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All Bodies on Bikes

My wife recently sent me this video made by Shimano. After watching this amazing video it really had me thinking about how this can help me with my client interactions and life in general. This video hits on some tough topics to talk about. We all stress "healthy" weight and it is what I recommend to my clients and patients. I believe that there are significant health benefits to being at a healthy weight (cardiovascular, bone, prevention of diabetes), but have we been setting ourselves up for failure from the get go? Are guys going to have 8 packs and women (especially) going to fit into a size 3 or weigh 105 lbs like the models we see on t.v.? The answer is not likely.

As a society we have created this narrative around being skinny. If we don't look like the people on t.v. then we fail. This isn't a realistic goal for anyone. The truth is is that in order to look like that you have to spend a lot of time working out or a significant calorie restriction. Most people have jobs, kids, other obligations that can keep them from spending a long time from prepping food, working out for 2 hours a day or just sitting down at the kitchen table for a meal together. I have especially found it difficult with my second child coming in July in addition to our prior obligations in life.

When I watched this movie it occurred to me how self defeating it can be to try and be at a"healthy" weight. Watching these two women participate in a sport that stereo typically is a slender looking biker. It has to be tough, but that's where we need to change the narrative. If we are more inclusive to everyone (race, gender, body size) we will start to see healthier people in all sizes. The two women in the video are out biking consistently and research shows the tremendous benefits to exercise no matter what weight. If we all give ourselves some grace and practice the small things like incorporating one more fruit during the day, having half of your meal vegetables, exercising 30 min a day or 3 times per week. It may just be cutting out one sweet in the week or not going out to eat everyday. Any little change makes a big difference in the end. One small change could save years on your life. Knowing that we all won't look the same and trying to do the best that we can to be as healthy as we can will make big improvements to our health. Setting realistic goals can lead to accomplishments that last a lifetime instead of setting yourself up for failure.

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