Weight and Resistance Training - I'm a skinny fat person: a rant

View Full Version : I'm a skinny fat person: a rant

09-14-2005, 11:02 PM
Well, by the thread title you can see where this is going. The thing that I have feared has come upon me. I weighed in this morning at 121.2# which should make me really happy. The last time I weighed that little (ironically) was when I joined my current gym. The "orientation PT" asked me what I wanted to accomplish with my workouts. I specifically remember saying "I don't really want to lose any weight but I want to increase my cardio endurance."

I originally set my goal at 120 remembering that but thinking that it would be virtually impossible to accomplish. I also thought that I would be quite happy with my body & I'd be able to wear all of my old clothes if I ever lost that much. Wrong. I'm back to being able to fit into most things but there's still lots of stuff that won't even zip, much less look good on. Now, there's no doubt that I am much happier with myself than I was 9 months ago but I really expected to be perfectly happy by the time I got to this weight. AND, what I thought would be impossible has really not been that hard. Don't get me wrong, finding the will power to say no to the chocolate and finding the motivation to get to the gym has NOT always been easy. As long as I have done those things though, the weight has steadily come off. I've lowered my goal to 115 now but I'd be completely happy to be at 120 with about 8-10 fewer pounds of fat. I started taking belly dancing classes but it is kind of disgusting being in class and seeing my belly...um...dance without me.:o

I know what I need to do to keep from being a skinny fat person (and I'm doing it for the most part) so I guess I'm not really looking for advice, just venting a little. I think it was Mel who said that it took 6 months to lose the weight and 4 years to get the body she wanted, but I'm a single women in my 30's. I don't have that kind of time:lol:

09-15-2005, 09:48 AM
I think it was Mel who said that it took 6 months to lose the weight and 4 years to get the body she wanted, but I'm a single women in my 30's. I don't have that kind of timeYou have PLENTY of time silly girl...
Don't rush a good thing. At 120# I doubt that any man would even notice those problem areas on an otherwise beautiful woman, anyways, if a man doesn't love you because you don't have the perfect body well I say dump the smuck!! Julie, sounds like you know what to do but are just in a rush to do it. Start doing more weight training and your muscles will shift around and give you that buffer look we all want.

09-15-2005, 10:23 AM
At 120# I doubt that any man would even notice those problem areas on an otherwise beautiful woman, anyways, if a man doesn't love you because you don't have the perfect body well I say dump the smuck Oh I know, I'm just annoyed right now. Believe me if any man told me I needed to lose weight he'd get more than dumped, more like a swift kick up the :censored: from my now fairly powerful leg;) It's more about that self image & self confidence that funniegirl wrote so eloquently about. I thought by now I'd be able to lean over without my gut flopping onto my legs. It may be the curse of the former gymnast. Alas, I still remember the days when I could do 500 sit ups, 50 chin ups & run 2 miles as a cool down AFTER a 3 hr workout and had, oh, about 6 oz of body fat (or at least it seemed like it). :lol:

09-15-2005, 11:16 AM
Julia... I've thought a long time about answering your post. I've had several ideas .. almost all of which involved my telling you about the many times I thought I was at goal.
But I was reminded of two pieces of advice I got here at 3fc. Probably on the maintainers forum.
First ... optimum fitness is a meandering journey with a variable destination. When we decide to lose weight .. we begin by counting pounds on the scale. But as we move along we become aware of other variables like inches, loose skin, muscle tone, endurance etc. Progress then begins to have many faces ... other than the number on the scale.
Second was about looking to the past. Don't compare yourself now to some wistful image you seem to recall from the past. You have lived in your body. Pardon the expression but it's slightly used. I'm lighter now than I was when I was 25 but I've got a few stretch marks, varicose veins ... I'll never have a 24 inch waist again. My body has done me good service over the years, I appreciate that and I'll have to forgive the differences.

You're just having a rough spot Julia. Something will twig and you'll be bright and optimistic again real soon. You've done awesome work so far and you'll figure out what to try next. I'm sure.

09-15-2005, 02:09 PM
How about staying 120# but replacing 5# of fat with muscle? When you are this light isn't dropping more weight likely to make you even more skinny-fat?

I don't think anyone needs to weigh less than 120#, unless they are very short indeed.

Keep honing that physique, but do consider that you may not need to be lighter. I really like the way natural female bodybuilder's look, and would be all for it if wife (5'6" 128#) put on 10# of muscle.

09-15-2005, 03:58 PM
Julia- Take a deep breath! Stop trying to lose weight. It took me 4 years for a few reasons: 1) I was in denial about my true eating patterns and what my weight had to be to get the desired body fat level; 2) I'm a heck of a lot older than you and that makes a difference; 3) I want to look like a serious bodybuilder. Not everyone wants this look and if I didn't work in a gym 12 hours a day I wouldn't be aiming for it either.

What do you want to look liike? The fitness models in magazines usually only look like that for a few weeks a year. The ones who have "made it" usually have clauses in their contracts which give them 8-12 weeks advance notice for a photo shoot so they can lean down. Maintaining at 12% body fat would be a full-time job for most people.

Take a look at the article I posted a few months ago:
Train Like A Woman

By Kristin Reisinger

When I was asked to write a response article to an article entitled, 'Train Like A Man,' I envisioned myself writing a highly charged rebuttal piece to a sexist rant chock full of testosterone, andro and a bit of GH thrown in for good measure. After much thought about the topic at hand, I realized that a lot of the author's attitudes and beliefs towards training apply to everyone. Especially us women!

Let me explain. Through the years I have seen many women in the gym lifting these rinky-dink, pink and purple hand weights barely breaking a sweat. I see the same girls do three cardio classes in a row and spend countless hours on the treadmill like hamsters on a habitrail pondering why their bodies look exactly the same as they did six months ago. These are the same girls that come up to me and ask me repeatedly what I do to look the way I do or what do I eat or do I even eat. I even overheard a girl once say, "I'm doing so good today... I only had a bagel and a salad." The list is endless and it is endlessly frustrating.

I wish I had a megaphone right now. Ladies... you need to lift HEAVY to have a physique like the chick from Terminator! When you feel like you can't squeeze out any more reps... do two more! Get calluses on your hands... your man will love it. So many of you comment on how much you'd love to have a body like Madonna or Angela Bassett or Gabrielle Reece but most of you don't do anything to get it! Do you think these women work out with tiny little dumbbells and their bodies look like that by mistake? Do you even know how hard it is and how much meticulous planning and preparation (and testosterone!) it takes to put on muscle and "bulk up" like a professional bodybuilder? I've been lifting as hard and heavy as any guy I know for two years and I keep getting smaller and leaner! I look sexier and more feminine than ever before, too. By really lifting weights and stressing your muscles you will increase your lean mass, and since it is this lean mass (muscle tissue) that burns fat, you will have the capacity to burn more fat even at rest. Combining this with a moderate amount of cardiovascular activity (not three step classes in a row) will turn your body into a fat burning machine. Too much cardio works against you and will eventually begin to utilize your hard-earned lean muscle tissue for energy which is NOT the desired goal.

You also need to EAT. Your need to fuel your body with the appropriate foods for energy as well as protein for the build up and reparation of muscle tissue. Starving yourself is NOT the answer and is more detrimental than most of you realize. It will slow down your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and hang on to every last bit of bagel you consume as stored energy (fat). By eating small, low-fat meals throughout the day incorporating a protein source with good sources of fibrous and complex carbohydrates will stabilize your insulin levels and sustain your energy levels. This will prevent your body from going into starvation mode while giving you all the building blocks you need for developing and shaping your muscles. Plus, you actually get to eat more!

"It's all about ATTITUDE," says the author, and I agree wholeheartedly. I would even venture to say us women need to dish out even more of it than men. If I had a nickel for every time I witness some girl feeling intimidated in the gym because of the presence of a man or give up a machine or a bench because some dude is waiting for it, I'd have a bank account like Arnold. I have gone up to girls in the gym and yelled at them for doing that. Where's your damn backbone?! Self-esteem, confidence and an all-around, I don't give a s--t attitude are all part of the package that go along with my philosophies on training like a woman which is far more attractive than a whole heap of mascara, lip gloss and eye liner. And the gym is our domain as much as any man. Training like a woman is a synergistic framework allowing everything else in life to fall into place that much smoother including relationships, career or whatever you allow it to flow into. Having a great body is merely a fringe benefit. So ladies, to quote a very wise person, "Go hard or go home," especially if you're a woman.

Work on changing your body composition, not your weight at this point. Add more muscle, do less cardio. Belly dancing is fun. If you are doing because you enjoy it, great. If you are doing it as a muscle building exercise, forget it and go pick up some heavy weights. That's what will change your body shape and size. More cardio will just make you a smaller flabby person who can eat even less.

You say you are running out of time? Nope, you're at the perfect point in time. You still have lots of hormones to build muscle and strong bones, lots of stamina, drive, and you know that what you want is achievable! If an old lady can do it, so can you! I wasted the first three years of building my body because of stupid eating. You've already conquered that.

And don't do it for a man...you know that what are now is desirable...do it for YOU!


09-15-2005, 04:09 PM
Mel, you're the best! :D

09-15-2005, 06:58 PM
Hi Julia - first off, congrats on your progress so far. You have done great and all the bright folks who have commented are right that it takes some time but not as long as you might think! I have one thought, though, as someone approximately your age (I'm 29, almost 30). For me, anyway, the last year or two I've started to realize what I can't get away with anymore. I've lost a fair amount of weight before and this time it's just not as easy. I'm a tad achier after working out and I have to be more careful about not injuring myself and planning my meals better. This might be the case in your situation too, and I guess we just have to grin and bear it (and hide from the wonderful older ladies on LWL who will say "just wait for a few more years and see how you like it, little missy" :lol: )

09-15-2005, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the encouragement ladies (and gent)
How about staying 120# but replacing 5# of fat with muscle? Believe me, I'd love that.

What do you want to look like? I've been thinking about that lately and the closest thing I can come up with is actually...my belly dancing instructor:p And yes, I am doing the belly dancing for fun more than anything else. I was doing almost an hour/day 6x/wk of cardio and I've cut back to about 1/2 hr 3x/week plus the 1.5hr class (which never gets my heart rate up in the slightest-but I can feel it in my obliques and quads). Sadly, I really enjoy cardio - maybe it's the endorphin rush - and I've missed it.

I've increased my strength training from about 15 min/3x per week to about 1/2hr 3x and added a lot of different lifts that I wasn't doing before. If I do much more than 1/2 hr at a time I get to the point that I can't even lift my arms - or stand the thought of climbing the stairs back out to the street. I think I might get some db's to use at home so I can split my workouts up more throughout the week. Maybe get some lightish ones (10-15#s) for the lifts that I can't use heavy stuff for and save the heavy ones for when I'm at the gym. It just doesn't seem worth the drive to the gym if I'm not going to be doing cardio.

And don't do it for a man...you know that what are now is desirable...do it for YOU! I really was kidding about the man thing. Anyone who knows me in real life would laugh hysterically at the thought that I would do anything just to attract a man. If they don't flock to me the way I am, I don't want 'em anyway;)

09-16-2005, 06:21 PM
That is funny that you admire your belly dancing instructor's physique. My wife is Egyptian and she would slap me if I told her she was built like a bellydancer.

I would definitely consider Mel's advice to do some bodybuilding. Even a little bit of weight training should cure you being "skinny-fat".