The Alternative to Skinny Fat

Posted: July 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

When I plugged my phone in to upload some photos today one of the oldest photos on my phone caught my eye.

It’s a picture that I took at the very end of my time with a previous trainer who I stopped working with 3 years ago.

It was the prime example of dieting gone bad. Way too much cardio, very little food, absolutely NO variety and extreme exhaustion.

But hey… my weight was at the lowest it had EVER been, so something had to be working right?

Umm… I was a mess, emotional, physically, mentally. It was all falling apart and promptly after ending my time with this trainer I rebounded hard. What I had “achieved” was not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.

At the time I beat myself up… during every binge I would pop this photo up on my laptop and sit there sobbing over why I couldn’t maintain that. Why it was so hard, why couldn’t I be naturally lean and “healthy looking” like that.

Now I look at that photo and see skinny fat. I wasted away precious muscle I had spent so long building up. I was flabby, loose skin and feeling like complete garbage on the regular.

At the time that photo was taken I weighed exactly the same thing I do now. That number is forever stuck in my mind and haunts me as the “unattainable”. Yet here I sit at that number, doing way less cardio, eating oats, eggs and *gasp* DAIRY.

I feel strong, healthy and insanely happy with my progress and my life.

Weight training and proper nutrition make ALL the difference. Yes you obviously have to take in less calories than you need to lose fat, but if you do it properly you won’t end up feeling like crap at the end.

july 9 001 Vs july 9

Maybe it’s not as obvious to everyone else… since A LOT of how I feel on this is mental and physical…

In the old photo I’m squishy, soft, lots of loose skin, no definition… Always ah… sucking it in.

… if you know what I mean.

I will also point out in the “before” I was a size four.

I am now a 00… or an excessively comfortable 0.

At the exact.same.weight.

Um hello. Cray cray much people?!

I think I’ll take my banana oats, cookies and cream greek yogurt and “low intensity steady state” cardio over murdering my joints doing HIIT for days on end and living off chicken and green beans.

… .Although green beans would be tasty. Hmmm.

What matters to you? Being “skinny” or being healthy?

… and how much are you willing to risk to get there if you chose skinny?

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Comments
  1. Tiff says:

    I’m almost embarassed to admit that it depends on how healthy vs how skinny. Is that crazy? I’ve put on a wee bit of weight by limiting some of my old favorite processed foods (Diet Cokes were my dessert!), but I still feel good. If I felt unhappy about myself though, I wonder what I’d let slide.

  2. Wow this blog actually hit right at home. About the same thing happened to me a year ago. I don’t follow that coach anymore either. I just felt sluggish all the time and had no energy. You look great now and I loved that you used cray cray and openly admitted that you were a size 00. I have before and you are what you are. You look awesome now and have more confidence than half the “healthy living” bloggers combined. You are truly an inspiration.

  3. Amanda says:

    I definitely want to be healthy, but I don’t really focus on the ‘skinny’ part of it. I don’t care how much I weigh (to a point), but I wanna be lean baby! Give me 10 extra pounds but give me striations along with it!
    Thanks for posting your pics! It’s amazing what the difference the diet makes!

  4. allieksmith says:

    GREAT post! I am in love with weight training lately and it makes me sad when I see people just doing cardio day after day and not achieving results. I am way more focused on being healthy vs skinny 🙂

  5. it’s definitely amazing how interesting the body is at different sizes isn’t it?

  6. That is incredible, and I’m sure the psychological/emotional difference is even greater than what we see in your before&afters! Striving for “skinny” is never really enriching or rewarding, even when you do get “results” (aka “see a drop on the scale because your body’s eating up its hard-earned muscle”).

    What DOES surprise me though is that your body transformed so well when you went from doing HIIT to steady state cardio, when TYPICALLY people experience the opposite results. I’m also wondering, what was wrong with your diet with the old trainer? really low in protein, or too low-cal, or what? I believe you that it was a bad diet, I just don’t see what’s wrong with chicken and green beans, haha!

  7. AntosDoesLife says:

    You really hit the spot. I’m currently stuck as the “semi-skinny fat” person. I know that I need to do the strength training because my nutrition is generally on…but I just can’t get myself to be committed to the gym to get the lifting in like you can!

  8. I look a pictures of myself from my wedding and while it was one of the happiest days of my life, I also know that I was a crazy, emotional mess constantly thinking about my weight and wanting to be skinnier. So, I totally get you. I weigh about 10-15lbs more now (less when I’m not marathon training) and I’m a slightly bigger size (4/6 instead of a 2/4) but I am SO MUCH HAPPIER and healthier. I have amazing muscles and I eat food that makes me happy. It’s not about the number AT ALL!

  9. Ann says:

    Hi Becca! It was cool tweeting you today! I am amazed at the pictures – what a difference! It’s amazing how people really are what they eat! I always joked that I was what I ate…one of two:

    1. Cheap, fast and easy …or…
    2. Rich & Sweet

    They’re cute, but really no joke – that was me! I am now what I eat – healthy, thoughtful and occasionally indulgent….and I feel MUCH better!

    Thanks for another GREAT post!

  10. AWESOME post!

    I’d rather be healthy than skinny…I loved the way I looked when I was at my lowest weight but I was depriving my body of so much goodness that’s really sad to think about…I’d rather be what I am today than what I was a year and a half ago!

  11. Hmm, I was super skinny but super soft about 4 years ago. soooo not health. I’ve only gained about 7 pounds more, but my body composition is completely different, I’m so much more solid (and healthier) now. Middle finger to anyone hating at the gym, girl. I go to a gym filled with mostly competitors, so that stuff is normal for me. Good luck this week!! OMG!! So excited for you Bec!

  12. marlopnwgirl says:

    Healthy all the way. When i stopped caring so much about weight and what size i was.. I started eating more of the foods I enjoyed and i think i look better than ever.

  13. Lisa says:

    This is exactly why you are such a huge inspiration to people. Good for you for getting your mind straight!!

  14. Well, when I think about my goal, I do tend to think about the skinny part of it. But I want to be firm, not squishy. I want to be very toned with a great shape, not plain old skinny. I was plain old skinny for decades. One of the best things about my 30s is finally getting some shape!

  15. I’m experiencing something similar in that I’m wearing smaller sizes than I did in the past but weight the same if not a little more, but am definitely in way better shape and much stronger. You almost have to push numbers out of your head and go by how you feel. Which is hard. But ultimately I think, for the best.

  16. Christy says:

    That is crazy, but it’s amazing how it all works out in the end.

  17. Definitely, definitely healthy (although there are days where I need reminders of that). I am at a heavier weight now than I have been in the past, but I am healthy and happy and stronger than I was when I was at a weight that was too low for me.

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