I’ve mentioned it a few times on my facebook page, so it’s time to unveil my current dietary experiment.
This time around, I’m attempting to drop down to the level of body fat that we see in figure competitions and fitness model photos. I’m in NO WAY advocating this for you guys. In fact, the reason I’m doing it is so I can share with you how difficult it is. It requires tremendous discipline and sacrifice. I’m about 6 weeks in and have dropped 10 pounds and 3% body fat, I’m right around 10-11% BF now. Here’s a current pic. Those of you who follow me here or on facebook will see right away that I’m much leaner than I typically am. I’ve been getting lots of compliments. Which sort of makes me sad, because the amount of effort, and the sacrifices necessary to maintain this are far beyond what most women are going to be willing to make, or that they should be expected to make! I don’t want to inadvertantly be a role model of something I don’t think is healthy for womens’ bodies or minds, so I’m being open and honest about what I’m doing and why. We NEED to stop promoting the super lean ideal as a model of beauty, health and fitness. It is not. I have less energy and my workouts are suffering because I am eating at a calorie deficit. Having body fat this low is not healthy long term, it puts my metabolic and hormonal functions at risk. I’m willing to do it short term for this project, but will be gaining back my healthy ‘padding’ once my point is made.
Here’s where I am currently.
And here’s where I was 6 weeks ago, perhaps ‘bulky’ or ‘sloppy’ by the standards of some, but I was healthy, strong and I liked the way I looked very much! So did my husband. 🙂
No hate towards women who are naturally very lean. We are all lovely. But I find the glorification of uber-leanness potentially damaging to our psyches, as most of us will never be able to achieve that ideal without risking our health. I’m so glad that more and more women in the paleosphere seem to be acknowledging and talking about this. I’m hoping to see the fitness and veg*n communities follow suit, soon! I’m calling for a revolution in the way we women talk to and about ourselves, and the expectations we have of ourselves and other women.
Stay tuned for updates on my experiment! I’m being very careful to meet my nutrient needs, and so far I’m not suffering any ill effects other than a little drop in energy levels. If my health begins to be impacted I will stop immediately. I’m still well within my healthy weight range (even at 10% body fat my BMI is 22), and I think that will mitigate some of the risks, as will the high fat content of my diet. But I’m watching for signs of trouble! Thanks for the notes of concern you guys have sent me, it means a lot that you care about my health. <3