Archive for the tag - thin

Video: Thick is In.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-29-at-9.11.06-AMLast week, I answered a question from someone wanting to lose weight from their thighs.

The truth is, the commentator isn’t alone. Every day, I get dozens of emails from both men and women about the desire to be thin. It’s not about being healthy or about being strong; it’s about being skinny. And though I understand where this desire comes from, I think all of us could use a reality check when it comes to body image.

Over the weekend, I decided to record a video on the topic - and posted it on my second YouTube channel, DaveyWaveyRaw. Because body image is so central to health and fitness, I wanted to share it with you.

Check it out. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Skinny is Overrated.

Where's the beef?

If you pick up an issue of Vogue or Cosmo, you’ll instantly be bombarded with images of stick-thin models - many of whom are photoshopped beyond recognition. The message behind these images is pretty clear: Skinny is attractive.

When this message is internalized, it is expressed through unhealthy fad diets and eating disorders in both women and men. I, for example, spent the better part of my middle school years obsessively counting calories and living with anorexia. I wanted to be attractive, and so skinny was my goal.

The other day, I came across a shocking piece of data. When it comes to adult video content, the volume of searches for overweight women are four times greater than the volume of searches for their skinnier counterparts. In other words, there may a disconnect between what people actually desire and what we think people desire.

While it’s easy to read too much into a single piece of data, it can help us rethink the notion that skinny is the only form of sexy. Curves are beautiful, too - and, according to the data, there are a lot of people that would agree.

Rather than spend our energy transforming our bodies for the desires someone else, perhaps it’s wiser to transform our bodies for the benefit ourselves. Indeed, eating nourishing foods and honoring your body with exercise and movement will change the way that you look, but it will also improve the quality and length of your life. You may even be able to use the experience, as I have, to build a stronger and more loving relationship with your body.

Today, my goal isn’t skinny… it’s healthy. It’s less about looking a certain way and more about living a certain way.

Are You Skinny Fat?

I know a lot of people that are relatively skinny - but that do not exercise in any way shape or form. Some of these people follow strict diets, while others eat whatever they want. But alas, there is a difference between looking thin and being healthy - and that difference is body composition.

Thin people that do not exercise are often considered “skinny fat” - a recently coined term referring to people that look thin on the outside, but that have a disproportionate amount of fatty tissue on the inside. They look healthy on the outside - but the inside tells a very different story. My mom always said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and the skinny fat epidemic is proving her correct.

The number on the scale is not an accurate measure of your body’s health. Period. A scale can be massively misleading - true health isn’t measured by weight alone, but rather by a number of factors like body fat testing, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and so on.

Fortunately, skinny fat is very treatable. It just takes a little energy, effort and dedication. Here are some of my best tips for breaking out of the skinny fat syndrome:

  1. Do cardiovascular and strength training exercises. Cardio means hitting the treadmill, bike or swimming. Do an exercise that you enjoy - but that makes you sweat. Strength training means lifting weights or using weighted machines. Cardio incinerates fat and boosts you metabolism; it will build needed muscle and help to improve your fat to muscle ratio.
  2. Don’t eat whatever you want. You know what’s healthy and what is not - stick to a reasonable nutrition plan. I recommend using the 80/20 rule.
  3. Manage your stress. With stress comes cortisol and with cortisol comes abdominal fat and muscle breakdown. Managing stress will not just improve your life - but it will improve your health.

Bottom line: Don’t gauge your healthy but a scale alone - and wherever you’re at on your health and wellness journey, exercise and nutrition are necessary components.