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Can You Be Overweight and Healthy?

Getting to the Weight of the Matter


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I had a VERY similar situation crop up.
Over the past year, I've lost over 80 pounds... And, when I had the annual work physical - they didn't comment on how far I've come. Didn't comment that I'd lost so much weight, dropped my BMI (which is a stupid system, btw) from grossly obese to the very low end of overweight....
NOOOO... they just kept harping that I was overweight & should consider changing my diet/exercise habits because I was "overweight".
Nevermind the fact that I've run several 5ks this past year, that I run twice a week & do weight training twice a week. That I've gone from a size 26 to a 12.
Bastards. Report
On the one hand, yes, it is possible to be overweight and fit.

But it is relative fitness, not absolute. The same individual, less active but not overeating, could remain overweight and become less fit. The same individual, more active and eating just below needs, could move toward a healthy weight and become more fit.

No matter how fit we believe ourselves to be when overweight, we do have long-term issues that slowly build up. Joints, tendons, and ligaments are more stressed from the greater amount of weight / pressure with every action. Organs work harder to keep up with the larger amount of food being consumed and to process the excesses in the blood and body.

I ~AM~ relatively fit for an overweight person. But I want to be even more fit and be able to say "I am fit" without the qualifier. Report
There is a lot of information in this article and I felt it was attempting to cover too much ground: the message I took away was, "Yes, but..."
About two years ago, I had normal lipid profile, great blood pressure, sugar, etc. but I was overweight. By looking at my test results you would have never suspected that I was days away from what would have surely been a fatal heart attack - my doctor, following a hunch about my vague "allergy" symptoms, had me stress-tested and I had an angioplasty that same day to open a 99.9% blocked artery. We have to deal with abdominal fat, no matter how many pushups we can do in a minute. Report
There is a big difference in being fat, over weight, and being muscular. You can't go by your height and weight to lnow your BMI.. My aerobic instructor is a perfect example, 5"3, 155 lbs.but all muscle, not an once of fat. Charts say she shoud be 120. lbs.
But I don't care how healthy you seem to be and what you do, if you have rolls of fat or too much excess showing anywhere, you need to lose weight. If you are young it might not registered as a medical issue. But as you age if you carry around that extra fat you will be subject to medical issues.
Too many of the population these days seems to think they are looking great and flaunting all the extra weight as if it's fabulous looking. It's not. There is an obesity epidemic happening across the country.
The medical problems that this epidemic will cause is frightening.
Don't look for excuse to be fat or over weight. Report
Unfortunatey a lot of doctors will look at your weight as the cause of whatever health problem you are seeing him for, like any pain you might have. While sometimes weight is a contributing factor, or aggrivates the condition, an overweight patient's concerns should not be automatically dismissed simply because they are overweight. Weight is not always the reason behind a condition. My Mother-in-law had to search for Dr.s that would take her concerns seriously instead of just taking one look at her and blaming weight, or saying it was in her head. She finally had hip surgery for a deformed hip socket that she had all her life, and was in such pain from and was being told it was her weight. Report
My doctor told me a year ago that I had to watch my weight and what I eat because my bad cholestoral and my triglisterides were way too high. I started watching what and how much I ate and walked a lot and I got everything back to normal except my weight and she thought I did a terricfic job and she told me to keep up the good work, Her encouragement really helped me. I think your doctor should go back to school to learn about lifting people's spirits not putting them down. Report
This doctor is silly. You establish a baseline, come up with a plan and determine the next suitable time to measure progress. I've improved year by year. My weight hasn't. My lipid panel HAS. People look at the outside to determine someone's health. The problem is that it can be incorrect. I know someone who's really thin whose cholesterol levels are higher than mine--and this person takes medication. Genetics can play a factor as well. The doctor should be smart enough to know this. Time to get a new doctor! Report
Oh how can I relate to "Lori" I just recently went through the same things BPperfect Cholestrol perfect sugar perfect I have lost 62 pounds at visit she ( doctor) told me to lose 20 pounds and then sent a bill to my health inurance for OBESITY COUNSELING ! I was ticked off when I was at teh doctor but once I got the notification from teh insurance company I was very very unhappy with all the work I have put into this journey so I'm 15 to 20 pounds heavier then the doctor believes I should be I'm exteremly healthy except for "RAD". Report
I understand your size doesn't necessarily make you fit or unfit but I hope people don't think you can exercise and still not follow a sensible eating plan. Sensible being defined as 90/10. Healthy eating and within your allotted calories 90% of the time, while having a splurge the other 10% of the time. You cannot, no matter how hard you try, out exercise a bad diet.

I know people do not want to use that dirty "D" But those changes are important and necessary! Call it what you want, eating healthier, choosing to not eat like crap, lifestyle change, whatever, changing the intake of your food is a MUST!

I believe just as much emphasis has to be put on one as the other. Diet and Exercise go hand in hand and it sucks when you FINALLY understand that, and you realize just what that means and what you have to be willing to do but it's worth it. Not easy by any means, but absolutely worth it!

Everything on TV or magazine articles seem to want us to do this one extreme thing for X amount of time and then POOF, you will have the body you never thought you could and be "healthy and fit". There is no ONE THING that will make you fit and healthy and there is no "end". You choose to eat healthier and exercise. That becomes your life, not for 60 days or 90 days, for the rest of your life. Just like this article said, there are many factors to be considered in determining health, likewise, you must make multiple changes in your life to get on the road to a healthier you.

I don't think one success story from SparkPeople will tell you that the weight they have lost and their accomplishments have been easy but they will all agree it's been worth it. And after reading several success stories on Spark, I have noticed they all have one thing in common...they changed their eating habits and they exercised!

The article points out the obvious...that making multiple changes to eating and including exercise is daunting. Yeah well no kidding, of course it is! That is why it takes people so many tries and attempts to lose the weight. It is certainly daunting but it is not impossible and it's not fast either! That is what people lose sight of sometimes. This is certainly the stupidity that Lori's doctor suffers from...thinking weight loss is fast. Weight loss is gradual. Weight loss from exercise and healthier eating tends to be permanent weight loss!

Keep doing what you're doing Lori! Report
Overweight, yes. Obese ... no way.

Also, it depends on what we are qualifying as body fat.

If more people got their ACTUAL body fat percentages done - via water weighing - I think most of the so-called - "fit fat" people would have a lower body fat percentage, placing them in the average to fitness category.

If however, we are going by just the BMI tables, a 5'7" a person who weighs 155 to 180 is overweight. Again, I can see that. But anything over 180 is obese. Frankly, that seems right to me. A 5'7" person over 180 can't be healthy. Period.

My employer (a hospital) has a healthy living insentive program that gives us the opportunity to remove 20.00 per paycheck off of our insurance premium. Each one of the fitness goals is worth 4 bucks. They check BP, Cholesterol, A1c for blood sugar patterns, smoking/non-smoking and weight. We go through biometric testing to determine our results and although I am considered morbidly obese I qualified for 4 of the 5 incentives and get 16.00 per pay removed from my insurance premium.

I'm not saying that this extra weight is a good idea, it is breaking down my skeletal structure, I need a knee replacement. But, otherwise, I am healthy. It is partly genetic as my dad's family all have great health, even those with weight issues.

My sister-in-law weighs about 115 and takes medicine for high blood pressure, her cholesterol is bad and at 32 she is already developing a hump in her back from weak muscles and poor posture.

I think there is more to obesity than simply weak willpower and maybe this will get the researchers looking for some sort of answer.

Nice article Report
The answer to the main question is yes.
I am lucky that while I have lost weight but am still a big girl, and still classed as obese.My doctor is very supportive. In fact tells me that I am one of her healthiest clients not lcounting what the scale says. At my regular physical it was noted that i had gain weight. But my doctor was not worried. I have been doing a lot of weight training and she was well aware my weight gain was muscle. All my blood level are in the healthy range, I workout on average 120 mins a day of cardio and weights. I also walk daily with my dogs. I eat healthy. But with a thyroid condition it has been hard to get the weigh off. My doctor notes that while I still have belly fat I am solid muscle on the rest of my body. And as she points out when your 51 year old female client can bench press more than you weight you don't really want to tell her she isn't trying hard enough. LOL (for the record that is 155lbs) Report
Like JEANUT I am blessed with a great doctor. As I am losing weight, he is encouraging, spends a lot of time talking about what I am doing to improve my health, and he doesn't just give me advice; he wants to hear about things that he can pass along to other patients. (He was very interested in Sparkpeople.) It's too bad doctors, especially family practice-types, don't get more training in health and nutrition AND in compassion for those of us who struggle. Mine would be a good teacher. Report
I had that same type of doctor telling me to go on a diet too regardless of how much I exercise and then at the same time, he told me I should exercise more. I was already doing so much at that time, and he really frustrated me. I am now exercising at least one hour from Monday thru Friday and between 1-2 hours on the weekends. I give myself one day off in the middle of the week to rest. I'm still consider overweight but I felt great after working out. It doesn't look like I lost a lot of weight though. I, of course, am worried about the next meeting with this doctor. If he tells me once more that I should diet more, I'm getting a different doctor. I will not put up with that. Report
I was struck by this since I just got back from visiting my skinny and very unfit relative in the hospital. He nearly died, lost a limb, and is very slowly recovering. He is fighting eating since he has a feeding tube (he lost 15 pounds he could ill lose). I helped him with his physical therapy (which was familiar to me from my daily gym visits) and was trying to help the nurses convince him that he needs the nutrition, especially protein) of real food to heal. He says to me, The feeding tube gives me all the nutrition I need, why should I eat more than I need like you. Of course I am overweight, but I have excellent BP, cholesterol levels, and work out hard 6 times a week and am slowly losing. All he sees is that I am still fat while he lies there skinny and nearly dead. I was so sad. Clearly we both have an eating problem, but mine is the only one acknowledged. Report

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