Wednesday, July 29, 2009

more to fat...

In today's One World post, Freddy talked about a USA Today article titled, Obesity a key link to soaring health tab as costs double. I looked up the article and found a second related article here. As you can see, the discussion has inspired a slew of reactions from the peanut gallery. (Note: I stole this photo from the One World site.)

For all intensive purposes, I agree that obesity is a major problem in the U.S. and it's striking kids at an alarming rate. This needs to be handled - at home through the family, by the government, by the education system, and with the food industry as a whole. No arguments there.

Truth is, I'm overweight. In fact, I'm FAT. But I'm healthy. No. This is not an oxymoron. In fact, if you look at this study, half of the overweight people in this study were actually healthy, while a quarter of people who were in "normal weight ranges" were at risk of having heart problems. So there you have it. Even skinny people have heath issues too.

I handle my health as best as I can. In January 2004 I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. The doctor said I probably had it since I was 18 and didn't see the signs. The diabetes news rocked me. I went home and told my family and as it turns out, diabetes runs in my mother's family. She never mentioned this (and the fact she herself had diabetes since 1987 - the same year my father passed away) because it seemed to be a source of shame for her and the rest of the family. From then on, I made diabetes a family issue. My brother was checked and he found out he has diabetes as well. A few weeks ago my sister found out she is pre-diabetic. Yes, diabetes is linked to obesity. It is also linked to genetics. My point here is families need to talk about health issues - especially if you come from a culture of silence and if particular diseases run in your family. I can't change my family's health and eating choices. But at family gatherings, I do make it a point to incorporate dishes with veggies and fresh produce that stay true to our cultural sensibilities, all of which they enjoy. I ran a marathon, I exercise regularly, I'll support anyone's positive health choices, and I do this blog. My family can choose to log on and read. This is how I make health a family and community issue.

Also, diabetes doesn't just happen to fat people. I remember having to take a diabetes class and most of the people there were actually in normal weight ranges. The frustrating thing about the class was seeing all these "normal" people bitch and moan about having diabetes. One women even declared, "I don't understand why I'm here. Diabetes is for fat people and I'm not fat." I wanted to throw my shoe at her. But sometimes you gotta let stupid just speak for herself.

Yes. One can be fit and fat. To me, "overweight" is relative. While in college I joined a globo gym where they did body fat assessments and such. I don't do this stuff because it's usually an open invitation for some meathead to tell you you're fat and that you need to buy over-priced personal training sessions from him or you'll DIE! But I liked this trainer and he seemed to know his stuff. When he weighed me, his immediate reaction was, "Whoa. I wasn't expecting you to be that heavy!" To which I responded, "Fuck you!" When he caught himself he said that we needed to have a serious talk about my weight. We sat down and he pulled the BMI chart and showed me what weight range I needed to be in. fathlete confession: I'm nowhere NEAR this range. In fact, I don't think I've been within my BMI weight range since I was a fetus swimming in my mama's stomach.

Ray (the trainer) sat me down and said, "Joanne, you cannot follow the BMI chart. If you were in this weight range, you'd be starving. You don't have the body type that suits the BMI chart because your build is so dense. I need you to add 30 pounds to the BMI range. That's what I want you to aim for." I knew this guy rocked! The idea of starving my body shocked me and I've taken that lesson with me ever since. Also if you check out the previously mentioned study, it will explain that according to the BMI bullshit, half of the NBA would be obese. You got that? BMI=bullshit.

I'm all about feeding my body (my mind and my soul). I don't pay attention to weight. I pay attention to what I can do. Period. This, for me, is a better way to measure my health.

I remember a while back, I was watching an episode of the Tyra Banks Show (this was before I cancelled my cable). The episode addressed the fat, thin, and/or fit question. In one of the segments, they had a thin woman who was about 130# and considered "normal." Next to her was a thicker woman, 200# and considered obese (according to the BMI charts). Tyra had them do a little physical fitness course. Before they ran the course (it was something like 2 minute run; 10 push-ups; 10 sit-ups, 10 of some other exercise), the audience was supposed to vote on who would finish first. Naturally, they chose the skinny girl. The not-so-skinny girl declared, "Oooh! You guys are gonna regret that!" They ran the course and the 200# girl smoked the skinny girl. Lesson learned... never underestimate the power of a fat girl!

In closing, health is about doing, being active, aware, and communicating. Indulge in that for you, your families, and your respective communities. Hopefully, everything else will follow.

Run 800 meters
TWO rounds of:
20 GHD sit-ups
20 presses (with dowel)
20 squats
10 burpees

Extra panting and wiping massive amounts of sweat because I'm just a sweaty girl.

Prep for WOD.

Resisting the urge to laugh when Jerry L. fell down. (Sorry dude. I had to mention it!)

CrossFit One World WOD
Hang squat clean 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Joanne's Final weight - 73/83/88/88(f)/88(f)/88/88/88/93(f)/93(f)

Notes (to myself) about this workout:
Jason K. says that you should never end class with a failed lift. Personally, I don't care as long as I do my best. I've been out of the oly lifting mode, so I knew I had to take extra care today. Plus, my body is completely wrecked! My max on a clean from the floor is 93# and that's a struggle for me. Today I was hoping to hit 93#, but I didn't. It's no big deal, though. I'm wrecked and not 100%. Also, according to Eric, your clean from the floor is supposed to be stronger than your hanging clean. With that, my weight was fine.

I will say that there's something about 93# being by weak point. I really need to work on that. Today I decided to stick with 88# because in the past, I jumped the gun and failed miserably. My last 88# attempt was beautiful (according to the audience). It felt good. Today that's all I was aiming for.

Again, I'm wrecked. I'm taking advantage of tomorrow's rest day by taking a belly dancing class. Shut up. Laugh all you want. You wish you could shimmy like this!


Jerry L. said...

Damn, I had to fall right in front of the girl who blogs. Awesome post today. My roommate is now cyber-stalking you too and loves reading your "confession" sections.

PS. Somebody tell your pare, Mr. White Wifebeater, that bicep curls are outlawed in our gym.

PSS. Remind me what you were saving your squats for again?

Joanne said...

It was all love Jerry. Besides, the fall was very graceful and if you were on "Dancing With the Stars," I'd give that fall a "10." ha ha!

Mr. Wifebeater is a little scary. The other night he came in, took one of the play krav guns and started play shooting people. I may have to take that up with management.

Yes, bicep curls are for the panties next door. Maybe Mr. Wifebeater is in the wrong gym?

You don't really want to know what I'm saving my squats for, do you. ha ha!

Gladys said...

i hate those stupid bmi charts too. that's what i learned when i was oly weightlifting with a biology/physiology teacher for a coach: lean muscle is way heavier (denser) than fat. so when i was at my fittest and strongest, i was considered "obese" on those charts. wtf, right? here's to fit, dense, lean muscle! the more the better!

Joanne said...

Thanks Gladys. Yes. That's what I try to tell myself everyday!