Skinny is a word that many people throw around. The media has convinced us that being skinny is a desirable goal. Even the food and restaurant industry has used “skinny” to denote healthier options on the menu and on grocery products. Skinny does not elicit a picture of health and wellness. When someone calls me skinny, my response includes: “Call me that again and see what happens.” I am not a fan. To me, skinny is a 4-letter word.
I prefer the words “fit, lean or healthy.” Skinny measures exactly that: skinny, small and thin. Like the word “diet,” skinny has several negative connotations.
While thin might be in, in no way does it guarantee someone is healthy. Most of us have heard the term “skinny fat.” In this situation, a woman might be “skinny” but have very little muscle mass. What is left of her body composition is made up of fat. This is usually visceral or brown fat that crowds internal organs, not the subcutaneous fat (fat just under the skin) that we see, causing the look of cellulite.
The struggle to gain weight (being an ectomorph) is real and every bit as frustrating as losing weight. Ectomorphs find it difficult to build muscle and put on weight. They are small and slim with a very fast metabolism. Although they tend to have fairly low body fat, most women would prefer to enjoy having curves that women with slightly higher body fat have.
Thin women get tired of being stereotyped. They are often told they should eat more and that they are so lucky to be skinny. Some people may go as far as to accuse them of having an eating disorder. This is usually not the case. While most people won’t go as far as to call a bigger person “fat,” few people stop to think of how hurtful the words and stereotyping can be to a thin person.
Avoiding Healthy Choices
Since women who are thin tend to not show much fat or gain weight, they often avoid healthy habits such as exercise and avoiding processed food. The results of these choices don’t show on the outside but can have devastating effects on the inside.
Wellness is a choice that requires a conscious effort. While society, the media and advertisers continue to push the “thin is in” mantra, skinny should never be the sole focus of a health goal. Whether you are thin, overweight or fit, your goal should be to become the healthiest version of yourself. Looking great is awesome, but feeling great and living a life free of illness and disease is the ultimate goal.
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Originally written for FitnessRx for women