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My take on a news article.

Monday, August 06, 2012

"Fat? We are fit. Get over it, say women athletes"

I read the above article yesterday, and it bothered me on two levels:
1) women athletes are being targeted in ways that men are not.
2) she may be physically fit, but one of the featured athletes weighs over 300lbs.

1) There was an earlier article about a Guamanian Judokan who was 481lbs. The article focused on how he was beaten by a man half his weight. Nothing about how "fat" he is. I am old enough to remember the 1985 Superbowl and the Chicago Bears. William Perry, AKA The Refrigerator, weighed in at 380lbs at the start of the season. I could probably google a lot of male athletes, especially American Football players, who tip the scale at close to 300lbs, and no one bats an eye. I remember a documentary I saw years ago, about the evolution of women's gymnastics. Many of the early gymnasts were what would be considered average height and weight. Gymnasts like Olga Korbut and Nadia Comeneci were considered small, even undersized. They were also phenomenal gymnasts who changed the sport. Many of the competing gymnasts today are definitely petite. The pressure put on young girls in gymnastic to stay under a certain weight has been connected to eating disorders. Though physically able to do amazing things, some girls are damaging their body with unhealthy eating and practices.

2) I admire Holley Mangold for the guts and determination she has shown. She is a world class competitor in a sport that is dominated by men. I saw a TV feature on her about 2 months before the Olympics, and she can go toe to toe with may of the male power lifters she trains with. She played football in high school with and against boys, and loved it. She is showing the world that athletes come in all shapes and sizes. My concern is this; yes you can be psychically fit and be beyond what are accepted weight ranges, but at over 300lbs, Holley is still putting a lot of stress on her weight bearing joints. There are so may other health issues connected to high amounts of body fat; insulin resistance, Polycystic ovary syndrome, and a higher risk of heart attack are the first to come to mind. Yes, show young girls that it is okay to be athletic, and to have a body size/shape other that a stick figure, but let's not dismiss or negate what that much extra body fat will do in the long term.

That said, I hope we all can find that place where we are physically fit and healthy, and ignore what society tell us we must look like. I may have a way to go, but I am doing things I never would have considered in my 20's. I am working my way towards a long life with no limitations. I will never have the body that the celebrities my age have (at least not with out plastic surgery) but I will be happy with what I work to get.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Very good blog - and good article - thanks for bringing it to our attention!
    It is hard for me not to get frustrated with how hung up people are in our society about a woman's "size"... this normally includes the woman in question (for example, me) ;-). There are so many images out there which most of us will never measure up to.
    On a side note: This may seem inconsequential to you, but with a young teen in my house, one things I always noticed is the girls on the popular kids' shows. I love when one of the main female characters isn't a size 2 (or zero - whatever). On the other hand, that rarely happens.
    It is so wonderful to be part of a community where we all know (or most of us, anyway) that there is more to life than the shape and size of our butts... and we can support and celebrate each other!
    Thanks again for sharing. Keep on Sparking!
    3191 days ago
    Thank you for the comments. Part of what bothered me was two of the ladies featured are is AWESOME shape, six pack abs and great muscle definition, that makes them overweight? The double standard indeed.
    3194 days ago
    I had read that article, too, and didn't like the fact that women were being singled out for being "too fat." Like many things, there is a significant double standard when it comes to men vs. women. You would think people would be more enlightened in the 21st century

    3194 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12367305
    Good points!

    You have a great attitude.

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    3194 days ago
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