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Fit or thin?

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Old 08-31-2011, 12:15 AM   #1
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Default Fit or thin?

So, I was walking/running on the treadmill today, and the gym was crowded enough that I had to be on the treadmill right in the middle of two 20YO 115-lb gorgeous college women. And I noticed (cuz I'm both snoopy and ultra-competitive - not the most attractive of combinations, admittedly) that when I ran, I ran faster than they did. As in - they were each running at between 4.2-4.5 mph, and my top speed was 5.7 mph (which is a personal best for me in the past few years - yay!)

Now - there are lots of caveats here. I ran for between 2 and 3 minute stretches - they ran consistently. I also think they were just warming up for a volleyball game, whereas this was my work-out for the night. But, it got me thinking - which would I value more? Being fit? Or being thin?

I admit I still harbor some desire to be "the hot one." And I really dislike the prejudice and the impact my weight has on my job prospects, etc. But ...

I think I am finally mature enough to say that if I had to choose between them, I would choose being fit. No "cigarettes and cocaine" diets for me, thanks.

How about it? Fortunately, we can happily work for both goals simultaneously. But if you had to choose, which one would it be? "Fit and fat?" Or "cigarette and cocaine" thin?
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:36 AM   #2
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How about thin without cigarettes and cocaine?

I see the attraction in assigning unhealthy behaviors to people maybe we're envious of, but on the other hand those grapes have calories even if they're sour, you know?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:02 AM   #3
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Oh Maria! I'm interested that you were so offended by my question. I agree - thin without cigarettes and cocaine is both possible and desirable (and I think the women on the treadmill were both thin and fit, and I did label them "gorgeous" in the OP). Hence:

"Fortunately, we can happily work for both goals simultaneously."

I love a good discussion, and I really appreciate people who are both open-minded and can challenge the positions I take. It's a much more interesting discussion when it's actually responsive to what I've said, however. (I do acknowledge that I can get a little verbose, though, so I understand why you overlooked the central point of my post.)
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:13 AM   #4
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Fit. But to say thin is so easy. I actually had to think about it, lol.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:24 AM   #5
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Me too, I love philosophical debates!! Its all hypothetical - but an interesting way to travel our road of weightloss together!


Fit or thin - oh my - I am shallow enough to say thin!!!!!!
That's my first reaction - but after 30 seconds I think health/fit is probably better. But interesting my first thought was overwhelmingly oh please let me be THIN!!!!


I heard a debate a while back about -
what would you do/feel if the wind changed and everyone had to stay just as they were that day. Fat Thin, grey haired whatever.
What would you feel?

Personally at the time I said relief ( that I did not have to diet or fret about dieting) NOW I'd say disappointment that I'd missed the chance to be thinner before the wind changed...
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:30 AM   #6
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I guess my question is "How fat and fit?"

Because I've been up and over 300 pounds, and there wasn't any amount of exercise that was going to keep me personally very fit there.

Fitter than not working out, surely, but not fit.

Whereas, if my choice were "Okay, so you get down to about 200 lbs, which is still overweight and you're rocking the workouts and your food choices are fantastic." OR "Cocaine and Cigarettes and you get to be 150 lbs", then... yeah... 200 easy.

Of course, I'm also coming from the mindset that a size 16/200 pound me is a thin me, because I've been a size 24-26/331 pound me.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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I think it's a false dichotomy. You can get thin in a healthy way or an unhealthy way. You can be a fit 200 lb person, and while that might be a great improvement depending on your starting point, that's still going to be more weight than most women want to carry.

Personally, I'm not going for skinny but I am also not interested at all in become muscular. And yes, I know I'd have to put a lot of focus and energy to building up those kinds of muscles but my point is that I have no interest in doing so - not just because of the time and effort but because I personally do not find it attractive.

My goal is fit and able to enjoy a good range of physical activities, but still a little bit soft and curvy in appearance. Kate Winslet, not Kate Middleton.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:57 AM   #8
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Why can't I have both? LOL I don't wanna choose. I want to be fit AND thin! Trust me I've seen skinny fat, just cause you have small waist doesn't mean you have lean muscle, jiggly fat on skinny girls is not attractive! I'd rather firm fat on an overweight girl with some curves! So that's what I want, I want it all, thin, healthy and fit!
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:02 AM   #9
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Agreed fit AND thin.

As far as the smaller women running slower than you do--there could be lots of explanations. Maybe since they are younger they have faster metabolisms? Maybe they have had habits of eating substantially less than you have been? In my experience, diet plays a far more crucial part in weightloss than exercise.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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I'd imagine a responder's age influences his/her answer in this. I'm 47 and I say fit and healthy. I'm not a doctor, and can't say how much extra weight is "ok" healthwise. I have a significant amount I still want to lose. I do like muscles, though I'm in no danger of becoming a body builder, ha.

If someone said to me would you be willing to live with 20, 30, 40 extra pounds and be very healthy? or would you go with an ideal looking body and have health problems, I'd choose the the extra weight hands down.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:43 AM   #11
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Thin.
I really have no desire to be "fit" as I know it. I aim to be flexible, and exercise enough to stay healthy, but fit...nah. I don't care to run marathons and be in the gym all the time.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:46 AM   #12
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Neither "thin" nor "fit" really suits the way I think about my goal. I usually say my goal is to be "trim and strong." I am possibly a bit atypical among women - but I don't have any desire to be slim, lithe, and willowy. I mean, slim, lithe, and willowy can be absolutely lovely on a woman who is suited by those characteristics. But I am not. I am a solidly built person, somewhat squat of build, with naturally wide hips and a large bust. Strength and a certain degree of bulk suit both my body type and my personality. (I don't put any stock in astrology, but for those of you who do, I am every inch a Taurus. )

So what I want is to be trim and strong, on the solidly built frame God gave me. I don't want a gap between my thighs (and I'd never get one, anyhow, even if I wanted it). I don't even mind the idea of my muscles bulking up with exercise, something a lot of women fear to such extremes that they avoid resistance training! I love what's happened to my arms through this process - my biceps look pumped and wonderfully curved, though the circumference of my arm is definitely smaller than it was when I was at my heaviest.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:02 AM   #13
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Just to clarify - I have NO illusions that I am fitter than the women on the treadmills next to me. They ran at a steady pace far longer than I did, and I believe they were just warming up while I was putting everything on the line. It just got me pondering this question.

I agree so much with what Martini said. "Fit" has become a euphamism for "thin," and connotes so much more than the original meaning. That's, I think, the only thing that really does make the question a conundrum.

I guess I think of "fit" not as in "able to run marathons," so much as "able to run and play with my children or my friends." And I think Dragonwoman is exactly right. As much as I would love to look fab and get the favorable impressions that will lead to jobs and romantic opportunities, etc., I feel like I value the ability to do and feel good so much more at this point in my life!

And yes - it is a false dichotomy, April. I, personally, am extremely grateful that I don't have to choose between them. But it helps me to avoid the extreme lifestyle choices (not quite as extreme as "cocaine and cigarettes," but still probably not good for me at all) that might make me skinny, but will also jeopardize my health.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carter View Post
Neither "thin" nor "fit" really suits the way I think about my goal. I usually say my goal is to be "trim and strong." I am possibly a bit atypical among women - but I don't have any desire to be slim, lithe, and willowy. I mean, slim, lithe, and willowy can be absolutely lovely on a woman who is suited by those characteristics. But I am not. I am a solidly built person, somewhat squat of build, with naturally wide hips and a large bust. Strength and a certain degree of bulk suit both my body type and my personality. (I don't put any stock in astrology, but for those of you who do, I am every inch a Taurus. )

So what I want is to be trim and strong, on the solidly built frame God gave me. I don't want a gap between my thighs (and I'd never get one, anyhow, even if I wanted it). I don't even mind the idea of my muscles bulking up with exercise, something a lot of women fear to such extremes that they avoid resistance training! I love what's happened to my arms through this process - my biceps look pumped and wonderfully curved, though the circumference of my arm is definitely smaller than it was when I was at my heaviest.
This. Even when I was squarely at an ideal weight for my height I was never thin. Like carter I have a large bone structure, tend to be muscular and am very curvy to boot. I can pull off athletic very well.

Now if you're asking the question "would you rather be fat and fit (to the extent that you can run without getting tired, walk extensively etc OR be skinny fat" it would really, really depend a lot on what your definition of fat was. I would choose "skinny fat" if the fat version was my starting weight. At 240lbs I could FEEL every pound extra on me even though I DID walk often and I even started running again at 225lbs. No way would I go back to that!

However, if you're talking about where I am now at 180lbs and fit vs. skinny fat, I'd probably pick where I am now. I'd definitely like to continue to drop the rest of the weight but I feel like I'm *almost* at the point where I could live with this if necessary (I don't want to but I could if given the choice). There's a pretty big difference to me between 240 and 180 in terms of health, ease of finding clothes, attractiveness, self-confidence, mobility, comfort etc.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:22 AM   #15
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definitely thin. i spent my whole summer killing myself at the gym 6 days a week to get 'fit' but then when i stopped working out and just walked everywhere and dieted.. i ended up losing more weight and now my clothes are too big for me compared to when i was fit. i think it also depends on the body type because some women look better fit as opposed to thin.
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