Why I Don’t Want to Be Skinny

Why I Don’t Want to Be Skinny

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Why I Don't Want to Be Skinny

This is quite the controversial statement to be coming from a health coach who loves to help women to lose weight, right?

The things is, I really don’t want me, or my clients, to be skinny. The word skinny itself is irksome. It connotes someone who is malnourished, too-thin, emaciated. And sadly, there have been times when my reality was being all of these things.

I was underweight for my height, had no muscle tone whatsoever on my body, and my face looked gaunt.

At those times, when I now can see I was actually suffering from disordered eating and body image issues, I thought I looked great. I loved that I could fit into skinny jeans and short-shorts, and wouldn’t listen when people told me that they thought I was too-thin, and would probe was I okay, was I sick?

It even pissed me off, because I felt like I had worked hard to get looking the way I had, I had made some serious sacrifices with foods, had controlled my eating (so that I basically wasn’t eating!) and exercised enough that my calorie intake was less than my output. I’d given up lots of things to look that way, and I expected to be appreciated.

In those days, I had a rake-like figure- when my body loses weight it melts away from my butt and bust, making my healthy curvacious body into one that resembles a plank, not an hourglass. To look that way, I counted calories religiously. I had this little book that I could look-up to find out the calorie content of everything that I ate (which wasn’t much!) and I’d record it in a notebook that I carried around with me all day.

I kept track of how many calories I had eaten and how much exercise I would need to do to get below that count each day. To put it frankly, I was obsessed. I felt like I could control my life by controlling my food, and that I would be loved by everyone if my body was thin enough.

Was I happy? No, not really. I was all-consumed by food, what to eat, what not to eat, and feeling guilty when I felt like I had stuffed up.

And that is why I don’t want to be skinny.

What I want is to be healthy and happy and to feel good in my skin and for who I am and what I do. {Tweet that!}

These days I am well within my healthy weight range for my height and age and gender. My weight still fluctuates up and down a few kilos, but in the past 5 years it has never got to the point where I am overweight (which I have also been before!) or underweight.

In this healthy-not-skinny state of being, I never count calories, instead choosing to eat as much as I like so long as the food is organic, whole food- fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains and pulses. When I eat now, I’m making conscious choices that are based on eating nutritionally dense healthy foods that will taste good and be good to my body.

I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I exercise because I want to, because it sends endorphins coursing through me which make me feel great, and I get to spend time at the gym with my husband while we work out together.

I practice moderation. 80% of the time I eat well, sleep enough and exercise daily. But I also allow myself days or nights when the mood or occasion strikes to enjoy a coffee, or a wine, or something which isn’t so nutritionally sound. When I make those choices they are conscious ones and I enjoy whatever it is I am eating and drinking. No guilt and full responsibility.

In following this lifestyle my immune system is strong and my body and mind is healthy, I feel good about my life and myself, I have fun without self-imposed pressure and restraints, don’t feel guilty if I let loose one day (because I know I will be healthy again the next), I enjoy myself and the company of friends, and love the skin I am in.

I would not be considered skinny, or even thin. But I am toned and in proportion and feel sexy with my curvy waist, full bust and blossoming butt. My skin is radiant and I have oodles of energy.

For me to be skinny it requires too much restriction and deprivation and guilt and missing out on the happy parts of life where I should feel good.

Being larger than I am now is also not a nice place to be on the continuum as that means I’m not looking after myself and not treating my body with respect. If I’m nearing the higher percentage of my BMI,  I usually have a lack of energy and my face looks puffy and I get bloated in my belly and don’t feel so great.

But when I’m at a normal weight, not skinny, not fat, but just right for me, it means I’m living moderately, eating good quality food, exercising regularly for pleasure, indulging every now and then without guilt and basically going through my day healthily and happily- and that is the way I want my life and body to be.

 I’d love to hear from you. What does a healthy body for you look like? Is it thin, or average or otherwise? 

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2 Responses to Why I Don’t Want to Be Skinny

  1. Great read, Sim. Thanks for sharing!! Depriving yourself of food is definitely not the right way to go. I think we all have been there. I remember living on a diet of shakes in the lead up to my wedding. When I eat a balanced diet of everything in moderation, I am at my happiest. I am skinnier than I would like to be know, but I think that’s the result of running around like a lunatic after a young adventurer 🙂

    • Thanks Renee for your comment! It was difficult for me to share this post but I felt it was necessary because I think that we as women are particularly hard on ourselves and how we look, so much pressure to be thin when actually we can be gorgeous and happy by just being healthy! Glad you aren’t doing the crazy shakes anymore- the things we do for our big day. eh?

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