A recent experience at the gym motivated me to write this post today. For my complimentary personal trainer session, the guy took my body fat measurement with one of those digital monitors.
NOTE: That's not one of the most accurate ways to measure body fat.
He then started talking about how I need to bring down my body fat ratio from 24.2% to 18.9%.
First off, according to:
"For women in [20 - 40] age group, any level under 21% is “underfat” and 21-33% is considered “healthy”."
Also, this link says top athletes are in that 18% range. Normal is considered about 22%:
I'm not saying I'm perfect and don't need to tone my muscles. But this 18.9% figure is SUPER idealistic.
Healthy looks different on different people. That's why this body fat chart and even the suspicious BMI chart have RANGES. Because people aren't cookie cutters.
I'm about 153 pounds and 5'6". That's BARELY within my BMI (and if I were on a digital scale, I'd probably be about 156, OUTSIDE of my BMI). But I exercise about 6 days a week - running 2 - 3X a week, yoga, spin class, the works. I eat healthy meals - salads and veggies and fruits and lean meats. I don't drink much, I don't smoke, and I don't do drugs.
Just because I don't look like a sports model, doesn't mean I'm unhealthy. Yes, I need to add muscle tone - that's because while I lost weight, I did lose some strength. Also, if I want to continue to run, I want to have strong muscles to power me. But does that mean I need to shoot for an unrealistic body fat percentage? Absolutely not!
And this is what irritates me: a lot of people still don't realize that health isn't a stick thin woman or a super-buff man. Health means:
+ Being active
+ Drinking water
+ Getting your sleep
+ Eating right
It doesn't have one look. It isn't one particular thing. It varies depending on the person.
People will constantly tell me that because I'm not a size 6 or 8 or weight X pounds or have a body fat of X% that I'm not healthy. But that isn't true. I know what my body feels, what my body can do. I can still strive to improve myself, but I'm not going to shoot for something unattainable. I am healthy in MY WAY, not anyone else's.