Michael Moore is a documentary filmmaker from Michigan whose liberal viewpoint makes him loved by some and hated by many. He’s also a fat man. In the past, he’s never expressed any sort of fat positivity or acceptance, or if he has I haven’t heard it. But he’s been doing something very interesting this year.
He takes daily walks, and if you follow him on Twitter, you’ll get a daily invitation from him to walk when he does. He sees it as a large group of people walking together, but not in the same place.
Better yet, he isn’t doing it to lose weight. (More on that later.) When asked if he’s trying to lose weight, he says, “I don’t understand the question. I’m just walking.” Here are some other sample exchanges:
- “Why are you walking?” Because I have feet.
- “what’s with this walking thing? Charity, fun, point? Plz lmk so I can do my part” The point is let’s all go 4 a walk
And so on. On June 9, he led a virtual walk around the world: he and 12,000 others walked for thirty minutes, which he figures is enough mileage to circle the earth.
I love walking, too. I walk at lunchtime at work, so my schedule doesn’t mesh with Mike’s, but I love it. I walk along the road where our office building is, and the views there are spectacular. I go up about 200 feet in elevation, so I’m most of the way up a hill and am as high as most hills in the area.
A couple of years ago, I increased my daily walk from two to two and a half miles, but it was in the park adjacent to our building and mostly flat. This year, I’ve gone back down to two miles, but with the climb (both ways, although less coming back) I’m probably doing more work overall.
And here’s the thing about weight: both times when I adjusted my walks, I lost about 10 pounds, but no more. My body adjusted to the increased exertion, and figured out how to preserve my fat. Most people’s bodies react this way to exercise (lose a bit, then stop losing), and I imagine Mike’s has done the same.
And it seems like he’s smart enough to know that that was going to happen. Or not; there’s no way to tell, unless he tells us. But I like that he’s doing one public thing in his life and not politicizing it, not justifying it, not using it to do anything. All he’s doing is walking and inviting others to do the same. He doesn’t give a reason, and doesn’t need to. I walk because I love it, and I don’t need any other reason.
Nor does Mike.