I really shouldn’t be on a computer right now. All day I’ve been having the tell-tale signs of a migraine headache. You know it’s going to be bad when after taking a 2 hour nap you still feel horrible when you wake up. Bleck. In general the entire left side of my head and neck is useless. My ear hurts, my lymph node hurts, my head hurts, the space behind my eye hurts, and my neck is sore. However, seeing as I have a boyfriend who I’ve turned into my concierge, a roof over my head, and an abundance of Advil, this bitch fest is now over.
Moving right along,
Body image series starting…NOW! Today’s agenda is on this past year’s buzz word “skinny fat.” It’s actually a dangerous oxymoron. There are thousands, no, millions, of people in America who are overweight and nearing obesity. This is not good for your insides, your bones, your breathing, and your health in general. Many diseases we have are directly attributed to poor diet and lack of exercise. We are getting sicknesses only royalty used to get! What’s even more troubling is seeing kids younger and younger who are facing these ordeals. This is all bad and highly publicized, but little attention is given to people of “average” weight. Perhaps you are someone like that. You may not have the body of a (healthy) bikini model, but no one has ever picked on you because of your weight. At 5’3 and 130 pounds I’m right there. I’m not the teeniest, but I’m not the largest. I generally feel comfortable in my body, though, I have my days when I’m less than impressed. Unfortunately, being average or “skinny” isn’t a license to eat whatever you want and shy away from physical activity.
When you hear most magazines and T.V talk-show hosts talk about Skinny Fat, they are mainly talking about girls who, despite a small frame, have a rather high amount of fat to muscle in their body, but thanks to genetic luck it’s not as apparent. Over a lifetime this can become dangerous because fat (i.e, extra weight), as stated above, stresses the body. It’s very true that someone of larger stature can actually be healthier than a skinnier person. Another thing I see is people who are of “average” size eating whatever they want and not thinking much of it. I cannot remember how many times growing up my mother would comment: “oh, she can eat whatever she wants. She’s so tiny!” Sure, if you are not dangerously obese then it will be safer for you to have a few unhealthy foods here or there. But a few slices of greasy pizza—I’m talking the gooooood Papa John’s, melt in your mouth, not one bit artisanal stuff—on a regular basis will start to have negative repercussion. Secondly, you also are not doing yourself any favors by encouraging poor eating habits that will be harder to change in later years. You might think you’re the only one affected, but say you want to have kids. I know, I know, a little into the future, but we’re going there! Kids are smart and will watch what you eat. If you never touch your veggies there is good chance little Anna is going to fight you on eating hers. And if you have really bad eating habits your kids will most likely emulate then, which can lead to obesity, and I’m sorry but it just is not fair to a kid. And thirdly, those pounds will start creeping on over the years; there is a reason my momma never says “I’m so tiny” anymore.
I also can empathize with Skinny Fat people and agree that there are many societal reasons why it’s easy to come complacent and stay on that track. Since so many people are obese, I do believe we’ve become a country that has a tendency to look at people who are a healthy weight and immediately assume they’re “sickly” or “need a burger.” I used to get embarrassed when my friends would ask why I was eating a salad “because you already have such a good body” or not go to the gym because those same friends would say “why do you bother? You’re already so in shape.” Rock and a hard place, right? If there is anything you will hear me say (well, more like see me write) a lot on this blog is that, yes, there are societal constraints around men, women, old, young, black, white, etc. They suck, but you also can choose how much they affect you. Rise above them! Don’t feel like you need to scarf down a burger to prove something. Don’t feel like you cannot go to the gym. Politely explain to people that it still matters what you put into your body and how you push it and that you want to grow up healthy and hot. Most people will respect that and the ones that don’t are far and few and clearly are haters that you should promptly rid from your life.
Still not sure where to start?
- If you really love the junk food start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. When I started eating healthy instead of taking foods away I started adding in healthier foods on top of what I was already eating. I gained about 2 pounds, but lost it very soon because I started realizing my fruits and veggies tasted far better than the unhealthy foods I was eating. Again, I’m not a nutritionist, so this might not work for you, but for many I think it’s perfectly safe. Use common sense.
- Find a gym and start going to fitness classes. For example, Zumba is great and the atmosphere is awesome. Cardio will help burn or maintain your current fat levels, but don’t shy away from the iron. Start lifting weights that are heavy for you (not those dinky 2 pounders.) You won’t bulk up, you will build strength, and soon you’ll start to create a whole different body.
- Start hanging around with healthy minded people. Use those online creeper skills in person and scope out someone in your class that looks really into it. Mention that you’re new and was wondering if you could go to class with them next time. I’m sure they’ll be kind! Ladies, don’t be afraid to ask guys on the weight machines how to use the equipment and for pointers on exercises. It’ll boost their ego and help you gain control of your body.
That was a lot, but it’s something I’m really passionate and concerned about. Everyone should have healthy habits. They aren’t just for folks who are forced into them in order to survive. Stay true to your values and you’ll reap the benefits.
Now I’m going to go peel away those covers and slide my sorry self back into bed!