You know all of those magazines that feature only skinny women? Well, there are a couple of reasons why those have been the prominent body type of high fashion and it has nothing to do with health or beauty.
Even fitness gurus are lying to you about their bodies - you can't get a Fit Mag cover with 15 minutes a day of exercise. My main concern is for those of you who take these aesthetics as truths; who are ashamed of your thick, sexy thighs and soft hips. Who hate their natural shape that they cannot change no matter how hard they work out. Who can't get a 6-pack or defined triceps even at 12% body fat. This needs to stop. Luckily we live in an age where all kinds of shapes are leaking out and becoming popular. Enter the age of Thick Fit. If you are curvy, confident and moving your body, you, my dear, are THICK FIT. It is literally taking Instagram by storm.
There are a couple of major business industries aimed at making men and women feel bad about their bodies. The entertainment, fashion and fitness industry are three major contributors to setting a harsh and close minded beauty standard. Unfortunately we idolise the bodies presented to us in magazines and have fooled ourselves into thinking these men and women are normal. What a farse. It is important to know the reality behind the images that you see everyday. Hopefully know this can help you adjust your goals and expectations of your body to something that is beautiful, healthy and a body you feel comfortable in. It might not look like the women from Hollywood but I’ll bet you someone out there thinks you are sexy. I would rather be a Filet Mignon than beef jerky. And my body is happy about that choice too.
Healthy weight ranges are 15-25% body fat for women. 20-25% is easy to maintain and 15-19% BF is typically where you start getting into bigger sacrifices for your body.
Looks good, feels bad
Take a look at the cover of any fitness magazine, for men or women, and you see a picture of perfection: ripples muscle, smiling faces, six-pack abs and striated shoulders. And everyone take these pictures and puts them on their inspiration board.
Let me tell you about those models: for about one week prior to a shoot, they eat at a caloric deficit and train at a normal or tightens level. The last three days before the shoot, the stay to limit their liquid intake and spend 10 to 30 minutes in a sauna after each workout. The day of the shoot, they don’t drink any water. Fitness models also spend 1-3 hours a day in the gym training, about 5-6 days a week. This is what it takes to get this body. It is so extreme that most models do not stay in photoshooting shape all year long without some very severe health and hormonal effects.
Are you prepared to do all this - just for vanity? Like, no one even pays you to work that hard and spend hours in the gym on top of all your other responsibilities?
Also, cuddling with someone who is made up of muscles and paper thin skin is not the most comfortable thing on the planet. Sometimes, Most times is is nice to feel the squish and softness of flesh when you hug and make love. This goes away when the body fat percentage drastically dips to create that shredded look.
Lastly, boobs: they get smaller when you train. Most female athletes are flat chested. Most female fitness models and bodybuilders have fake breasts. If you see cleavage and a six-pack on a woman, you can guarantee yourself that her boobies are bought. Do NOT be fooled into thinking that is how women are supposed to look.
What Women Want vs What Men Want I have had a handful of different body types. My body has been rail thin, toned and slender, lean and muscular and even strong and squishy. I used to love my body when I was on the thinner side - and so did many women! I got compliments about how great I looked and all my clothes fit nicely.
But I was spending so much time burning calories on my bike or taking fat burners and worrying about what I ate. I thought the compliments were worth all the trouble I was going through. When I just relaxed and quit working out so much, I gained about five to eight kilos and acquired a much rounder, more womanly version of my body. That’s when the men started giving me compliments. I heard words like “healthy,” “strong,” “voluptuous” and “thick fit.”
Once I started to own my body type - move how I wanted to move, focus on my athletic abilities, eat what my body told me was good for me and appreciate how strong I was - I became more attractive to myself and to my preferred sexual orientation. Best, my weight became easier to manage.
My point is: Women, no man will kick you out of bed for looking like a woman. It is ok and a good thing to have curves, hips and thighs that touch when you walk. Men love looking at how you jiggle when you move. They don’t have that - you are different and sexy. You are a woman.
Woman Body Standard vs Man Body Standard
Have you noticed in beauty magazines that in pictures of couples, the men are usually fit and trained and the women are thin and slouched over? It always looks like her bones will be crushed if he puts an arm around her shoulder!
This has always bothered me. She looks defenceless, helpless and fragile - as if to say “ I need you to take care of me because I am too weak to defend or take care of myself.” Think about that: this is the cultural standard for men and women. He is fit and able and she is delicate and weak. I find this to be a horrible message for male/female relationships.
In spending time around fit people, I can pretty much guarantee that someone who spend that much time on their fitness will not remain very long in a relationship with someone who is sedentary. Because in the search for a partner, people tend to gravitate towards an equal. Those hot, fit guys, usually they like thick thighs that run, a butt that shakes and arms that don’t require him to help you with every suitcase and box that needs moving. And most of the hot, fit guys that I have met, they really like it when you kick their ass at something.
Lazy Skinny - or Skinny Fat
Do not confuse weight or body type with health. I know a fitness model who, at the height of her fitness career was tracking her calories in her cocktails and bottles of whiskey in order to make sure she stayed at 13% body fat.
For three years, she was an alcoholic on the cover of nearly every fitness magazine promoting “health.” Fashion models also get a whole host of medical problems due to their light weight. Avoiding skeletal and cardiovascular stress is very dangerous; it leads fragile hearts and Osteoporosis.
In one of my Crossfit classes last week, there were two medically overweight athletes that have run multiple marathons training next to a thin woman in her 40’s who couldn’t finish a 8 minute workout without getting dizzy. I cannot stress this enough: It is better for you to be overweight and fit than thin and inactive.
When you take ownership of your health, your body will follow. You can appreciate the magazines for fashion and reading, but if you find you feel terrible about yourself and your body after reading them, you may need to make some adjustments in your emotional and personal life. Our life here on Earth is about love, enjoyment and soul fulfillment. You innately know what is good for you and what works for you to be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself. Be quiet and loving enough to find that voice and listen it. Take ownership your health: move how you like to move, strive to get better at these movements, eat what feels good in your stomach, celebrate your strengths and spend time with people who share your joys. This is the recipe to health.