December 22, 2014

Can You Be Fit and Fat? (Great Plus-Sized Fitness Giveaway)

By Crabby McSlacker

Can you be both fit and fat?  An email arrived in my inbox posing that question, and I'm not a total idiot, so I knew the answer.

Of course you can!

And Cranky Fitness readers know this too. Not just hypothetically--many of you have first hand experience. You guys come in all shapes and sizes and are doing all sorts of challenging workouts and activities, and most of you could totally kick my ass were I ever foolish enough to engage in any sort of competitive activity with you.

However, going by the fitness magazines, workout dvds, and other media representations of fitness? You'd think "fit" and "fat" can't inhabit the same universe.

Well, I think that's insanely stupid and untrue.  Which is why Cranky Fitness is hosting a workout DVD giveaway from Louise Green's Body Exchange, a Plus Sized fitness and adventure company. This giveaway does NOT require you to live in the U.S., and there are multiple copies available, so given that most people this time of year are off shopping and not blog surfing, your chances of winning are excellent!

More details below!

Why Does the World Not Know You Can Be Overweight and Also Be Totally Bad-Ass?

We humans are simple creatures, and when we see something over and over over, even if we intellectually know it may be fiction, our subconscious mind thinks it is real.  So if in the fake constructed world of entertainment and advertising, the only people who are active and healthy and strong are thin?  We get millions of unconscious messages that "fit" equals "thin."

Jennifer Nicole Lee via wikipedia

(And is it just me? I think the slogan "strong is the new skinny" kinda sucks. Especially since going by the photos one sees, it appears you still have to be the "old" skinny to get any credit for being the "new" skinny).

Of course if you are slim: No problemo!

But this bias has really unfortunate repercussions for people who are heavy, who may think that somehow they do not belong in the gym or on the track or in the pool or wherever fitnessy things are happening.

Which is really too damn bad, because plus-sized folks have every right to be there too!

photo via Body Exchange

So just to state a couple of things I believe:

1. Being fat doesn't prevent you from working out and getting stronger and healthier and faster and more confident and powerful, both in your athletic endeavors and in your life generally. And,

2.  Metabolisms vary.  Some people can work out and eat healthy meals and exercise all the willpower in the world, and lose some fat and gain a bunch of muscle and become totally fit. Yet they can still be written off as "fat" in the world's eyes.

Not Mutually Exclusive Damn It!
cover upload via flikr

If you are one of these people with a challenging metabolism, and particularly if you are female and therefore judged primarily on your looks (because that's how our f--cked up culture works), then you know how badly this sucks and how discouraging it can be. But don't let this insanity keep you from enjoying all the incredible physical and psychological benefits of exercise!

The notion that you can tell anything about someone's willpower or fitness level based solely on a scale number or a clothing size? Total horseshit!

OK, so enough ranting, on to the giveaway!

We Can Have FIVE Winners of the Body Exchange Home Collection Workout DVD:

Two copies are DVD's that can be shipped to the US or Canada, and three copies are digital downloads and can be viewed from anywhere!

Note: I have not seen the entire video, just the preview.  It looks like a sincere attempt has been made to tailor the workout to differing fitness levels.  However, I know some of you are pretty hard core. Since I do not see any barbed wire fences to climb or 500 lb truck tires to flip or 10 foot piranha and alligator infested ponds to leap across, some of you bad-asses may want to throw a sack of potatoes over your shoulders or something to up the challenge.

Giveaway Rules and How To Enter:

Honestly, I am a little worried that it's a low traffic time at Cranky Fitness, and this giveaway is being targeted at a specific audience, (although ANYONE can use it, you don't have to be plus sized). What if I can't do this justice and I get three entries for 5 prizes?

I'm hoping you guys will help spread the word, even if you are not plus sized yourself or if you just want to re-gift it to a friend or fellow Cranketeer and are mainly trying to help spread the word about plus-sized fitness generally.

So please leave a comment below about why you'd want this DVD, or think it's a good idea, for one chance to win.  At least one winner will be non-random and based on the content of the comment.

Since we love Canadians, and this is a Canadian sponsored giveaway, if you are Canadian yourself, (and mention this) you will have one additional chance to win.

Share this on some sort of social media or blab to a bunch of friends (and let me know in your comment) for 2 additional chances to win.

Is this freakin' complicated enough? You're welcome!

Giveaway winners will be announced New Years Day, Jan 1, 2015!

More Cool Stuff from Louise Green!

If you are lucky enough to live in certain areas of Canada, check out In Real Life Body Exchange locations for exercise classes.

They also have retreats which sound awesome!

And Louise Green's website is where you can find her book, blog, and other fabulousness of all sorts.

So what do you guys think? Can you be fit and fat?  Anyone want to win a fitness DVD?


  1. I'd totally love this. I had a baby 2 years ago, and I've had some serious issues finding ways to get in shape again. I've always been heavy - I come from good German stock, and photos of ladies in my family during the Great Depression, when they were running a farm (so hard work and scarce food), look very much like my body type now. So being fat is nothing new to me, but before I got pregnant, I was pretty active, running 3 miles 3 times a week and walking 3 miles with friends a couple of other days. I continued to walk 1-2 days a week and do yoga throughout my pregnancy (but was too exhausted to run anymore). Now, two years later, the baby fat - all 40 lbs of it - is still hanging around, and I feel like I have no time to address it. I've had to buy new clothes, and I'm just not comfortable in my own skin. With the demands of a full-time job, an hour commute daily, a toddler, and running the household, it feels like I have to choose between working out and just...relaxing, which I know is ALSO important to my health. I'm sure I could eat a bit more healthfully, but honestly, I don't think I eat that badly. It's the exercise, or lack thereof, that I think is the bigger issue. I still don't know when I'd fit these workouts in, but having the option of doing them at home (and therefore not worrying about childcare) would at least make it somewhat easier...

  2. Thanks for this! I love a good rant.

  3. Some skinny people are in awfully poor health. of course a person can be fit and fat. Or even just overweight and fit.
    Please don't enter me in the contest. I won't use the prize and I don't know of anyone I could give it to.
    But, as a Canadian with additional chances to win, you could always draw my name and use the prize win to draw someone else instead, and then also automatically draw the other winners. Ha! I can be complicated, too!

  4. I am a Canadian and used to live where their locations are - and damn, I want to go back! As someone who is fit and fat, I think this would be a very cool thing to have in my repertoire. I wonder of they will be coming to my neck of the woods and if they would consider having remote locations. There is such a huge need for this in small, rural towns like mine - where fitness options tend to be geared towards the already fit - and lead by the already fit.

  5. Prepare to be bombarded (I hope). I am posting a link on the Fit Fatties Forum on Facebook. Say that one 3 times fast.
    Oh and count me in too!

  6. How cool! I could watch this and NOT be intimidated by the leader/demonstrators. Don't get me wrong, Jillian Michaels Yoga is a terrifying-and-good workout with demonstrated skill levels, but it's really hard not to be like "well shit they're all crazy-toned, of COURSE they can do that."

  7. Being a doctor, I take the medical point of view. Fat is metabolically active in unhealthy ways. Too much of it is not good for our health. However the difference between being healthy and being unhealthy is not as huge as the media makes it seem.

  8. I would love to try a copy of this. When I got sick from H1N1 back in 2009 my life stopped. I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I quit exercising because I was in pain all the time, I gained a LOT of weight. I want my life back. I know it won't be the same one I had before, but I would like to be able to go get groceries, go see a movie, clean house. I know I will have to start at rock bottom and work up but it would be nice to have an exercise dvd or download to help inspire me and keep me on the course.... even on the days I feel like giving up

  9. I believe a person can be fat and fit…and that a person can be thin and unfit.

    1. I want to win the DVD to pass on to one of my friends.
    2. I am CANADIAN.
    3. I shared this post on Twitter.

    Best of the festive season to you and yours, Crabby!

  10. This is totally cool! I am fat AND have had the suck of enjoying an eating disorder for a long time (in recovery now!!!!), so your general DVDs are a little triggering. THESE look awesome and a way more approachable!

    I will be sharing this but, even though my accent will tell you otherwise, I am NOT actually Canadian. Gooooo, upstate NY! ::laughs::

  11. I'd like this because Jillian Michaels makes me feel like shit when I do her videos, but I keep doing them because I need *something* to do indoors when it's too cold to go outside.

  12. Fit and fat have a negative correlation. The fatter, the more likely you are to be unfit. That's the's a correlation, not causal. And the correlation isn't that strong. I've been schooled by bicyclists and rowers who had way more body fat that I do...and would be considered morbidly obese on the scale. Don't believe everything you see!

  13. You know me and workout DVDs: I wouldn't use it if I won, so don't count me. I don't consider myself either fat or thin, and I'm so conscious that thin doesn't equal healthy, as the daughter of an always-thin mother who developed emphysema…. I'm glad to hear this exists, however.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  14. Sounds like a great program! I wish we had something like that here in South Carolina!

  15. I think you can be fat and fit and you can be skinny and very unfit. btw, do not enter me either. I would not use the DVD and everyone I know, that might be interested, is over 60. (Jillian Michaels? Not for seniors.)
    I know there are people over 60 that are amazingly fit. I am not one of them. I have done so much damage to my body over the years, that I really need to proceed with caution or I will get laid up for a long time.
    I am distracted now and am going to watch tv and go to bed. Lights out at 6pm for old farts like me. (NOT) :D

    1. Just to clarify, I know that this DVD is not one of Jillian Michaels exercise videos. I was just also tossing in my 3 cents worth there....I am tired...I am really going away this time. really. I am. really

  16. Crabby,
    I'm very glad to hear you write about this. I 100% agree that it is possible to carry some extra weight and be very fit.

    The "ideal" body images that people are shown by advertising media are almost without exception ridiculous, unrealistic, and even unhealthy. Also, I'm a guy, and males are, of course, a big part of the problem, too. The result is that people detest their bodies whether they're fit, unfit, large, small, and everything else. That greatly saddens me. Gradually, I've started to see some advertising that is more humane - not focusing on zero body fat and only 1 body type - that's at least some progress.

    Stock BMI measurements, while less nonsensical then advertising images, are 1 step in the right direction, but are very general, and only of limited usefulness when there are so many other factors. Each person is unique in their physiology and circumstances.

    Keep up the good work, and I hope someone enjoys these videos!

    Best, Dave

  17. You can be healthy and strong and not be super model size. It's time to quit expecting everyone to fit a preconceived notion.

  18. Leave me out of the drawing, but thanks for the post. Someone I work with is one of the highest energy people I know. She works out pretty much every day, takes long bike rides (50+ miles) most weekends, and is a very, very strong mom and co-worker. And yeah, she weighs a lot more than we think we are supposed to. No one who met her would ever doubt it's possible to be both.

  19. I try to stay out of giveaway posts, but I just have to say I am LOVING these comments!!! And thanks so much all of you who are spreading the word!

  20. I love this! I am considered "plus size", and I find it so inspiring to see women like me doing things that I didn't think I could do. Women like this give hope and confidence to us "plus size" women who often fear fitness because of the misconceptions and stereotypes that society has created. I want this DVD because I would love to work out and be inspired by these women on a regular basis!

  21. Don't enter my name in the video. Due to various physical issues, I have my own fitness regimen and it works for me. But I think this video is fantastic and tells an important truth. This whole obesity epidemic thing is BS. What we DO have is an epidemic of people who are afraid/intimidated/hate for whatever reason moving their bodies. Equating lower weight (and nothing but lower weight) with health is the worst thing that's ever been done to people's health on a societal level. With 95% of dieters not only failing at dieting, but often putting more weight on in the wake of dieting, there's just GOT to be a better way to help people become more healthy and the answer is quite simple: move your body. Walk, swim, bike, run, do the laundry, vacuum, garden!!! There are so many good, enjoyable things to do.

    Kudos to you, Crabby, for doing this contest. Love ya!

    Happy holidays and happy new year to you and your loved ones from (yet another) Canadian! xxoo

  22. Okay Crabby...I cannot resist this one. This generalization that everyone who is "overweight" is unhealthy and everyone who is "normal" weight is healthy has done so much damage in our society to psychological, emotional and let's be honest physical well-being within our culture, it's a true travesty. Now having said that, it's also making some companies (and people) a lot of money as well as we struggle to fit into a mold or standard that is flawed beyond reason.

    The first issue here is the measure we use to define these standards: BMI. It is true that on a population level, BMI is a somewhat accurate measure of overall health. But what most people don't understand is that although BMI can semi-predict population outcomes, at the individual level, it has no real relevance. We all know that BMI does not distinguish between actual body fat and muscle mass so any individual who carries more muscle mass will automatically be labeled "overweight" or "obese". That's bad enough...but do you know the history of BMI?
    This actually makes it worse.

    The second issue here of course is our desire to simplify and label ourselves (well mostly we like to label others) into categories and the role media plays in our perceptions of what is healthy. What healthy looks like, what it "feels" like and how "happy" everyone is when they are thin and fit. What a load a crap...and we buy into it, mostly with our pocketbooks and our berating ourselves for not looking like we think we should.

    Okay I could rant forever on this topic...but let me be clear in that I have been studying the human body for over 25 years and it is very clear that how much we weigh is largely dependent on our genetics. When I first started studying this as an undergrad, the consensus was that about 5%-15% of our body weight was genetically determined. I knew even then that was our societies inability to acknowledge we can't control everything. Now, it's up to 50%-75% depending on the source. Our choices will definitely impact our weight....but they will not define it. We should all be making healthy lifestyle choices, and that in the end will influence our health and well-being, not necessarily our weight.

    Thank you for allowing me to rant.


    1. [wild applause] Rant ON!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

    2. Fabulous! You tell 'em!!! We'll all tell 'em.

  23. P.S. This post inspired me to write a little end of year post too. I put in a link to your blog.

  24. I am looking at ways to get back into working out after having a baby and taking a sedentary job. This would be great!

  25. What a great idea! I'd love to win this since I've gained a bunch of weight back this year and am struggling with my workouts.

  26. I thought I commented, but not showing up. These DVD"s look like so much fun. I've long considered myself both fit and fat and really hate going to the local gym. You get stereotyped because of this. I hope I win!

  27. Winters up here have put me in search of a decent video to try. I might not fall under the plus size consideration but I do think I would make use of the workout... up here in CANADA, eh? I'd love to try anyway. :)

  28. this looks like fun and I'd love to win.. not from Canada though!
    Kay (New Zealand)

  29. I would love this video! I won't bore you with the details on how I became plus-size (2 kids, desk job, emotional eating, blah, blah, blah). But I am back in the game, and I just said to myself today that I wish there were more videos for women shaped like me. If I have to attempt to keep up with one more gorgeous, perfectly fit, not-a-single-hair-out-of-place woman (as she's perkily encouraging me while her teeth blind me with their whiteness)... Twenty minutes later, I'm on the floor in a pool of sweat and she might have a single bead of sweat on her brow. Just thinking about it makes me tired. My knees won't allow me to jump around like most of my videos, and I'm pretty sure my sports bras wouldn't be much help if I did manage it. Ow. Anyway, to make a long story short, if I don't win, I think I may have to try to find this on my own. I just came across your blog today, and I'm glad I found it!

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  31. Excellent!!This kind of regular workout surely can reduce body weight fast!!

  32. If you are severely overweight then chances you are not healthy at all. However, it is possible to look a little chubby and still be perfectly healthy.

    I think it all comes down to calories. If you eat a few extra calories each day from HEALTHY foods, you are going to gain weight. But if those calories are from healthy foods, you will still get nutrients.

    As for exercise...look at football players or powerlifters. They are often kind of chunky but are still considered healthy athletes!

  33. I got news for ya - I'M fit AND fat... Doesn't mean I'm happy w/current state of affairs - Jen A, my baby is 16 now, & I'm STILL packing 30 extra lbs of "baby weight" (lost it initially when breastfeeding - now DAMN, that was the best "diet" I've EVER been on!)
    Haven't worked out my own ideal ratio, but it's somewhere around 80-85% diet, 15-20% exercise... Aerobic exercise serves as my AD of choice, yoga for flexibility/stress relief.


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