Following the theme from my previous post, I’ve decided to declare today as the beginning of my attempt to take over the world by getting people to stop trying to be skinny. Yes, you heard me. I think that skinny is not a good goal. I’m sorry if I offend any of the skinny people out there but skinny just ain’t sexy, and as a goal for those of us who aren’t genetically suited to looking like the average 16 year old supermodel, skinny is an unrealistic and possibly even dangerous target that is ultimately impossible ever to reach with any real satisfaction. Seriously people, if you’re going to be even remotely serious about being at your physical and emotional best, forget about being thin and focus instead on becoming Lean.
Yes, Lean is definitely sexy, and it’s not simply about turning yourself into eye-candy either. It’s more about the psychological impact of both the people who see you, and of your own state of mind when you are lean. When you see someone with a lean physique, you are attracted on the surface to the physical appearance of a body in proportion with itself, and subconsciously you respond both to the vitality of a person who clearly makes an effort to maintain an attractive physique, and also to the bearing of a person who radiates confidence, pride, happiness, or any number of other positive emotions that are generally exhibited by people with healthy bodies and minds.
Now going far beyond the attractiveness of being lean, there is also the benefit of being in the best of physical health. Being lean means you have a minimum amount of body fat without completely depleting your body’s essential fat reserves, and as the science repeatedly tells us, a lean body is statistically unlikely to develop any of the diseases that are commonly attributed to excessive body fat, such as Type II Diabetes, some cancers, gastrointestinal, liver, and other metabolic diseases.
What Lean Is and Isn’t
Being lean means that you present with very little body fat, yet more than just the bare essential amount of fat that the body needs. For the guys, this is a body fat percentage between a fit 14%-17% and an athletic 6%-13%. For the ladies, you’re looking for a body fat percentage between a fit 21%-24% and an athletic 14%-20%.
A lean physique is one where you present muscle everywhere in proportion, and where no bone shows though the skin, except perhaps for a hint of rib when you bend to the side, and a slight prominence of the collarbone, elbows, knees and ankles. There should be no sign of tendon showing through the skin except perhaps under extreme strain when lifting heavy objects. Lean is a presentation of understated strength, where the muscles show clearly under the skin, and yet lean does not imply being heavily muscled. So what we’re talking about here, is being toned and not necessarily bulky.
Health isn’t about being fashionable
Most of us regular aren’t genetically “fashionable” if you believe all of those heavily photoshopped magazine pictures are showing you what beautiful is meant to be. Normal people could never dream of being able to fit into those tiny sized clothes that can only be found barely covering the ass of your typical Victoria Secret model, and we all should know by now how poorly the magazine represent health and beauty, and how this influences the negative body image that so many people have about themselves.
The thing is, why should you even worry about whether your size or look is comparable to someone else. Instead of aiming to fit into what you think is your idealised size-x clothing or becoming what you think would be your idealised “weight” or body shape, set the even loftier yet ultimately attainable goal of being as fit, strong, and as lean as you can be, and enjoy the health benefits, the satisfaction and the confidence that goes hand in hand with living within a healthy body.
No, lean isn’t fashionable. Lean is attainable, healthy, realistic, strong, beautiful… and is definitely sexy! 😛
- Skinny Fat? (collarcityathletics.typepad.com)