We can talk all day about the unrealistic and unfair expectations of what a woman’s body should look like. I mean, have you seen models lately? First of all, there’s just no possible way that big of an, uh, ‘upper chest area’ could be naturally on that tiny of a waist. It’s just not.
But, for some reason, we convince ourselves it is. And, we try to get that. Us regular, everyday women. Why is this stuck in our heads? Hey, I’m not yelling at you. It’s stuck in my head, too.
I’ve had to work to accept the fact that my more ‘athletic’ body (re: big thighs) is going to be my body forever. I just can’t physically get my thighs to shrink enough to get that coveted thigh gap (re: sarcasm, on the coveted part. It’s dumb. Unless you naturally have small thighs, then kudos for having a natural thigh gap. Keyword there: natural).
Anyway, the point is that we shouldn’t do things with the end goal of being ‘skinny’. Here’s why:
1) Skinny doesn’t always equal healthy.
You know those people that can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound? I’ve always been jealous of them. I have to count every single calorie I put in my mouth. But, really, we’re putting way too much emphasis on weight.
Studies show that those people with lightning-speed metabolisms make up a large portion of the percentage of people that have medical issues we pair with obesity: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It’s become known as ‘skinny fat’. These people with the envious metabolisms stay skinny, without exercising or eating right, and it’s unhealthy. So, maybe skinny isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.
2) Skinny has become a state of mind.
When you’re aiming for skinny, are you aiming for skinny because you want to be healthier and weigh less, or is it because you want to be like those girls? Those girls being the ones that I talked about with the impossible-to-get bodies. I’ve aimed for skinny before. I bought into that mindset that to be attractive, you have to look (at least close) to how they look.
But, then I metaphorically slapped myself out of it. When I was aiming for skinny, I wasn’t eating right. I ate way less than what my body needed. I was exercising, but with the little protein and carbs I was getting each day to help my body recover the exercises weren’t helping me be healthier. I just felt tired and wasn’t getting much skinnier.
Working out without eating enough won’t decrease your body fat percentage in the long run. You’ll feel worse, sleep worse, and won’t be able to concentrate (probably because your stomach is growling). It’s an unhealthy way to try to be what we have come to believe looks good and is healthy.
It’s dangerous to slip into this state of mind when you believe skinny is the only way to be. This is where eating disorders take root. Everyday in the U.S. eating disorders affect 10 million women and 1 million men. That should be proof enough that we need to be working to change this ‘state of mind’.
3) Being fit will feel and be so much better!
Even if it is a long journey, both mentally and physically, having a goal to be fit will feel so much better. Having a good balance of calories each day–that includes some fats, some sugars, and, yes, some carbs–along with an active lifestyle, will get you to a body you’ll feel happy about. You might not be a size zero, but you’ll be the size you weren’t meant to be: a healthy, fit size!
Having a mindset for being fit will be more energizing. You’ll feel happier and have better mental health. You’ll be less likely to have health problems. And, once you let go of that nagging feeling, that societal pressure to be skinny, the possibilities of what you can do and how you great you can feel are limitless.
Let’s change the conversation. Let’s stop aiming for skinny and start aiming for being fit, healthy and in love with our own bodies!