Is well-rounded the new skinny?

Hamster on the treadmill solo for an hour in order to burn some kcals or hit a high-intensity spin class for half the time, with a roomful of like-minded groupies? Then, chug a seaweed smoothie or a pick up a bowl at chipotle on the way home?

Should exercise focus on weight loss or life fulfillment?

With a 26% increase in gym memberships since 2009, maybe we should take a look at a few arguments on both approaches to fitness. Like always, we’re not trying to lay out all points that could be made, but just chew on a few interesting positions.

Watch your weight.

medical issues can come from being overweight

Since grade-school health class you’ve been hearing about the connection between weight and diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and other real, medical concerns. We don’t even know to go over it because you know it’s true: It’s just not healthy to be overweight. And that position probably needs to always be considered.

Brandy Melville clothes for the small

Brandy Melville markets its clothes with the jaw-dropping slogan: “one size fits most.”
Their size?
That’s all they offer.
They don’t advertise. They have only a few bricks-and-mortar stores.
Instead, they have an Instagram following of 3.9 million who get a steady dose of almost exclusively long-haired, mostly white, very small, teen girls posing at beaches or with friends.
And, analysts believe that the company’s annual sales were around $125 million last year and growing from 20 percent to 25 percent annually.
“Small” seems to be working.

sizeism is discrimination based on size, usually associated with obesity

The stereotypes are so pervasive we know them intuitively.
In fact, not being overweight means you’ve been living with privilege.

Please check out this article by Shannon Ridgway and get informed on this: 22 Examples of Thin Privilege (Everyday Feminism)

I’ll highlight a few of her points:

Thin Privilege might look like this:
1. you’re not considered unhealthy
2. you’re not paying higher insurance rates
3. people don’t assume you’re lazy
4. people don’t judge you when you eat

forget skinny, i’m going for strong

“Strong is the new skinny” is a phrase used by gyms, personal trainers, bloggers—people market to the workout crowd–and push the muscular look we see in female athletes. They’re thinking “I don’t need to look skinny, I’m not like that. I just want to be strong.”

Unfortunately, it’s kind of the same thing.

Sure, you don’t look like an anorexic runway model. Nope, you look like a jacked Venus Williams. Which means–unless you’re training for the Tokyo Olympics–you’re probably still focused on appearance goals.  In other words, strong and skinny is the new skinny.

Here’s a really good article on it: What do fit women want? Strong or skinny? (Washington Post)

Let’s look at a few points on the other side of the story.

A well-rounded life is more important than being skinny.

striving for fulfillment is a natural human goal


You’ve read about Maslow on WordStirs but let’s roll him out again, okay?

His theory goes something like this: while humans strive to achieve certain “needs” some needs must be satisfied before others can be met. For example, even though we want to be happy, we first need to feel safe. And not hungry. Maslow has this great chart that shows the hierarchy.

Look at the top. Fulfillment is way up there, which means it’s the ultimate goal for humans.

Skinny isn’t anywhere.

exercise is medicine

For 11 years, the American College of Sports Medicine has surveyed thousands of professionals around the world to determine health and fitness trends. The number seven 2017 trend is called “Exercise is Medicine,” which is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging doctors to push physical activity for patients for both the prevention and treatment of diseases. And that means doctors are talking about exercise in a broader context than simply as a means of losing weight.

orthorexia and clean eating may hurt rather than help

I gotta admit: the term “clean eating” has always bugged me. Is there a morality associated with eating certain foods? If I don’t eat according to a set of rules, am I dirty? Or bad?
Maybe I’m not the only one affected  by those words.
Apparently there’s a problem that’s on the rise that might have something to do with these morality-linked food choices: it’s called orthorexia.

Men’s Health ran an excellent article on it. Check it out: Is Eating Clean Killing You? (Men’s Health)

The word ‘orthorexia’ means an obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating and exercise. Although being aware of and concerned with nutritional quality and content isn’t a problem, people with orthorexia become so fixated on so-called eating right and working out excessively that they actually that they actually hurt their bodies.


Back to the News Made Simple article here.

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