September 12, 2014
Now of course I already know that there is such a thing as fit AND fat.
I mean there is no doubt that at close to 16 stone I am Fat yet I am also reasonable fit, and in fit I mean I exercise for the 3 x 30 minutes that the government in the UK recommends, and as you all know I often do a hell of a lot more than this too.
But yesterday I heard it from the horses mouth, well a Doctors actually and you know how me and doctors don’t always see eye to eye…remember the time that doctor told me I was Too Fat to Run and I responded with my SCREW YOU DOCTOR post?
Well anyway Doctor William Bird is a different kind of doctor, he is a nice doctor, a sensible doctor…in fact I wish he was my very own doctor, although I often wish Dr Raj from Cbeebies was my doctor too.
Dr William Bird MBE currently advises the UK Government through the Department of Health and DEFRA on the financial and health benefits of exercising in the natural environment. He is like this exercise and physical activity guru of the NHS although he wears a suit not spandex, unless the spandex was under his suit, but that makes for a completely different post all together.
He trained in medicine at Royal London and practiced as a full-time GP for 10 years, and boy can that man make you understand just whats going on in our bodies. Within a 30 minute key-note speech I started to understand concepts that I have been struggling to come to grips with for years. He didn’t need to dumb down his message or cut out the medical terms for things, he simply laid out how our bodies were originally designed to function and what is actually happening to them now that we ignore that premise and instead try to use them differently.
He did not use shame or blame, or talk as though Fat people are stupid or reckless he just told us how it is, and refreshingly his concerns were for every body, not just fat bodies.
The crux of his message was about our Cave Man ancestry and the fact that our bodies have not evolved much since then, even though everything around us in our environment has completely changed, and continues to change. For many of us our bodies just can not cope with this sudden change (ie the developments of the last 100 years, as opposed to 100,000 years ago where our bodies would have functioned perfectly)
He spoke about the isolation we often find ourselves in this modern world, where despite being jammed packed into cities we still find ourselves feeling alone and unhappy. This of course leads to stress and sometimes depression, and often we self medicate with drink, or drugs and in my case this has often been food.
It is this combination of serious stress and inactivity on the body that is huge, not the extra weight we carry, as the effects of chronic stress and inactivity are as dangerous to someone of a size 10 as it is for someone larger, leading to some of the biggest health risks we can encounter,
The things which cost the NHS the most I would guess, and the reason that money needs to be put into motivating inactive people into becoming more active rather than waiting for the disastrous fall out.
So ladies, we need to stop focusing on how big and fat our bodies might be, worrying about how we look to the outside world is pointless, and who cares whether we will ever get back into those size 14 jeans, chuck the bloody things away for goodness sake. We need to get back to a place where our lifestyles suit the way our bodies are meant to function and stop beating ourselves up.
Dr William Bird was so clear in his message, and it is a simple one. We just need to keep moving, in fact he spoke about a medical thing which happens in every single one of our cells when they sits dormant for just 30 minutes (well roughly 30 minutes) something called Telomeres whereby when the cells become unhealthy they actually become toxic and start damaging you from the inside out,
We need to exercise because we enjoy it, because it is fun, because it adds value to our lives, improving it in some way and we need to eat proper food that nourishes us. We also just need to move…like all of the time, and not just when we are wearing lycra or have exercise scheduled into our diary, we need to make physical activity and sport something that normal women do every day of their lives. Its not about being sporty it’s just about being active and not sitting on your backside all of the time.
I will save what he said about visceral fat for another post, but come on ladies wake up. Stop beating yourselves up about how you look and focus on how you feel and how you can protect your bodies from damaging your quality of life.
I for one feel so much better after the conference earlier this week, because I know that regardless of whether I am a size 14 or a size 18 it is my active lifestyle that will help to prolong my life whilst at the same time gives me quality of life and that’s because I have found an activity I love.
I am Fit and I am Fat…and I will probably live a lot longer and happier life than a lot of my slim critics and do you know what? That makes me incredibly happy!!!
If you want to make the first step towards your new more active lifestyle why not sign up to One Big Fat Run our monthly virtual 5K, you don’t need any special kit, you can do it wherever in the world you are, you don’t even need to be able to run…if you can walk for about an hour or so you can take part in this challenge. So what you waiting for?