I think that the greatest tragedy of the “fat = unhealthy” lie that surrounds us is that it actually excuses fat people from moving at all. When the only measure of health is your body size, and you’re in the 95% who can’t permanently change their body size, then why bother trying to be healthy at all? Exercise is billed as a means to reduce body mass, rather than a tool for health in itself. If it doesn’t make you thin, then it’s not making you healthy; so why bother at all? Fitness is the domain of the slim. Fat people are excluded. After settling with that accepted rhetoric for so many years, it’s not surprising that fat people like me, who now want to move more, are hovering on the edges of the Exercise Club wondering where we fit in.
Read this post today, in its entirety, & it resonated with me. The need to not push yourself into anything because it makes activity less appealing. The feeling exercise is for skinny people & weight loss, or it’s pointless. Yep. I’ve been wondering lately, about more than just exercise, where is the line between being gentle with myself & just making excuses? I haven’t figured that out yet, but I do know it doesn’t help me to feel like exercise is just another reason to feel like a failure so I keep trying & stick with the gentle philosophy.
It’s a complex issue when you didn’t grow up feeling confident being active. I grew up thin, but was never good at sports, made clear to me by a disappointed mother, so I still developed a feeling they weren’t fun & they weren’t for me. I wish I would have realized how much I enjoyed running way back when. Maybe I would have joined the track team. (Also, figuring out early on it’s okay to not be good at something because you learn. That is still a struggle for me.)