal is”.
Bullshit. I call bullshit on all of that.
This trainer isn’t guessing anything.
This trainer - me - and a few other good ones I know, aren’t presuming anything other than a person just walked into the gym and let’s go find out what they need.
Size does not equal health.
Size does not equal a fitness or a health goal.
I love personal training. I love being able to take a gym member or anyone at all really, under my wing and show them what the hell to do to get stronger, get fitter, get healthier.
It has nothing to do with how much they weigh, or how much space they take up.
Stronger, fitter, healthier.
That’s it. And exercise has definitely affected me in those ways.
But I’m still living in a fat body.
Science tells us that so long as the stars align, if you consume fewer calories than you expend, fat loss will happen.
The problem is that tracking calories isn’t easy - there can be inaccuracies from 20-50%. It’s also hard work and really dull and boring.
There’s also the impact that lack of sleep, stress, dehydration and raging hormones has on fat loss. I’m a Mum with endo and pcos, with two businesses, and plenty of other drama in my life, so when you look at it like that, there’s a few good reasons why I haven’t lost fat as part of my strength and fitness training I’ve been doing for a few years now.
Does it matter?
Not to me. But it does to some people. Some people want to burn up some of their body fat and if that’s the case, and they are prepared to make changes to their sleep and stress and hydration, and are keen to work hard in the gym, I am ready to help them.
Fat loss isn’t everything. Blood pressure, sugar in blood, and cholesterol scores are. Some people need more fat on their bodies, some people need less. I think we’ve all just got to calm down for a hot minute and get some actual health scores to improve rather than be stuck believing that a smaller size will be the answer to our problems.
Today’s exercise is the humble push up. But before you drop to your knees as do what’s called a “lady push-up”(give me strength!) I want you to skip that modification altogether and use the wall, a table, a bench etc. There’s been some considerable talk for ages that in order to progress to a full push up from the floor, we need to practice that exact position which, when pushing up from our knees, changes our position completely.
Skip the knees, push up from the wall or bench or wherever, until you can push up from the floor.
Again it’s a thin body showing off this push up - I really need to shift my arse in to gear and get filming! But take note of her arm position. She has her hands pointing up and hinging at the elbow.
This move can feel uncomfortable, but it’s important to get this right as when you progress and eventually push up from the floor, pushing in a different way can cause a bit of injury.
A bit about HAES…
There’s no secret I practice fitness and food things from a HAES aligned platform. People freak out over HAES. And they really don’t need to. Health at every size doesn’t mean we think every single body in the world is healthy. Of course we don’t - that’s just ludicrous. We just think, believe even, that healthy behaviours that people can control such as getting better sleep, drinking more fluids, managing stress etc, are a much better thing to focus on rather than “losing weight”. And if weight loss happens as a result of the consistent practice of healthy behaviours AND it turns out it’s good for that person to carry less fat on their body for whatever reason, then that weight loss is a positive side effect.
That is literally it.
HAES practitioners are for healthy behaviours, removing weight stigma, and encouraging body size diversity in our world.
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