Last night, as I was explaining to someone my many reasons for attempting to give up Coca-Cola, I was told that I was not fat. In fact, people are always telling me that I am not fat when I tell them that I would like to lose weight. That is when I have to point out the difference between being relatively fat, and being actually fat.
Prepare yourself people, because I am going to now reveal some personal information to you regarding my specific fatness, or "weight" as some people call it. When I was in high school I was around 175 pounds, and being 5'11", this seemed fine, but I was actually very thin for my frame. I am not a slight person in the best of times, and my big ol' head probably adds 25 extra pounds to whatever I'm supposed to be at. Suffice it to say that when I went to college and gained 10 pounds, I looked normal and healthy.
I stayed at around 185 throughout college, and after I graduated I slowly gained more and more weight until I had gained over 50 pounds, my highest weight clocking in at 238. So the question was, "Am I fat?" And the answer was actually yes, but relatively no.
You see, the actual healthy weight for my height, as recommended by doctors, is between 144 and 183. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I will always be on the upper end of that, but that being said, if I am much over 185, I am too fat. You cannot contest that, or wiggle around that. You can try to rationalize it, and you can give it a plus or minus 3% for a margin of error (but honestly there is already a pretty big margin of error built right in there), but even then you can only really get to about 190 before you have to accept that you are overweight.
So I changed my habits. I am giving up soda. I started eating breakfast. I don't eat after 8 pm. I stop eating when I am full. I have lost 15 pounds. I am currently at 223. This is good. This is progress, but I still have a ways to go. About 35 more pounds to be exact. And this is what I tell people when they say how not-fat I am. But the problem is, everyone else is fat!
I am relatively skinny. Most of the people I know are overweight, and more overweight than me. Of course one cannot really bring that up in polite conversation, and I do know some actually skinny people, but overall I do not look as fat as many Americans these days, even though 30 years ago I would have been considered a small planetoid.
So this is just a note to say, if you are judging your fitness based on the people around you, you might be kidding yourself, as I was for many years. You may in fact be fat. I know, I know, this is not a nice thing to say, but I am saying it for your own good. It actually feels good to be a little healthier, and I certainly don't miss those 15 pounds. Once I actually find some time to exercise, I might even lose those other 35 that have been hanging around. So do your future self a favor and lose the gut, even if it is smaller than the Joneses.