Skinny vs Thin, Healthy or Unhealthy?
How do you define being skinny? Is it the same as thin or healthy? Personally, I had never really put any thought to this. When I was a young teenager, I thought I was “fat”, but in reality, I was healthy then later I thought I was skinny and in reality, I was unhealthy.
As a teenager in the 80’s there was a lot of inference on being skinny. I remember girls would say to each other that if you can pinch an inch on your waste then you are fat. Or we would see magazines showing pictures of thin models and tell us that this is what beautiful looks like and this is what boys will find beautiful. Being young and impressionable these images and references were the foundation in forming an unhealthy relationship with body image and potentially cause poor health for many young people. It is important for us all to not equate being skinny with being healthy. While society tends do this all the time, it is NOT the same thing.
Much of society is starting to work toward taking a different approach and trying to project more healthy body images to young people, but just because they are showing these images of people of different sizes, does that mean they are healthy? There is misconception that if someone is “skinny” then they are “healthy”, where in reality similar to being overweight, being skinny can pose serious health risks. After years of struggling with weight and health issues I finally understand. I now know that it was not about being skinny or fat, it was about what I like to call LEAN.
Being lean means having the right percentage of body fat for your individual body type. Lean does not mean thin or skinny, which is often unhealthy. Lean means being strong and healthy. You may say, “well ok, I am not too skinny where I look unhealthy, and I am not overweight so that means I am lean and healthy”. The reality, however, is if you are eating poorly and not exercising chances are that yes you look healthy on the outside, but you could have similar health concerns as individuals that are overweight and obese as well as too skinny. Some of these health risks include low muscle mass, comprised immune system, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hair loss to just name a few.
There are many diets out there that promise you a healthy new you. It is important to know however that with the promises of fast weight loss they do not address the long-term effects on your body or your health. I know because I personally tried several of these diets. What did I learn? I learned that diets are temporary. I learned that I needed to listen to my body and understand how my body reacts to different foods. I learned that exercising all the time did not give me permission to eat or drink whatever I wanted.
It was with the help of my health and fitness coach that I came to these realizations. Before I found my coach, I did not have all the tools needed to achieve my optimum health. I needed outside help, someone in my corner. I needed a coach. So now, here I am, feeling my best and trying to pay it forward to those just like me with Lean Living ~ Fitness and Well Being.