Don't Hate the Skinny Bitches

by - Thursday, February 26, 2015

The polarization of healthy and unhealthy lifestyles has grown in recent years, helped along by social media. Health fanatics are posting every meal and workout on Twitter and Instagram, and less healthy folks are whinging about how hard it is to be fat in AmericaSomehow along the way, a FitFam backlash was born, and it became okay to call slim women "skinny bitches". The victims of fat shaming stopped having pity parties and instead announced to the world "I'm fat" as if it were something acceptable and immutable. Body shaming is the new thing: shaming others for being too thin or ripped.

I hate the FitMoms' spam (shakes, anyone?) as much as the next person, but I respect their lifestyle. Since when is it a bad thing to work out and eat well? While most of us have an excuse not to train all day for bodybuilding competitions - sorry, Maria Kang - it is certainly within reach to get half an hour of exercise a day and eat smaller, healthier meals.


Hiking is a great way to get/stay in shape
At 5'3" and 120 pounds (with a healthy BMI by the way, not underweight), I have frequently heard "Oh look, the skinny bitch is eating!", "It must be nice to be naturally skinny", or "It's so unfair you can eat whatever you want." While genetics may contribute to my petite stature, I am challenged by the same obstacles as other women when it comes to managing my weight. Postpartum thyroid issues made it difficult to shed the baby weight. As I approach 40, my metabolism has slowed and I need to go easy on late night snacking. Being a size 4 takes effort; it is not something that happens magically on its own. I make healthy food choices and exercise daily.
Results of working out 20 minutes a day (plus regular walking/biking/skiing)
Do I feel I'm better or more attractive than obese people? Absolutely not! I am confident, however, that I am healthier. Rather than body shaming others, we should examine our own lifestyles and see what changes we can make to be healthy. A lot of small changes can yield dramatic results! I am not talking about being skinny, but being well. Thin people can also have health issues if they are not careful (common ones are high cholesterol or high risk for osteoporosis due to lack of weight bearing exercise).

Do you feel your lifestyle is healthy? What items would you add to the Healthy Lifestyle column below?

Healthy Lifestyle vs. Unhealthy Lifestyle

Activity Healthy Lifestyle Unhealthy Lifestyle*
1. School Drop-off/Pick-up That parking lot's a mess! Let's park over here. (parks across the street and walks kids 2 minutes to school or walks to school if house is close by) Yeah, I know it's a No Parking zone, but I am not walking one step from this car.
2. Kids want to go to the playground Are we walking or riding there? (Jogs to the playground while the kids ride their bikes, starts a game of tag, then works out while the kids play) Can't you just play in the backyard? Okay, okay, let me find my keys. (drives to the playground, then stares at phone the whole time)
3. Day Off Fun Get dressed! We’re skiing! Orange is the New Black Marathon!!
4. Hobbies Photography, reading, cooking, baking, playing piano, cycling, hiking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, backpacking, geocaching Photography, reading, cooking, baking, playing piano, couch surfing, eating, watching TV/movies
5. Meal Planning Monday: Teriyaki chicken thighs with carrots, mushrooms and broccoli; rice
Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs with salad
Wednesday: Thai (chicken and vegetable) red curry with rice...
I plan to go to McDonald's.
6. Grocery Shopping What a nice day! Let’s bike to the store! We can stop at the playground on the way. (bikes to store and gets food to barbecue) What a nice day to eat on the deck! Too bad the fridge is empty... Oh wait, look what I found! (grabs chips and pop from the pantry)
7. Walking the Dog Which park should we go to today, Fido? Can someone let the dog out?
8. Air Travel Glad I brought my own lunch. That meal looked nasty. First, I had to pay for an extra seat, and now I have to pay for another miniature meal. So unfair.
9. Eating Out I’ll get a chicken taco salad and water, please. Double cheeseburger combo with Coke, please. Can you supersize it?
10. Clothes Shopping I can't decide... I like everything! Good thing they're all on sale! (dances to the till) Could you please get me a bigger size in this and this? (mutters to self: “Nothing fits right. I don't know how I got this way!”)

*A lot of the unhealthy lifestyle points are things I think myself from time to time (I used to eat microwave popcorn for dinner in University!), but then I kick myself in the butt and go outside or find something healthy to go with my chocolate.

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8 comments

  1. Great post, Karen! Being skinny myself I can definitely see where you're coming from. Healthy lifestyle choices are key!

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  2. Good job. No hate from this gal. Though I have a lot of work to do to get myself looking as fine as you in that photo. Damn, you look amazing!!! (and I'm proud of you for it! Own your health!)

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  3. Your comments are disappointing. You are generalizing and stereotyping people. You are judging a person based on what they look like and perpetuating a division as someone is better/worse than another. I know people who are "bigger" who are very active and those who are 'smaller' who are not active at all. The same can be said for nutrition.

    How about being real instead. We ALL have days where we make healthier choices and other days where we don't. Lets encourage and support others in making healthy choices and not judge or continue to use stereotypes and generalizes which only create a 'us versus them' mentality.

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  4. Thanks Tanya, but you could totally rock a bikini! You are in far better shape than me! Aren't you already in a magazine somewhere? ; ) Am hoping the outfam and fitfam crowd get a chuckle at the chart. Confession: A lot of the unhealthy lifestyle points are things I think myself from time to time (I used to eat microwave popcorn for dinner in University!), but then I kick myself in the butt and go outside or find something healthy to go with my chocolate.

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  5. Christina, I think you missed my intent. Although the chart is cheeky, I intentionally discussed healthy lifestyle vs unhealthy lifestyle, instead of fat vs thin, as I know it isn't all about weight and size. Thin people can also be out of shape or have health problems due to poor eating habits, something I learned the hard way losing my Dad when he was only 55 (he was not obese, but didn't eat well and suffered a massive heart attack). Although I have always been active, I was motivated to take better care of myself and model a healthy lifestyle for my children. The backlash against Fitfam is seriously depressing...

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  6. Thanks Linda! I figured the active folks would enjoy this. : ) Others may hate me for it and not see the humor in the chart. I wrote this piece a while ago after reading posts on being fat in America (one saying how hard it is and that she is a victim, another saying that she feels better being fat because there's no pressure?, and others) and another degrading the Fitfam lifestyle. It's depressing that people who care about their health and wellness are being maligned.

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  7. I can relate. I've always been thin, both when I've led a healthy and unhealthy lifestyle. I think you made a good point though about focusing on being well and not on weight. I know many strong women who do not have my body type so I don't think thin is always the marker of health and fitness it's made out to be. Btw - you should share your daily workout! I've been trying to integrate that into my day but haven't found a set of exercises I'm loving yet.

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  8. Thanks Sarah! You are so lucky to have never had weight issues! I really struggled to lose the last 10 lbs after my 2nd child (turned out I was temporarily hypothyroid) and when I finally lost it, I got insulted for being too skinny. : ( Just can't win these days! I don't tell my sedentary acquaintances how to live/eat, so I wish they could respect my lifestyle or at least keep their mouths shut! LOL. My workouts are in the Related Links: Busy Parent Fitness Challenge. They aren't hard core at all and can be completed in 10-20 minutes depending on how fast you are and how any reps you do. I'm all about moderation. If a workout is an hour, it's unlikely I'm gonna do it so why would I expect another busy parent to? ; ) I did it for 2 months but have fallen off the wagon lately only doing it a few times a week. Let me know what you think!

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