What's YOUR Skinny?

posted Jun 11, 2016, 1:00 PM by Walk Strong Calgary   [ updated Jun 11, 2016, 1:32 PM ]
Let's talk about skinny. I think there's a mindset we need to change where this term is concerned. 'Skinny' can be different for everyone, and it doesn't necessarily mean 'thin.'

As a society, we tend to celebrate skinny with advertising that depicts models who are size zeroes - not that there's anything wrong with being a size zero if it fits your body's frame and you're in good health. I love to watch old TV shows and am often amazed at how thin some of the actresses were in their younger years, but in a good way. They looked very healthy and likely were. Doris Day looked incredible throughout her career, and Stefanie Powers looked great during her Hart to Hart years... still does, in fact, considering she had lung cancer surgery about 7-8 years ago. (In an interview from 2010, Stefanie talked briefly about how exercise has become a necessity to expand her lungs to fill the cavity left when part of one lung was removed.1)

Unfortunately, young people in particular can struggle with body image and think they need to be a size zero to be skinny and look amazing. Regardless of your age, if this is your aim, you may well be setting yourself up for disappointment, as many factors come into play as to whether or not this is a realistic goal for you. I love the ads that use people of all sizes - this is reality. Not all of us are size zeroes... and that's OKAY!

Consider this: What's YOUR skinny? You don't have to be 'skinny' to feel 'skinny.' Do you need to lose 10 lbs to be at an optimum, healthy weight for you? Make that your skinny. Consult with your doctor on what a healthy weight is for you. Do you need to lose 50 lbs? There's your potential skinny... in fact, you can lose 5-10 of those 50 lbs and feel skinny due to the changes you'll see physically, mentally and emotionally - celebrate this as a milestone!

Just make it a milestone and not a millstone - we can become so concerned about the weight loss that this focus becomes a
hindrance to our efforts. "A millstone around your neck" is an idiom that refers to a problem or a responsibility you have continually that prevents you from doing what you want. It's a huge weight weighing you down (figuratively speaking) and hindering your progress.

Take your eyes off the scale and try to focus on all of the other health factors along the way:
  • Are you sleeping better?
  • Do you have more energy?
  • Has it become easier to get up off the couch or to negotiate the stairs?
  • Are your joints aching less or has another issue gone away?
  • Are your clothes fitting differently? (You can lose inches and not have it reflected on the scale!)
  • Are you happier?
  • Are you more confident?
  • Are you feeling better about yourself?
All of these are important factors in your journey... maybe even more so than the weight loss.

So... What's YOUR skinny?

- Nancy Ehle is a Certified WALK 15® Instructor and ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She's also a Health Coach and has several other industry specialties. As Founder and CEO of Witness 4 Fitness in Calgary, Nancy designs fitness programs that are suitable for people of all ages and stages of life. She believes that everyone should be able to find an activity that fits their abilities and is enjoyable for them. Follow Nancy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WalkStrongCalgary/