Blame it on Hollywood, or the media, but 'skinny' continues to drive most women (and some men) when it comes to health and fitness. Often, it is even at the expense of their health and fitness. As a fitness professional, it upsets me that the majority of the population thinks that exercise is just to lose weight and get or stay skinny. A day doesn't go by where I don't see or hear someone talking about a weight loss supplement or emulating the nonsense that is perpetuated in 'fitness' magazines like Shape and Prevention. Unfortunately, the media will continue to pedal the images of anorexic waifs.
The pursuit of skinny doesn't work. The idea of starving yourself and performing chronic 'cardio' is a prison. Not only do you physically feel worse, but the 'skinny' mindset is mentally self-destructive. I have seen so many women trapped in this 'skinny' mindset, continually beating themselves down physically and mentally.
Fortunately, and what I am most proud of, is that I have been able to help so many women replace the 'skinny' mindset with a 'strong' mindset. It often takes weeks or months, but I am able to show them that training to get stronger is the key to not only improving your body composition, but improving your body image and feeling better about themselves. Once women see that they don't have to starve themselves, they don't have to spend 10 hours a week in the gym, and they don't have fear getting 'bulky' (the most idiotic, and damaging fitness myth), they can actually enjoy strength training. How about that, actually looking forward to going to the gym because you enjoy the process of getting stronger. You can have balance and enjoy all aspects of your life to the fullest because you are not only stronger, but have a new-found confidence and happiness. Yup, all of that can happen when you cast away the mainstream, fitness conventional wisdom, break the pursuit of 'skinny' cycle, and pick up a barbell.