I’m sure quite a lot of you have seen this tongue-in-cheek walking PSA video that went super mega viral today:
I love this video for so many reasons, not the least of which is my deep love for the West Wing. (Although nobody I know loves this show more than Ragen Chastain.) But another reason I love this video is it points out one of the real challenges of a rational, easy-does-it approach to exercise. Moderation just ain’t that sexy. In the video, which touts the benefits of moderate walking Joshua Malina asks, “Can we sell it?” This is a question I ask myself every day. And I think the jury is still out.
We’re constantly bombarded by images of exercisers doing totally amazing things like climbing mountains, doing Ironman races, swimming the English Channel and swinging from Giant Mushrooms. There’s no doubt that this Phys. Ed. competitiveness has led me to some crazy things in my life (like my one and only marathon finish). Add to this the millions of before and after pictures showing rock-hard, six-pack abs and super-model thin bodies wearing teeny-tiny, tight spandex outfits and going for a walk can seem like a real let down.
People ask me all the time why I call myself The Fat Chick. There are many reasons, but perhaps the answer I give most often is, “Because not everybody who exercises looks like a supermodel. I want people to understand that some people who exercise a lot look just like me.” And I think that’s a really important lesson.
For many of us being fit isn’t anything like what we see on TV. Fitness is taking the dog for a walk in our sweats and flip-flops because it’s late and the little guy just needs to do his business already. Fitness is impromptu dancing in the living room in our pajamas with the kids. Fitness is not kind to a perfect hairdo and flawless makeup. Fitness is sweaty, jiggly, floppy and slightly uncoordinated. But real fitness is awesome just the same.
So my little chicklettes, here’s wishing you some plain old, silly, sloppy not entirely sexy but genuinely wonderful exercise experiences. Go on out there and use what you got.
The Fat Chick