The Real Difference Between Fit and Fat

David Soto Jr.
May 13 · 6 min read

My definition of fit is the ability to do things like climb a mountain, run away from danger, out last an attacker by defending yourself, swim to safety, and harvest food. You are very fit if you can do all these things while holding your infant. Fitness is about being able to survive. Once you are capable of this, then it’s about helping others.

But let’s face it, nobody cares about surviving. Most just want to look good in a bathing suit. They want to look fit but not actually be fit. So this is what I am addressing in this article. Why some people look fit and why some people don’t.

What it’s not.

If you are one of these people that have struggled with your weight for years no matter what exercise regime you’ve incorporated, diet you tried, supplements you’ve taken, shakes you drank or personal trainers you’ve hired, I’ve got good news for you. It’s not because you are lazy, undisciplined, lack willpower or any of the other bull people who have never struggled with weight loss tell you.

The fact that you have tried all these things, even if they didn’t work, should be proof to you that you are not lazy, that you are not afraid of hard work. The reason all these things have failed is that they are wrong. Most of them are schemes by people who don’t care whether you lose weight or not but instead merely want you to buy their product.

Here is a little story.

Say I want a way to clean my floor. I see someone selling a floor cleaning product that happens to look a lot like a stick.

It doesn’t make sense at first how will a stick clean a floor, but the salesman shows me picture upon picture of clean floors and says that they were all the result of the very product he has for sale. I start to believe it.

It seems too good to be true, but then he shows me testimonials from people who had dirty floors but don’t anymore because of this product.

One person talks about how her spouse is always upset with her because the floor is dirty. She said that once she was able to clean her floor adequately, her spouse was in a better mood and she never had to deal with his complaints. The stick made her home life better.

Coincidentally, I am going through the same thing at home and would love to get the very results the lady giving the testimonial got. Her scenario hits home, and I buy the stupid stick.

I get the stick home and it kind of works, but not really. I don’t get the results the salesman told me I was going to get.

I tell my friends, and they say encouraging things like, “you can do it” or “don’t give up” so I keep going and trying, but I don’t get any better results.

More people give me advice but are harsh about it. They say stuff like “you don’t want it bad enough” or “it takes discipline” Meanwhile, they have maids, and they never have to clean their floor themselves. Some of them have never even had a dirty floor in their life.

I get tired of trying. My floor never comes clean. No matter how many people say that this cleaning stick works, it just doesn’t for me. I get sad and depressed and decided to give up. I am convinced that there has to be another way. While I figure out the next thing I am going to try, I keep the stick in the storage closet to keep it out of the way, next to the broom.

For the next twenty years, I will try and buy everything that becomes popular to help me clean my floor while the entire time, I have already had the solution to my problem it was just hidden deep in my closet.

So why are others fit and you aren’t?

It’s easy. Are you ready? The reason other people are fit is that their coping mechanism is not food. That’s it!

I don’t have any proof, but I would think it’s safe to say that everyone has stuff they are dealing with. They hate their job. Their daddy didn’t love them enough. They were abused. They saw horrible shit in the war. They miss the war. Their mother died when they were young.

When I first started writing this, I thought that there would be a small percentage of the population that didn’t have problems, but as I started listing them, I realized that we all have issues — every single one of us.

This made me think that there are two types of people: those who deal with their problems positively and those who deal with them negatively. We are here to talk about negative coping techniques.

There are all kinds of ways to cope with issues. Drugs, alcohol, work, traveling, keeping busy, exercise, smoking, porn, and sex are just a few. None of these make you fat, though.

People like us, people whose coping mechanism is food; we are the unfit ones because the thing that makes us feel good also makes us fat.

So what is the solution?

Sorry but I’m not sure. I will say the first step would be identifying what the issue you are dealing with — what bothers you so much that you need to cope. This may involve hiring a coach or seeing a therapist.

One thing you may want to do is change your coping mechanism. I have had the privilege of knowing a couple of recovering drug addicts, and one thing I noticed in my relationship with them is they love coffee. They drink gallons of it.

It is apparent to me that part of their recovery was to switch their coping mechanism from something that had a detrimental effect on their lives to one that was less damaging. I believe this is what we need to do with food to successfully lose weight.

Then there are tabacco users. I have seen so many people try to quit and fail miserably. I have also seen people who successfully dropped the habit by switching to nicotine gum. While going cold turkey may be possible, I feel that it only works for a few people or that its results are only temporary, which means it doesn’t actually work. I firmly believe that to give up one vice you have to replace it. Nicotine gum and coffee are two good examples.

The real solution here is to face and deal with your issues, but if you are not going to do that, then swap out your crutch for one that doesn’t make you fat.

Just keep in mind that too much of anything isn’t good for you.

The big take away.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are unfit because you don’t have willpower, are undisciplined, or are weak.

I personally know someone who has an incredible physique. He could lift his shirt any time of the year and will have a six-pack. He has been this way for years, and age doesn’t seem to affect him. Here is what else I know about him: He smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, watches porn like it was just invented, and cheats on his wife any chance he gets. If you look at him, you’d say he looks fit, but I have to ask you — do you think he is a pillar of strength, that he has unlimited willpower, and is disciplined? He is as messed up as any of us, maybe even more so, but his vices are calorie free.

David Soto Jr.

Written by

David is a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant who didn’t realize until reaching his forties that he was a writer. Books available at https://amzn.to/2Ye0yWd

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