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What in the world is "skinny fat"?
If you were to take one look at me, you'd be sure to call me slender, or skinny b**** if you are Meghan Trainor. Sure, I do look svelte in clothes most of the time; they don’t come off as loose and neither do I have any problems with stuffing my junk in the trunk.
I have an unproportionate amount of fat-to-muscle ratio deposited in problematic areas on my body, such as the mid-section and the thighs.
As a disclaimer, people like me are actually normal eaters, taking in normal calories in normal amount every day just like you do. The only difference is that we tend to have a much higher metabolic rate (or whatever the mechanism responsible for making the food in your body disappeared is called) than usual.
It could have easily been a blessing, if not for the satanic curse to store stubborn fats in certain places while only burning off from other already-skinny places whenever we exercise.
This, my friend, is how we become the "skinny fat" people.
The Middle Child Syndrome
You open Youtube and hear singers preaching about being "Bootylicious" to get some "Anaconda," you sing along (of course you do), but can hardly be convinced that the songs are meant to celebrate your body.
Then Ms. Trainor came on, and you are left feeling slightly offended even though you "ain’t no size two" too.
You go on Instagram, and Tay Tay with her #squadgoal comes in, flooding your feed, striding their never-ending legs under those impossibly small waists to you. You tell yourself that they look like this because it is part of their job as celebrities, so you go on and check out some "normal people" closer to life.
Then you suddenly realize a lot of your friends are working out more and looking better than before. While you are happy for them, you remain perplexed as to how to exercise to become stronger without looking too skinny again.
Like a middle child, you remain silent, under-represented, and invisible, as you watch your bigger (pun much intended) siblings fight with the smaller ones in their endless attention-seeking quarrels.
What is the next step?
Well, first of all, if you are feeling perfectly okay and comfortable with your body right now, there is no next step for you. Nothing is more important than you feeling happy and healthy.
As for me personally, I do not feel okay with my current body state.
I love working out—I'm not a gym addict in any sense, but just love the feeling of sweat breaking out and the muscles engaging together. It makes me restless and fidgety if I don’t do some form of exercise in a week.
I love hot yoga in particular, but I can’t seem to attend regular lessons without friends reaching out to me to check if I have any "weight issues I wish to talk about."
After a little research online, it seems like the best solution to end this self-perpetual state is to head down the road of resistance training and diet-controlling. The goal here is to have the former build up the muscles, while the latter simultaneously ensures that the much loathed fats don’t get to grow anymore.
Cardio would be very limited, as it is mainly recommended for overall fat loss and would thus bring back that ‘skinny look’ that gets people concerned again. Instead, the muscle-building process from all the resistance training is said to be able to burn calories, so the existing fats would be naturally taken care of. Hopefully.
I have juuuust (ie. yesterday) embarked on the journey to give "skinny-fat" a big fat kiss goodbye, so I am in no position to vouch or give advice on anything. But I have been skinny all my life (by DNA, not by choice), and then "skinny-fat" since being hit by the truck that goes by the name of puberty and age.
So, this is a voice for all the "skinny-fat" people out there, and a reminder to the rest that our problem is still a real problem, not any bit less or more than theirs.