Recently, I’ve been thinking about how my idea of what is attractive has completely changed over the last few years. I used to open up the pages of the J Crew catalog and think the women on the pages looked so amazing and I would do anything to have a body like that. Now I look at the girls and think they look like skin and bones. They have no boobs, no muscle definition and if I hugged one of those girls, I would break them. They are not fit, and they don’t look healthy. These are the girls that you see at the airport who can’t even get their carryon suitcase into the overhead bin and need to ask the closest man to help them. Come on people, really?!? It hit me when I was watching the last season of The Bachelor (I can’t believe that I just admitted that in such a public way and I hate myself for loving such trash TV.) Anyway, these girls that make it on the show are picked out of thousands and thousands of applicants. Obviously the producers are going to make sure that they are all super hot. Some of them really are super hot, but I realized this past season that most of them are what I like to call, “skinny fat”. They are super thin, but have no muscle whatsoever, just skinny and a little flabby. These are the girls that I used to envy, and now I just want to give them a barbell and show them how to overhead press. To me skinny fat is no longer cute and fit girls are the ones that look amazing. I think muscles are sexy. Let’s not get crazy, I’m not talking about scary Body Builder muscles (although I do think it is amazing what those women can do). I look at the cover girls of Oxygen magazine or the girls in my yoga classes who practice 6 days a week and have the perfect yoga body, and think those are the girls that I want to look like.
One of my best friends, Rachel is a really awesome runner. She’s been running since high school, and that was really her only form of exercise. She is a very naturally thin, gorgeous girl. She was battling with a hamstring injury, and had to stop running. She was pretty devastated since that is the only way that she stays in shape. She asked me if I would train her, and we started meeting for an hour once a week. I wrote down each workout for her and she started doing it on her own 3 times a week. So she was doing an hour of total body strength training 4 times a week and going to yoga about 2 times a week. When she came to me, she could barely do a push up. I was actually a little shocked by her lack of upper body strength. We took her body fat the first day we worked out, and 3 months later, she lost 10% body fat. 10% BODY FAT!!!!! That is seriously amazing. Her weight didn’t change dramatically, but she completely changed the composition of her body. Even really thin people like Rachel can store a very surprising amount of body fat, and now after the hardwork she put in, she looks ridiculously awesome. She is also a badass at the gym. She went from not being able to do a push up to being able to do some of the most advanced exercises. Another huge benefit is that by increasing her lean muscle mass in her legs, her injury is now under control and she can run again! She’s so hilarious now telling everyone how she used to be “skinny fat” and being an advocate for all the benefits of strength training and yoga. Here is a picture of us after running the Cooper River Bridge Run a few weeks ago.
Also, I saw this on Facebook recently and thought it was awesome. Okay, this pic might be a little extreme, but It drives my point home that being fit is sexy and skinny fat is not.