Apparently Skinny Fat Is A Thing, And It's Not Good
Health |  Source: bonytobeastly.com

Apparently Skinny Fat Is A Thing, And It's Not Good

Skinny fat isn't just about flabiness.

The other day I heard the term "skinny fat" while scrolling my day away on Facebook. I had heard it in passing every now and again, so I decided to find out what it meant on my own, instead of asking someone and potentially looking stupid. After doing some online research for about ten minutes, here is what I found out:

The first website I looked into made it sound like it was at least okay since they recognized that every has different body shapes and compositions. For those who don't know, skinny fat is a term used for people who have more "mass" (AKA, fat) versus muscle.

According to another site I looked at, it means that you are fat unless you have the muscled bod of a goddess. According to the Urban Dictionary, skinny fat is, "when someone is thin and looks great in clothes, but is all flabby underneath." On Wikipedia, skinny fat is "thin on the outside, fat on the inside."

Firstly, there are so many definitions, which one are we supposed to pay attention to? I couldn't find out where the term originated, but I know it couldn't have magically appeared out of nowhere.

Either way, there were a lot of articles about how to change a skinny fat body, and even one that claimed being skinny fat is worse than obesity because when you are obese, there is an outward consequence of your health habits. If you are skinny fat, there isn't too much of a way to tell that you aren't eating right or exercising enough since there isn't too much of a consequence for it.

At first, I was terribly offended by the skinny fat idea. I thought it was some ploy by athletic beings that wanted to get more people on the exercise 24/7 bandwagon. But then I thought about it for a second... it IS bad to be skinny fat.

If you are able to pound down an entire pizza and still be relatively thin, this still isn't a good thing for your body long-term. Skinny fat people usually don't realize that they have high cholesterol or high blood pressure until they take a blood test (which isn't usually in your typical annual checkup). There isn't a bigger stomach involved when skinny fat individuals eat biscuits and gravy, so why are they going to stop? There's no point to them: they won't.

Most people make the effort to eat healthy and exercise because they want to look better on the outside, but skinny fat people look decent anywhere, so that motivation isn't there. Skinny fat people need to make the healthy choice because *shiver*, it's the right thing to do for your health.

Skinny fat people's body composition will change, but it will not be as drastic as those who have to lose weight to see results. Being skinny fat (though I think a different term might be better to use) is not good for you. Sure, you may be able to eat burgers all day, but you may not be able to when it catches up to you and you end up having to watch what you eat even more strictly because your doctor told you to.

Skinny fat people have it tough because they have to eat right and won't get too much out of it, but it is still a good thing to be healthy, and why not start being healthy now? You don't have to quit your favorite greasy foods cold turkey, you can take baby steps. For example, you could pack a lunch from home every once in a while, eat one sandwich instead of two, or forgo your venti coffee for a tall instead.

Skinny fat people need to make the choice now rather than later to eat healthy. I promise, there is food that is good for you that tastes good too. You just have to go looking for it.

Image Alt
Health |  Source: sweattalk.com

Stop Skinny Shaming Your Friends

Ain't nobody got time for that.

Summer officially marks bikini season, when a majority of women (self-included) try to shed those few extra pounds that might've creeped on during finals period. I was stressed and those chocolate covered pretzels were calling my name, ok?

While summer is a great time to hit the beach or pool with your friends, it also tends to bring out the worst in us. I'm talking about comparing and criticizing bodies out the wazoo.

I'll admit, I've definitely been on both ends of this one. Neither the giving nor receiving of skinny shaming feels good, and I'm not proud. Whenever one of my friends lost a little bit of weight, I became more self-aware of mine.

The solution? Shame them, subtly. Constantly bring up how they've lost a ton of weight in such a short period of time, and give disapproving looks. Ask what they ate for every meal. Raise your eyebrows and hand them over your cookie and tell them to eat more.

Let me tell you -- all this, not cool. There's a fine line between "concern" for your friends and straight up skinny shaming. If you are worried about your friend, and think they might be on the brink of an eating disorder, the best advice is not to tell them "you're too skinny" or try to force feed them.

Trust me, been there, it's not helpful. It doesn't make us feel any better at a time we're already scrutinizing our bodies. Rather, try to learn the facts, and be honest, and most importantly, be supportive. This is a time when they would need support the most -- sometimes even outside professional help is needed.

But think about why you're skinny shaming in the first place. If you find you're making comments out of jealousy, really backtrack. Is that what friends are for? Not in my book. If they wanna skip the alcohol for the night, so what? If they decided to go on a morning run while you slept in until 12, what's the issue? It's their choice, don't make your friends feel bad about what they choose to do with their body.

Some people are also just genetically skinnier. Having friends with ridiculously fast metabolisms can be frustrating, but that doesn't give a pass to take it out on them. Chances are, they're insecure about some other part of themselves too.

A survey by Glamour found that 80 percent of women felt bad about themselves just by looking in a mirror, and that the majority of women are comparing themselves to friends on social media, not celebrities. The women that were happiest? Those who didn't compare themselves.

It makes sense and we should all try to stop it. A goal for all of us this summer should be to stop the comparing, the shaming, and focus on loving ourselves and our friends. Because beauty is more than skin deep, and that water is calling.

Image Alt
Health |  Source: iluvesports.com

Summer Slim Down: 5 Workouts that Burn the most FAT

You will sweat, you will cry, you will be sore.

I love to workout. I swear my parents signed me up for every sport growing up, possibly because I was the most energetic, annoying kid ever.

Whatever the reason, an active lifestyle has always been important to me because of those early field hockey practices and jazz classes. If you're looking for workouts that shed weight fast, look no further. Just remember to put in the work at whichever class you choose, and the fat will melt away.

1. Kickboxing.
If you have a lot of stress or pent-up aggression, this is the class for you. There is nothing more rewarding than kicking the shit out of a boxing bag, trust me. Aside from the mental health benefits, kickboxing requires you to engage your full body, which torches fat.

2. Spin class.
All spin classes are great for weight loss, but RPM classes are where it's really at. Normally with these types of classes you have two options. The first being a 45-minute spin-only class and the second being a 45-minute spin and 15-minute core workout. Honestly, you can't go wrong with either.

What makes RPM even more intense is the idea that you are spinning to the beat of the track the instructor has picked. Normally, the playlist to these classes is EDM or remix-heavy because they have a quick rhythm. This means you will be doing a lot of quick sprints and climbs so don't forget your sweat towel because you'll need it!

3. HIIT training classes.
Any combination of cardio and weight-lifting speeds up the weight loss process. However, HIIT classes, like Orangetheory fitness or CrossFit, take it to the next level. Besides the benefits of having an instructor there to keep you going, these workouts are specifically created with the idea of weight loss in mind.

4. Hot yoga.
Contrary to popular belief, both yoga and pilates classes burn fat just as well as some of your favorite cardio classes. The interesting thing about hot yoga though, is that while you are striking a pose, you are doing so in very high temperatures that are upwards of 100 degrees. Literally pools of sweat, everywhere.

5. Running.
Shocker! Running on the treadmill burns more calories and engages more muscles than a lot of the other workout machines offered at gyms. Aside from the erg machine, getting on the treadmill is your next best bet for slimming down.

Well, there you have it. Grab a friend or two and get your asses to the gym! These are arguably some of the most engaging workouts most gyms or studios offer. Just remember, your hard work will pay off!

Image Alt
Health |  Source: @_eatandlove_

Stop Fearing Food

Why take pictures of pizza when you can eat it?

My first day of school I did a quick run through the dining hall, then ran right back to my dorm room without eating a thing. I was terrified to eat here. I had never had such an abundance of food at my fingertips. I was terrified of the dining hall.

It was full of so many temptations. My room was safe and stocked up with my usual safety food, which meant Nature Valley bars and Cheerios. Foods I could monitor. I was terrified of calories and gaining weight, and that's exactly what college was threatening to do to me in this very moment.

Skinny. It's all I ever wanted to be. And yet, even when I was at my tiniest, I wasn't happy. Because I couldn't be like some girls, who literally had legs the size of my arms. Growing up I was called "chubby but cute", "muscular and stockier", "bulkier."

These words were drilled into my head. By the end of high school I had reached a bad stage of my life: I had broken up with my boyfriend, and I decided to settle that heartbreak by excessively working out and limiting my intake to less than 1200 calories a day.

So when college came around, I lost control. I had dropped over 25 pounds within the last year, and most of it was unnaturally unhealthy. What most people thought were abs were my ribs poking painfully out of my stomach.

I was below the weight my body type needed, and it rebelled by nourishing itself. It took away the nausea, the pangs in the stomach, the anemia I had given myself from lack of food. It was tired of vitamin supplements and bars in place of meals.

I still tried to resist. I found myself making two trips a day to the gym in an attempt to stop it. I tried to keep myself from the dining halls, yet the more I deprived myself, the worse the binges got.

By the end of first semester, I had reached one conclusion: I had a major problem with food.

So what did I do? I set out to solve this problem.

I was not working out half as much, and I was enjoying myself. I made less excuses as to why I couldn't go to dinner with friends and began accepting that I had to eat around other people.

I also opened up to my best friends on campus about my issues with food, which was one of the best things I could have possibly done - and I still managed to drop off a lot of the weight I had battled with first semester without even trying.

Unconsciously, I had succeeded in doing what I never could have done with the obsessive, unhealthy mindset I was in.

I can't say I am perfect and have overcome all obstacles when it comes to food, but I can say this: learn to love your body. Skinny doesn't correlate with happiness. Weight won't make a guy, or anyone for that matter, like you any more or any less.

You can't spend your entire life worrying about what's going on your plate.

Image Alt
Health |  Source: @michie.gram

How to Start Weight Training

Fit is the new skinny.

Just like brunch is the new darty and quote tees are the new black, fit is the new skinny. It used to be that the supermodels that were idolized were skinnier than my pinky finger and on a diet of leaves and water. Now, the sexiest thing you can be is toned.

Eating the right foods throughout the day and hitting the gym is the best thing you can be doing for your body. Instead of power walking through the malls, you need to be lifting weights and picking up on a few boxing classes.

It's incredibly easy to get in shape without looking like a body building hulk. Allow me to point out the body parts to focus on with accompanying beginner moves that specifically target that muscle group.

Chest:

Dumbbell Pec Fly: Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other. "Fly" arms outward with arms bent at the elbow. Then bring back to starting position.

Biceps:
Dumbbell Curls: Start with arms down and palms outward gripping dumbbells. Bring arms up, bending at the elbow. Return to starting position.

Abs:
Front Plank: Hold your body weight for 30 seconds facing the ground. Your feet will be holding you up on your toes, while you rest your forearms and elbows on the ground up front.

Thighs:

Leg Press/Leg Extension: The best way to do these are by using the leg press and leg extension machines. Ask a trainer to help you locate them and find the weight best fit for you.

Shoulders (Front and Lateral Delts)

Front and Lateral Raises: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise arms both out in front of you and out to the side. Both raises are down with straight arms. Stop when your arm is parallel with your shoulder.

Shoulders (Rear Delts):
Reverse Flys: Knees should be slightly bent, with your upper body leaning slightly forward with back straight. With a dumbbell in each hand, start with the dumbbells pressed together with almost straight arms out in front of you. "Fly" arms outward. Return to starting position and repeat.

Obliques:

Side Plank: Similar to front plank, but on each side. Balance on only one foot and one forearm. Outstretch opposite arm if it helps.

Upper Traps:
Dumbbell Shrugs: hold dumbbells in hands on side and shrug shoulders.

Triceps:
Close-Grip Pushups: Keep your head up and get in push up position. To focus on triceps, keep your arms close to your side and elbow back when you lower to the ground. Raise up and repeat.

Lats:
Lat Pulldown: It's easy to find the lat machine at the gym. It is a simple pulldown method.

Mid-Back (Traps, Rhomboids):
Rows (dumbbell, barbell, or cable): If there isn't a rowing machine available, you can row with dumbbells. Slightly bent knees, slightly leaned forward with straight back. With dumbbells in hand, bring arms back in a rowing motion.

Glutes:
Single Leg Hip Thrusts: Lay with your back on the floor, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground. Raise one leg straight outward. Thrust hips upward and lower back down.

Calves:
Standing Calf Raises: Standing with feet shoulder length apart, lift up on tippy toes, and back down. Repeat.

I would recommend grouping these body parts into days of the week. Don't start out doing full body workouts everyday! Day one could be shoulders, arms, and chest. Day two could be abs, obliques, and back. Day three could be glutes and legs. It's entirely up to you!

I usually do three sets of 6-8 reps for exercises involving dumbbells. For exercises without weights, I will do thirty second reps twice. Once you get the hang of your routine, you can continue to advance your moves!

Sweat is the new sexy.



Image Alt
Health |  Source: @daphneemarie

Five Ways to Avoid the Freshman 15

How to fight off the weight and feel good.

We have all heard the dreaded words upon entering college: the freshman 15, the transfer 20, the list goes on. Seldom do we realize when we have become victims to this monster ourselves.

Can you really blame us? All you can eat cafeterias, late night cafes with excellent chocolate croissants, and ungodly amounts of alcohol on the weekends are some of the most enjoyable parts about being in college!

But then it hits you: you can no longer fit into your favorite jeans, you're out of breath just by walking to class, and if you can't see it, you feel it on the inside by experiencing terrible acid reflux.

That was how I experienced it, at least. But I changed all of that my senior year.

Had I known what I know now, I would have avoided the freshman 15 all together (I actually gained the freshman 50). I guess you live and you learn. I can at least show some of you how you can fight off this extra weight, and how to lose it if you want to. I hope this article helps anyone struggling with weight loss, body image, or an eating disorder.

Number one: don't justify eating whatever you want with your studies or stress level
You won't feel any better by eating terrible food late at night. In fact, you will feel less stressed if you choose to eat fruits and veggies over muffins and mocha fraps.

Number two: cafeterias are great, but super markets are better
Granted, you might have purchased a meal card and that's fine. But take some time to go to your local farmer's market on the weekends and purchase some real food. You will not regret it.

Number three: cut back on the alcohol
This might be the hardest one to do for many of you. Give it a shot (literally and figuratively) and see how you feel after cutting back.

Number four: use your school gym
Even if you don't like going to the gym (I personally didn't) your school probably has an outdoor track, and numerous exercises clubs like boxing, jiu jitsu, and rock climbing. Utilize them! Not only will you stay active, but you will also make friends in the process.

Number five: love yourself
I don't want to get all lovey dovey, but too many college students rate themselves by the grades they get or how many times they go out on successful dates. This results in how we treat our bodies. If you want to feel good, you need to make sure you're treating your body right, and you treat your body right when you love yourself.

It's not about looking good; it's about feeling good.