Hate to Exercise?
- POSTED ON: Mar 01, 2014


If you hate to exercise, that’s completely cool and understandable, lots of people do. Even if exercise has health benefits, that doesn’t mean that anyone is required to do it, or that exercising creates some sort of health guarantee wherein you are immortal unless you get hit by a bus.

Besides, there are lots of things that are shown to improve our odds for health and we can choose some of them if we want, but aren’t all obligated to do any of them.

When we insist that people “owe” society healthy habits it very quickly becomes a slippery slope. If we “owe” society exercise do we also "owe" it 8 hours of sleep a night? A vegan diet? A paleo diet? To quit drinking? To not go skiing or play soccer or anything else that could get us hurt?

Who gets to make these mandates?
I recommend that people not try to tell others how to live  unless they are super excited about someone else telling them how to live.

We are constantly lied to.

  • We are told that exercise will lead to weight loss when the research suggests no such thing.
  • Lied to that exercise won’t make us healthier unless it makes us thinner.
  • Lied to that we have to do hours of specific things in order to get benefit from it.

Those things aren’t true.

The research simply shows that

  • about 30 minutes of moderate activity about 5 days a week can have many health benefits for many people, and
  • that people experience health benefits with less movement than that as well.

That doesn’t mean that we owe anybody exercise, and, again, it doesn’t give any guarantees when it comes to health.

The post above consists of excerpts from a recent article by Regan Chastain, author of the book:

Fat: The Owners Manuel &ndash...

Fitness through Exercise
- POSTED ON: Dec 06, 2013



Outdoor Activity
- POSTED ON: Oct 16, 2013



You Can't Outrun Your Fork
- POSTED ON: Sep 05, 2013

We need to unhitch exercise from weight-management.

Exercise is great for health,
but weight-loss comes from the kitchen

Exercise is Not Likely to Be Your Ticket
             to the Weight-Loss Express

 Among the most commonly held misconceptions about obesity, perhaps none does more harm than the notion that exercise is responsible for the lion's share of weight management.

Sure, it's true that exercise does burn calories, and yes, if you burn more calories you ought to lose weight. But unfortunately, it's just not that simple.

To put exercise into some perspective, to lose a pound of weight each week would require roughly a marathon of effort each and every week, as the calories burned running those 26.2 miles would likely be in the neighborhood of a pound's worth. Of course, it would also necessitate that not once did you "eat because you exercised" – neither as an indulgence to reward yourself for all that running, nor as a consequence to any running-induced hunger. Seems to me that'd be pretty unlikely.

Looking at real-world studies of exercise and its impact on weight, the results are underwhelming to say the least. Take this 2007 study published in the journal Obesity. Researchers instructed 196 men and women to exercise an hour a day, six days a week, for a year! And researchers weren't just telling people to exercise, they were supervising them and instructing them as well.

Compliance was incredible – only seven study dropouts – and over the course of the year, men averaged 6.16 hours of weekly exercise, and women, 4.9 hours. So did the 320 hours of exercise for the men and the 254 hours for the women lead to weight loss? Yes, but probably less than you might have guessed. Men lost, on average, 3.5 pounds, and women, 2.6. That translates to 91.5 hours of exercise per pound lost.

Now, to be very clear, there is likely nothing better for your health than exercise – truly nothing. There's no pill you can take and no food you can include or avoid that will give you the health benefits of regular exercise. I exercise regularly, and I strongly encourage all of my patients to do so as well. But I also tell them that they can't outrun their forks.

The notion that moving more will translate to weight loss is a dangerous one. For individuals, it may effectively discourage exercise when results aren't seen on scales. For the media and entertainment industries, it often leads to the perpetuation of the "people-with-obesity-are-just-lazy" stereotype. For the food industry, it allows an embrace of exercise by means of sponsorship and marketing, which, in turn, helps companies deflect product blame an...

It's Not Really About the Fat - Health At Any Size
- POSTED ON: Aug 13, 2013

 An Article Worth Reading.


It’s Not Even About My Fat
          by Ragen Chastain. Dancer, Choreographer, Writer, Speaker, Fat Person.

Ever since I posted about doing a marathon I’ve been getting tons of hate mail. I got an e-mail that said “A part of me sincerely hopes you die doing that marathon so that others will see you can’t be over 300lbs and act like it doesn’t matter, you need to lose weight!”

This illustrates something that people who fat bash for fun, profit, or pleasure often try to disguise behind claims that it’s “because of our health” or “for our own good.” A lot of fat bashing has almost nothing to do with us being fat per se.

For starters, let me take a shot at re-wording this person’s comment: “A part of me sincerely hopes you die doing something that you like to do, so that other fat people don’t get the idea that they can do things that they like to do, as if the shame and stigma that I want to heap upon all of you doesn’t matter. You need to hate yourself like I want you to and do what I say!”

A lot of the social stigma that fat people face can serve to make us second class citizens – clothing stores use our purposeful exclusion as a marketing strategy, hospitals don’t bother to purchase equipment that will help keep us alive, the government is actively encouraging our employers, friends, and families to stereotype us based on how we look.

When we refuse to bow to this and we live the lives we want to live – doing a marathon, wearing a fatkini, going to see that band we like, eating at the new restaurant- or engage in activism to make the world better for us, this can be seen as “rising above our station”. There are people who count on fat people trying to solve social stigma by changing ourselves. When we decide to solve social stigma by ending social stigma, the people who profit – monetarily and/or emotionally – from our attempt to change ourselves can start to get antsy. Or completely panicked and pissed off.

There are people for whom conforming to societal norms by getting as close as possible to the stereotype of beauty is incredibly important, and something at which they throw a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money. People are absolutely allowed to do that. It goes wrong when these people start to resent and become angry with those of us who make different choices.

I think that one of the most powerful types of activism fat people can do is live our lives unapologetically. In the world we live in, waking up and not hating ourselves is activism. So going to that show, or wearing the awesome sweater we crocheted, entering a 5k, getting a scooter and going to Vegas, or whatever we do that isn’t hating our bodies – are acts of revolution. Every single time a fat person refuses to be silenced, hidden, kept away, or kept out of an activity it is a revolutionary act.

There are many fat people who are afraid to do the things that they want to do and ...

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