Fitness

Is There Such A Thing As Being Fat And Fit?

January 12 2015 | CeCe Olisa

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the #PSPfit #LiviLaunch party this weekend at their local Lane Bryant store, I’m working on an event recap now… stay tuned! Now for today’s post:

Every few weeks an unfamiliar face will approach me at the gym. The conversation usually goes something like this,

Them: Hi! So, I just wanted to come over and tell you what an amazing job you’re doing. Keep it up, okay? You’ll get there!

Me: Ummm…okay, thanks!

You see, I am a super-active girl who enjoys dancing, sports, and various bootcamps. I am also plus-size. Most of the regulars at my gym know that I’m the plus-size girl who works out like a beast, so they let me do my thing. But, the people who have recently joined the gym treat me like I’m a walking “before” picture from an episode of The Biggest Loser. But some of us are fat — and fit.

One thing big girls often hear is something to the tune of, “you need to get healthy and lose weight.” It’s usually said as one word: “gethealthyandloseweight.” Statements like this make the assumption that fat and fit are mutually exclusive. They are not. Statements like this make the assumption that skinny and healthy are synonymous. They are not. There are skinny people who have heart attacks, high blood pressure and diabetes. There are fat people who run 5K races, avoid junk food, and get clean bills of health from their doctors.

When I began the healthy curves journey that I call #PSPfit, Plus Size Princess Fitness. I set three goals for myself: eat clean, train dirty, and love myself at any size. I had been working hard to be the skinniest version of myself since I was 12 years old (spoiler alert: I gained more weight than I ever lost), so my commitment to those three things completely changed my mindset and I set out to be the healthiest version of myself.

CeCe Olisa #PSPfit Healthy Curves at Every Size
I was already in the gym four times a week, so that was an easy habit to keep, but I amped up my workouts by adding intense cardio and tons of strength training. Then, I put on an apron and got cooking to ensure processed foods were eliminated from my diet. I also made regular mani/pedi appointments and went shopping for cute plus-size gym clothes (Yep, I took the “love myself” partvery seriously).

My health began to improve in unexpected ways: My skin cleared up, my period became more regular, my eczema went away, my sleep improved, and my energy skyrocketed. Oh, and I lost 55 pounds.

Sure, weight loss was a part of my health improvements, but here’s the thing: In the past, I’ve lost more than 80 pounds and still had bad skin, annoying eczema, and terrible sleep patterns. So, weight isn’t everything. It’s certainly something, but it’s not everything.

I can do jumping jacks, pushups, planks, side planks, swim laps, and keep up in bootcamp classes galore. I eat green smoothies and cook yummy, clean recipes. I life a fit lifestyle, I’ve shed dozens of pounds, and I’m still a big girl. Even though the numbers on the scale continue to slide down, I’m pretty sure that I’ll always be a big girl. So, what does that mean? Is being fit what you look like, or how you live? Is it what size you wear, or what you can do in the gym?

I’m starting to realize that a healthy, fit lifestyle will enable my body to find the appropriate weight for my optimal health. Being healthy and fit is about choices and I’m making good ones. So, the next time a newbie at the gym assures me that I’ll “get there,” I can remind myself that I am already.

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12 responses on “Is There Such A Thing As Being Fat And Fit?

  1. AstarteOurania

    I think it depends. For me at my weight and current level of activity, no, I need to lose more weight because the fat is impeding my fitness – more stress on my joints, especially knees, and so on. I think if you can get to a point where your weight and overall health are at a balance, then that’s the best point to be. I’m not built to be model thin and that’s fine with me (hey if we all looked the same that would just be boring), I just need to be the healthiest me. 🙂

  2. evangelia@aol.com

    I think it depends. For me at my weight and current level of activity, no, I need to lose more weight because the fat is impeding my fitness – more stress on my joints, especially knees, and so on. I think if you can get to a point where your weight and overall health are at a balance, then that’s the best point to be. I’m not built to be model thin and that’s fine with me (hey if we all looked the same that would just be boring), I just need to be the healthiest me. 🙂

  3. Lisa Burch

    I love this I never really thought about it like that. I have been making more changes in my diet and slowly moving towards clean eating. My down fall is motivation for working out. I use to work out four days a week I remember how awesome I felt but that was before two kids that are in dance and sports and running here and there. So my goal this month is to find a treadmill for my house and a bike. If i can’t get to the gym Im gonna bring it home to me! Thank you for your inspiration so glad I found your blog. Have a blessed day!

  4. lisababineaux@yahoo.com

    I love this I never really thought about it like that. I have been making more changes in my diet and slowly moving towards clean eating. My down fall is motivation for working out. I use to work out four days a week I remember how awesome I felt but that was before two kids that are in dance and sports and running here and there. So my goal this month is to find a treadmill for my house and a bike. If i can’t get to the gym Im gonna bring it home to me! Thank you for your inspiration so glad I found your blog. Have a blessed day!

  5. Reese

    I’d gone to a doctor to get a physical so I could workout with a fairly clean conscience. It was evident that she was upset when my blood test came back at all the registered levels- no diabetes, no high blood pressure-nada. Her actions told me that she thought I was lying about wanting to be healthy. Needless to say I’m fat but healthy and so far I have lost 18 pounds. And I’ve never gone back to her

  6. dareeseh@yahoo.com

    I’d gone to a doctor to get a physical so I could workout with a fairly clean conscience. It was evident that she was upset when my blood test came back at all the registered levels- no diabetes, no high blood pressure-nada. Her actions told me that she thought I was lying about wanting to be healthy. Needless to say I’m fat but healthy and so far I have lost 18 pounds. And I’ve never gone back to her

  7. Jami

    Great word CeCe! It really is about focusing on health. I know for myself, that when I put a lot of pressure of thinness as a goal, I feel overwhelmed and immediately discouraged, but optimum health and all that goes along with it, just makes more sense. Al lot of that has to do of nothing feeling worthy of love without thinness, but starting at of place of self acceptance is so much saner. I still have to work on getting there.

  8. yami737@gmail.com

    Great word CeCe! It really is about focusing on health. I know for myself, that when I put a lot of pressure of thinness as a goal, I feel overwhelmed and immediately discouraged, but optimum health and all that goes along with it, just makes more sense. Al lot of that has to do of nothing feeling worthy of love without thinness, but starting at of place of self acceptance is so much saner. I still have to work on getting there.

  9. Alison

    You are so right about periods and sleep. In college, I worked two part-time jobs, double degreed with two minors and an honors thesis, and volunteered teaching ESOL with adults and literacy classes with kids. I didn’t make the time to eat well or exercise. In grad school, and now in my career, I try to make healthier choices, and I have regular period and sleep cycles to show for them. A healthy body helps with a happy brain and a whole spirit.

  10. allison.bigelow@gmail.com

    You are so right about periods and sleep. In college, I worked two part-time jobs, double degreed with two minors and an honors thesis, and volunteered teaching ESOL with adults and literacy classes with kids. I didn’t make the time to eat well or exercise. In grad school, and now in my career, I try to make healthier choices, and I have regular period and sleep cycles to show for them. A healthy body helps with a happy brain and a whole spirit.

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