We have come very far from the days of brutal diets and exercise routines that focus on weight loss as the sole measure of physical fitness. But in some ways, we are still stuck in that unhealthy loop of equating our body weight/size to our fitness level. This is why queries such as ‘how to get skinny’ still come very often. In a way, this isn’t a linear course of action, for people to realize all bodies are different and you can keep them healthy and active without worrying about the weight, is going to take some long years.
Questions like these are small ways in which fatphobia garners in our lives. The moment you start ignoring all of your body’s needs to jump directly on how you can make it skinny is when the problem starts. We need to ask better questions, if not the right questions all the time. The intention behind this question is also not the right path to take, a majority of the time. The narrative needs to move from being thin to being healthy and happy in your body.
What is Fatphobia?
The fear and hatred of and towards fat bodies, people on the higher spectrum of the weight scale, is called Fatphobia. The term used here is not unanimously agreed, as many body positivity activists have commented, it does not further the movement in the right direction. But it is used in this article due to its reach to the wider audience that understands it. Fatphobia or Anti-fat bias can be incredibly unhealthy because it makes people think they will only be valued if they look a certain way. That certain way is skinny. This can lead to severe mental health and eating disorder issues such as Body dysmorphia or Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), Anorexia nervosa, and Bulimia, etc.
How does it relate to fixating on being skinny?
People argue that fatphobia is generally a bias towards fat people, that categorizes them as disgusting, and intellectually inferior to other people. And that those aspiring towards losing bodyweight don’t necessarily count in this. But the majority of people who promote weight loss, encourage it, or are themselves motivated to keep a certain figure are motivated by anti-fat bias. The underlying intention is to not end up fat, putting the thin figure as the ideal body type. Whereas the truth is that there is no ideal body type. All of us have different internal mechanisms that keep our body up and healthy, we cannot mold it to one single shape and size.
How do you disconnect between being fit and being skinny?
All this to say, some ways help you take care of your body in a positive manner. If you want to get an active routine you can do that by watching your diet and several exercise routines that don’t revolve just around getting rid of the fat in your body. Some of these anti-fat diets are so unhealthy they damage your immune system and make you internally weak by draining your body’s balanced nutrients out.
Shifting the argument from ‘how do I lose all this weight’ to ‘how do I maintain a fit body’ goes a long way. It is important to notice at this point that adapting standard exercise routines/diets is also not good for your body because it may not suit your exact characteristics. If you want to start slow, you can start with small things and you can go to the internet for ways to help you. There are multiple positive trainers and professionals out there who can help you. As long as you keep your focus trained on active healthy routines that make you feel better, you will be good.
Healthy ways to adapt an active routine
- Find your preferred exercise activity
One of the common features of those trainers that focus on how to get skinny is that they think the same few exercises and routines will help everyone. There is little to no room to experience different types of physical activities such as the different types of yoga exercises that many like more than excruciating gym exercises. Some people even prefer the latter one in that, but it all depends on what you find comfortable, or enjoy even. There is room for everyone to find their preferred physical activity without pushing the same thing on them.
- Go slow at first and build a routine gradually
If you are starting with running/jogging as your chosen activity, do not start with a long lapse. This can be dangerous for you if you are not an active runner, resulting in vomiting, fatigue, and a disturbed stomach among other things. Whatever you choose to do, start it at a gradual pace. Even if you can go for more, do not push yourself immediately, take one step forward as each session goes on. For example, start with a 1 km run and gradually increase a km when you start getting comfortable and can see yourself being able to move forward. It applies to any exercise or activity.
- Prioritize fun in your exercise
This is not necessary for everyone, because you don’t need to be having fun if you are motivated enough to keep going. This is not to say you should continue doing it if it’s making you miserable. But rather keep your hopes up and maintain your routine if it motivates you, and does not necessarily make you happy. After all, you need to look after yourself. But for many people, finding the right balance and routine can be joyous, and they stick to it because it makes them happy. So experiment around with different activities, and maybe you’ll find yours too. If you do, it makes everything much more purposeful and enjoyable.
- Get creative with healthy activities
Trailing the ‘having fun with your activities’ part is getting creative with activities to include in your routine. Think of things that involve you participating physically even if they are not directly exercising routines. This can be signing up for a dance class, swimming, cycling, or just taking an activity up from your place of residence and walking your way there every day, instead of taking a vehicle. Involve your friends, get them to join you, make a whole thing out of it. Having a buddy with you motivates and encourages you to keep up with something as well. And there’s always the option of doing things in your own solitude.
- Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
A lot of non-food-related activities affect your body’s physical fitness without you knowing. Having a disturbed or unstable sleeping schedule is bad for more problems than you realize. Sleeping helps your body rest from the day’s fatigue that takes over your body. If you don’t sleep a healthy amount of hours or on a cycle that is not synced up every day, your body is unable to function to its fullest. Even if you are catching up with your daily tasks as normal, it does not mean your body is too. If you want your active routine to help you out positively, sorting out a healthy sleep schedule needs to go on your priority list.
- Balance your nutrition intake
Unlike what the hardcore diets suggest, a balanced intake of nutrients is the way to go, instead of cutting out some of them completely. The strict diets that focus on weight loss have an influx of some nutrients that help cut cholesterol and completely take away some important nutrients. Rather this reductionist approach, take the healthy way, that is likely to keep you more fit as well.
- Increase your water and general fluid intake
In addition to a balanced diet, water intake needs to go up consistently. A wide majority of people out there do not drink healthy amounts of water. There are many ways in which you can remind yourself to drink more, keeping a bottle with you at all times that it is convenient and such. Other than that, include more fluids in your diet, whether they are juices, soups, or anything else to keep you hydrated. Fluids help your digestive system move in a fast rhythm, take less energy to digest than solid foods do, and keep your hydration needs to be met.
These were all the ideas and tips we had that can help you start and keep a healthy active routine. Aspiring for a fit body is not a bad or wrong idea to have as long as you are not trying to learn or move towards how to get skinny. These are also not definite measures, you can find your own set of healthy activities and build your routine as you find most comfortable.