Disclaimer: my fitness history can be described by this: I played sports in high school, was a “workout bro” as a young man (best 10K was 39:50 (at 195 lb. body weight), best bench was 310, (at 230 lb.). then ballooned to 320 lbs in my early 30’s, lost it and became an “old workout bro” as an older guy…got back to 41:30 for 10k and 225+ in my late 30’s..now 56-57 min for the 10K, 200 lb. for the bench at a body weight of 188.
That is, I know what is like to be very fat and to try to work out as a very fat person. My waist was up to size 52, I could not do a single pull up and it took me 36 minutes to walk 2 miles (3.2 km) when I was walking as hard as I could.
Yes, I kept working out anyway (and yes, got some “fat-ass” cat-calls). I didn’t like it but it didn’t stop me.
So, I approve of fat people working out and there is nothing wrong with a company making workout clothes for the obese.
And there is nothing wrong with giving obese people honest, heart-felt encouragement.
But I will NOT lie.
And so, we have this post:
Yet the new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 – a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman. She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat. She is, in every measure, obese, and she is not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear. She cannot run. She is, more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement. […]
The fat-acceptance movement, which says that any weight is healthy if it is yours, is no friend to women, even if it does seem to have found a friend in Nike. It may, instead, kill them, and that is rather worse than feeling sad. Fat-acceptance is an artifice of denial – they are fat because they do not accept themselves – and a typically modern solution to a problem, if you are a narcissist. It says: there is no problem. Or if there is, it’s yours, not mine. As soothing as that may be to hear, your organs and your skeleton will not agree. […]
The facts are obvious. Stay that weight and you will be an old woman in your 50s. The obese Nike athlete is just another lie.
Yes, being obese shouldn’t stop you from trying and shame on those who lampoon obese people who try to work out. But that is just the start of the journey…not the end or even halfway.
OF COURSE, the article I linked to lead to cries of …FAT PHOBIA.
Note: she “ran” 6:04 as someone in the 18-39 age group (according to the London Marathon “search results” application). That might be ok for someone in their late 50’s early 60’s (yes, I walked a 6:14 last fall..100 percent walking) but hardly running…and wait until she reaches her 50’s.
Yes, yes, much better than staying on the couch but it hardly rebuts the original post.
I see it this way. Consider a marathon. You need to get to mile 5 before you get to mile 15, and 15 before you get to 21, and 21 before you get to the 26.2 finish. There is no denying that. And yes, it is fine to say “good job” at mile 5, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong to act as if they have arrived when they got to that point.
And obesity can harm one’s health, degrade one’s quality of life and, yes, kill. I’ve had two friends, a relative and a favorite professor die at least indirectly because of it.