I know from personal and professional experience that living in a fit, strong body empowers you to live life without physical limitations. If you aren't currently in your best condition, you are missing out on a lot of cool stuff you could be doing if you put the work in.
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The scientific world agrees with the consensus that a life of physical fitness prolongs life, wards off debilitating disease and improves virtually every bodily function you can think of.
So why is there a "fat acceptance" movement? The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance is an nonprofit civil rights organization that claims to be "dedicated to ending size discrimination in all of its forms," according to its website, www.naafaonline.com.
On its website, NAAFA believes weight should be added to the list of categories covered in anti-discrimination laws — right there beside age, race and gender.
Wow, really? Of weight, sex, race, and age, weight is the only thing that is entirely controllable.
While no person should be treated unfairly because of his or her weight, we have to acknowledge that the cost of obesity is clear.
In August of last year, the Centers for Disease control has stated that obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of all United States medical spending, an estimated $147 billion per year.
Long-term health disorders such as heart disease, sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes are commonly found in the obese population, and increasingly in obese children.
So NAAFA, what are we supposed to accept?
As I read the information on NAAFA's website, all I see is reasons why it's OK to be obese. Why do that? Ask anyone who has lost a 100 pounds or more if they would go back to their former life. You couldn't pay them to put the weight back on.
Fitness is a lifestyle, a daily choice that if fully committed to, yields too many rewards to name. I believe organizations such as NAAFA don't help when they excuse rather than empower.
Society's opinion and treatment of the obese has been hurtful, and unkind. This doesn't help either.
Obesity is almost entirely a lifestyle choice. Choose not to exercise, choose to eat in excess, and you choose to be obese. But it is entirely reversible. Choose to move more, choose to eat supportive food in the right portions, and you choose to live your best life.
You don't need Jillian Michaels to scream and threaten to "rip off your arms and beat you with them" (ugh...) to do it either. If you are obese, you need to make a daily commitment to the fitness lifestyle and stay patiently dedicated to long-term success.
Don't accept it, change it, and get back to living.
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer and co-tounder of Home Team Fitness Training. Visit his blog: www.hometeamfitnessblog.com for more of the "Fitness Answer Man."