I learned you can’t be fit and fat – when I finally lost weight by eating less

My clothes became looser, but I couldn’t tell if I was losing weight, because the cast was too heavy to judge and I couldn’t stand safely on the scale. Then, when the cast came off, my counselor told me that I recovered much faster than expected and can now begin to walk properly and build my fitness.

When I hit the scales, I discovered that as I lay on the couch, unable to exercise at all, my portion control resulted in another 21 pound weight loss.

“You are fortunate enough to be thin,” said the doctor approvingly. “Stay that way, because being overweight makes life more difficult.” His waiting room was filled with people on crutches and wheelchairs, their lives thrown into chaos by unexpected accidents as was mine, and many found the recovery process further complicated by the weight gain.

It hasn’t been described as thin for years. Over the next few months I lost another stone and started exercising again, a completely different experience. Taking the Comet Whip for miles is now a complete pleasure, not a chore. My blood pressure is excellent, I sleep well, and on a very shallow note, the clothes are no longer too tight and restrictive. I am now just under eight stones, which is in the middle of the correct weight range for my height.

The “fat and fitness” debate continues: US researchers recently concluded from a review of studies that exercise, rather than diet, can help people live longer, and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Shortly thereafter, a French study found that regardless of exercise, obesity increased the chance of developing heart failure by 34 percent.

But to me, the idea is a dangerous myth. I am living proof that eating less food is the only way to lose weight. The exercises haven’t helped me lose weight – although I love how I feel, and no doubt contributes to how I handle my body and maintain my weight loss. Both are absolutely essential for a healthy body and mind.

I’ve interviewed many people who have lost a lot more weight than I do and no one said they felt better when they were overweight. I’m not in favor of fat shaming, but safety and comfort in numbers is something we all cling to – I don’t feel bad when other people are overweight either. Watch the sinister criticism Adele received for her transformation: She’s spoken about how disappointed she was when other women claimed she had let her plus-size fans down. Those who accuse her of being too skinny seem to make it all about vanity rather than health.

As obesity and related diseases continue to rise, governments are testing solutions such as taxes on sugar and apps that give rewards for steps taken. Fortunately, it seems like we’ve all finally realized that maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about fads or hunger diets. We must admit that denying the health risks makes losing weight much more difficult – and that being overweight is dangerous for everyone.


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