Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
Calling larger people lazy is acceptable in some circles. But readers respond with their thoughts:
Carolyn: I admit to having had the usual prejudices against fat people. I got that slapped out of me when I started doing half and full marathons. People of all body types participate including those who can best be described as “chubby.” Some of them finish multiple events a year.
Mind you, they’re usually pulling up the rear doing a walk/run, but the essence of a marathon is going the distance and there are plenty of skinny people who couldn’t go a fraction of it. I’ve even seen people who can only be described as obese finish a full marathon. It took them twice as long as the average finisher, but I was still in complete awe.
Are they out of shape? Sorry, but anyone who can go 26.2 miles at one go under their own power is not out of shape. Would you call them lazy? I doubt it.
By the way, in case anyone’s wondering, the more a person participates in the same activity the more efficient his body becomes at it. I’ve been running for more than 30 years and have long reached the point where I can lose weight by doing it.
The last time I was at the doctor’s, she told me I was borderline overweight according to the Body Mass Index scale. I had just finished eight marathons in six months and qualified for Boston. Needless to say, I wasn’t too concerned.
Charna: One reader said that thin people had a higher quality of life because they weren’t always “lugging around” the extra weight.
Well, if you want to talk quality of life, let’s consider lugging around some extra weight versus watching every mouthful for the rest of your life.
I carry an extra 50 pounds around. I’m not willing to devote several hours of every day obsessing over food and exercise. Yes, that’s really what it takes for me to drop weight and keep it off — several hours of daily exercise and merciless monitoring and denial of what my body insists it wants.
I’m 58 years old, with no health problems so far. I’d rather spend the time I have doing more useful and enjoyable things such as working at my job, enjoying my husband, volunteering, cooking for my family, working in my garden (where I grow lots of fresh vegetables, by the way), reading, going out with friends, and playing with my grandchildren when they visit.
Both my parents (ages 90 and 86) have carried extra weight all their lives. I’m not worried about dying young. No one else is really worried about me dying young either. Citing “health concerns” is just a weasely way to pick on someone about their weight “for their own good.”
Yes, I wish I looked better and wasn’t a target for general disdain. I also wish I could play the piano better. Neither of these wishes is worth the extra time and deprivation it would take to achieve them.
How would you feel if your partner gained a significant amount of weight? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.