Fat vs Fit Turns Ugly


Fat, massive and large; people who normally like it are considered contemporary or classic. I’m of course talking about my iPod classic. I normally carry this 160 GB heavyweight in my car, connected to the music system. Yesterday, I didn’t, and it set about a sequence of events that irked me a fair bit.

As my friend and I bemoaned over what limited music we might have to end up hearing, we stumbled on to an uninteresting debate on Chennai Live. Flab versus Fit (or something on those lines). We had 2 speakers, both women with orotund voices, one of them for and the other against (‘the need to get fit by the youth’). Here is where things go a bit awry. I was expecting an enjoyable heated debate over this topic but instead what I heard was rehearsed balderdash.

The speaker who spoke for the topic decided to class the graduated/ working youth into a single category where she defined them as ‘The youth love to do what they do, go out a lot, eat at new places, eat junk food, party every night and then not get enough sleep’. She went on further to add they should make time during the day for sports, working out or yoga etc.

Now, I know when you hear people say something that’s different, from what you think, it’s very easy to put that cynical hat on and go on exposition to point out why and how that person is wrong. And in cognizance of that fact, I’ve taken a rather neighbourly view about what she said. I’m no speech pathologist, but judging by her alternating accent I’d hazard she’s done her Masters in a foreign university(US or the UK) and is back in India now. Another shot in the dark is that I’d presume she hasn’t got into the work grind properly yet and has probably not experienced it at all. There is absolutely no chance that anyone could possibly suggest the working youth have time to more than 2 of those things let alone all of them. It seemed like a view plastered on the youth in general because she knew a handful of people who led a lifestyle similar to hers. Her view didn’t highlight the need for fitness/health because of the sedentary lifestyle a lot of people lead due to desk-job, it didn’t highlight the stress youth have to deal with at work, home and the threat of becoming a social pariah if they didn’t comply with certain peer benchmarks. It seemed like a very shallow view, though I must admit that she was being completely honest and only answering to her best knowledge. Maybe a year later, she’d have different views.

Ideally, this should have been the point where my friend and I should have shut off the radio but we persisted and our sheer determination was rewarded by what can be described as one of the most vociferous, yet torpid, belief I have ever heard.

The second speaker first made it clear that it wasn’t simply her opinion and she felt oversized people in general should subscribe to her view. She then began her sermon by stating that the youth today is obsessed with their looks and vanity is a huge way of life. It’s a view I entirely subscribe to and I think it’s a fairly decent assessment of youth of the same wavelength, at large. But she followed this by saying that she felt that people who are overweight shouldn’t work out or attempt to lose weight and they are beautiful irrespective of their size. She preached that they are who they are and implied that they are just ostracised by society because of their weight and society is wrong for not loving them. She also said that she’s a ‘plus size gal’, you know, adding that layer of credibility to her views.

Now I don’t know where to begin. I’m trying to stay grounded on this brave girl’s opinion but I simply cannot get my head around it. It’s just so lazy to think that oversized people shouldn’t be overlooked and shouldn’t have to work out. It’s subscribing a mentality that is weak and rings an attitude of ‘Oh I put in half-hearted efforts and it didn’t work out for me so it’s like a disease and I’m being chastised wrongly’. Absolute codswallop. And you know something, I’d say all this is acceptable if it was her personal belief and what she individually applied this ideology to herself; but the fact that she exhorts this view to oversized people at large shows a very poor way of forcing acceptability.

We’ve all been there before and some of us have failed and some have succeeded but honestly, we all know that if you put in the efforts you can stay fit and stay healthy. You can always find time to shoehorn a jog or a work out into. You can find 30 mins to do yoga in your hall or bedroom. It’s possible. It’s also possible to control your diet (excluding certain extraordinary situations), but it all requires a level of commitment and discipline that one cannot dedicate unless they genuinely WANT to change the way they look.

To be honest, this sort of topic will generate a multitude of views. It would get heated at some point eventually, but we all know the truth. Weight loss or weight gain is not impossible.



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