Being an Exercise Physiologist, I spend my day surrounded by people I support and educate with exercise and lifestyle change. I also (most of the time) partake in decent levels of exercise myself. In fact just last week, rode my bike further than ever before — 114km.
Although… Fun fact: I’ve never been skinny. The closest I came was whilst training for a half marathon. I jumped on the scales very dehydrated after a run and saw 96kg. Most average people won’t ever see the scales reach that high, and that was the lightest I’ve been in my adult life. But this story isn’t about my weight journey, it’s more about how to live despite being heavier.
I pulled myself off the lounge last Saturday afternoon. Rather than drive, I thought I’d ride my bike over to a shop about 30mins away to ask them about a commuting bike that I was looking to buy.
Unfortunately I had no luck with the new bike. I did however, hit some PB’s after taking the long way home and hitting some hills. The downside to the afternoon occurred when this troll of a woman decided to pull along side me in her car and scream: “Get in the bike lane you fat arse!” Sheesh! Shit people are often compelled to do ordinary things when they cross paths with cyclists but going 45km/h in a 50km/h zone, I’ve seen garbage trucks and buses go far slower on the same stretch of road.
I was almost offended until got distracted by the screeching of her brakes. She came centimetres away from crashing because she wasn’t watching the road and the cars in front her were slowing down for a red light. It would’ve been hilariously ironic if it hadn’t been so dangerous.
With two lanes to choose from, no bike path and her racing to a red light, I was the bad guy for “holding her up” and not riding in a non existent lane. But most of all, I was a bad person because I wasn’t skinny.
Stimulating the economy by trying to buy another bike, getting one more car off the road in which is a seemingly never ending Sydney peak hour. BUT…. Improving my health whilst not being the perfect human specimen? Fuck me, right?
I’m not writing this to help me cope with the fact that someone called me fat. I took my fat arse out the next day and beat my 80kg mate up quite a few hills. (and yes, I’ll admit it, my arse probably does look a bit bigger than normal when it’s been pushed wider by the saddle and is juxtaposed with a skinny road bike that I was riding)
I’m writing this as encouragement for the people who are little “huskier” or “big boned.” Who you are, is bigger (no pun intended) than a number or a primary school insult. If you can look at yourself honestly, admit your failures, take a step in the positive direction, you’re further ahead than most others. An unhealthy relationship with food and exercise is not the worst problem to have.
Living a good life makes you healthy. Losing weight doesn’t guarantee a good life (or a healthy one).
In defiance of all the bad people out there, I thought I’d include picture of me sucking in the gut after the ride. Apologies for the helmet hair!
Alternatively, people also assume “skinny” is healthy, which is far from the truth. Not only do moderately overweight people live longer, but working within Cardiac Rehab, I see many slim people who have extremely high risk factors and suffer extreme cardiac events.
I think for the most part, hate on overweight people is diminishing. Most people will tell you they actually admire seeing someone who is overweight hitting the gym hard, although ask the overweight person and all they can feel are the eyes watching them. So why do some individuals still feel the need to hate on weight? Probably for the same reason, they feel it’s acceptable to judge gambling addicts or even people diagnosed with depression. Any perceived flaw in someone else, surely makes them a better person, right? By the way, isn’t it time those depressed people just started cheering up and the gambling addicts just didn’t go to the casino?
If you’re waiting until you’re the correct weight do things, you may be waiting a long time.
Bad people will always exist, the real tragedy is when you allow them to control what you enjoy and what makes you healthy. If you’re waiting until you’re the correct weight do things, you may be waiting a long time. Go out and live life, do some healthy things for yourself and you may be surprised with the results. You’ll definitely be happier and with all the positive action, you may even feel better about your body.