Skinny but Overfat?

It was June or July, not long after quietly celebrating my 30th birthday that I had an epiphany. I was curled up in the nest (as I refer to our bed when it’s the weekend) reading a book and eating a bag of microwave popcorn, when it hit me. It was a vision of myself in five, ten, fifteen years, slowly and steadily gaining one pound per-year. I know who I want to be when I’m 40, and when I’m 50, and it wasn’t the woman I saw at the bottom of that bag of popcorn. It was an important moment. During that flash of insight I realized something: I won’t become the woman I want to be by waiting for her to show up, I need to create her.

That sounds little creepy, but keep in mind that this concept applies to physical appearance, intellectual development, emotional health, and spiritual contentment. It’s just that this happens to be a beauty blog, so I intend to stick with the “outside” part of this adventure to share with you (see title at top of page).

For me, a woman at 5″6′, a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25 is considered healthy. The healthy weight range for my height is between 114.6 lbs and 154.9 lbs. Below the minimum is underweight, above the maximum is overweight; what these categories fail to describe is “overfat“. I’ve never in my life been overweight (always been within the USDA guidelines), but I have been overfat. The percentages of fat, muscle, and bone reflect body composition, and this factor is more important than BMI. I have always been slim, fitting comfortably in a size six. But exercise wasn’t a part of my life (neither was portion control), and my body composition reflected that fact.

Since the day of epiphany, I’ve taken charge of my body in a way I never had before—exercising every day, eating maximum nutrition/minimal calorie foods, and my body has rewarded me for the hard work. Yes, it’s hard to say no to cake. I’m not going to lie. It’s been a challenge every day to make sure that I’m eating the right amount of the right foods to meet recommended daily allowance for every nutrient—a multi-vitamin doesn’t even come close! But in the four months since I’ve changed my way of living, I can tell you with all honesty, it’s worth it.

I feel good about my body, I feel good about myself. I can see the woman I’m going to be, and the time capsule messege I’m sending to her is this: “Don’t worry! I’m taking really good care of you.”

Photo is me on my honeymoon, August 2009.

4 thoughts on “Skinny but Overfat?

  1. I love your picture, you look like a greek goddess! Where did you spend your honeymoon?
    And more to the point: I am also a fat skinny person, but sadly without your discipline.

  2. Thank you! I’m a total sucker for the camera—we spent our honeymoon in Puerto Rico, and I made my poor husband follow me all over the island taking pictures like this 🙂

    I’m glad that you can relate, and are willing to say so! It’s sort of bizarre trying to explain to people who don’t understand first hand the skinny/overfat conundrum, and I was hesitant to write about this topic—weight and body image being such difficult topics to discuss for many people. So, thank you Olfactoria!

  3. I have to agree You do look like a Greek Goddess. The photo is majestic, good job Matthew.
    I have to say after reading your post on Skinny but Over Fat: You have inspired me and I actually believe I can now move forward with will power fight the fight Knowing it is a hard, long road to go.
    I moved to an secluled island almost 6 years ago. Three years ago I started putting on big over fat due to very little exercise and depression. lothing whom I had let myself become, what I saw in the mirror and yet at every attempt I just couldn’t push through.
    I was over fat at my daughters wedding and felt horriable & sad of what I saw in the pictures at the most important day of my daughters life.I had always taken such pride in myself worth and body. Recently I started taking anti-depressents and after reading your words of wisdom I realized it is only myself whom can change how I look and feel. I maybe an older women but I desire to get my body back for myself and self esteen and only I can do it
    Much Appreciation

    1. I’m glad you feel inspired! For me, it was really helpful to toss the idea of a diet. It really is about changing your entire approach to life; lucky for me the hubby is on board (he’s lost 15 lbs!), and doing it as a team has helped us not only look better, but become closer as a couple.

      Baby steps 😉


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