My Quest to Being Lean and Skinny

Whenever you turn on the TV, page through a magazine, listen to the radio, or do anything that even remotely resembles consuming media in this day and age, you’re bombarded from all sides by a myriad of voices extolling the virtues of being skinny. Whether it’s because you’ll be more confident in your new skin, healthier due to the diet and exercise required, or just overall happier in a body that’s ten sizes lower than the average for your height. Women and girls are being told day in and day out that they should cut carbs from their diet and slim down.

Men experience these kinds of the message too, of course, but they have the opposite being shouted at them: they’re told to bulk up and put on muscle, develop six and eight packs, and become more jacked than a car with a flat tire. However, that’s out of my zone of expertise so that I won’t talk about that.

Recently, one of the voices that were yelling at me to tone down was that of my friend, although obviously not yelling. She asked me, “Have you ever thought about trying one of those weird diets or workout routines you see?”, having just caught sight of an ad for such a program on a passing bus, and I admitted that I hadn’t.

“Not because I couldn’t,” I said to her, seeing her teasing grin, “Because it sounds like I’d be miserable!”

She asked me what I meant. To give her the best education on the subject I could, I dragged her over to my computer as soon as I could. I looked up a bunch of info on just what a woman has to go through to drop half her body weight and become model thin.

It was not pretty, let me tell you.

My friend left that day with a newfound hatred of the standards for beauty that Hollywood and the rest of the country hold, and now I’m putting what we found into this little exposé so that you too might come to loathe all that which seeks to shame women for being a healthy weight.


First off, to slim down to a US size 0 (aka a UK size 4), a woman has to cut down her calorie intake from a respectable 2,000 per day to a measly 500 per day.

Do you all know what amounts to 500 calories per day?

For breakfast, eight blueberries and some yogurt – but only a spoonful of yogurt sweetie, don’t want it to go straight to the hips now do ya?!

For lunch, two brown rice cakes and a bowl of low-cal vegetable soup.

And for dinner, a repeat of lunch. Or, if you were sick of that, a small, paper-thin slice of fish and some salad leaves sans dressing.

That is all you can have, all day every day if you want to slim down to a size zero in any proper length of time. But do you all think that was it? Oh no, we’re only getting started.


In addition to the handful of forest food I saw that was to be my expected diet if I ever decided to ‘slim down’, I would also have had to engage in a hellish amalgamation of aerobics, strength training, and cardio that started at 5 am every day. All that would have been too much to bear for me regularly, but keep in mind that this would have been going on while I was essentially starving myself.

I wouldn’t even mow the lawn on eight berries, much less engage in a full workout!

It was at this point that my friend bailed, a genuinely terrifying expression on her face, so I didn’t feel the need to look up any more info on what, precisely, a size zero requires. My quest to being lean and skinny ended right then and there.

I think y’all get the picture, though.

Actors and actresses from Hollywood, models, and the skinny-obsessed alike enjoy telling you that the size zero craze is a myth and that people aren’t starving themselves to fit into a dress that’s about three sizes away from being a doll, but the fact of the matter is, they are.

And that’s fine; that’s their business.

But when they project to little girls out there that such a state is what is expected and required of them, then it becomes our business too.

Because that is not okay. It is a good old fashion exercises and good foods that will get you in shape. For me, yoga is the perfect solution. I’ve been learning yoga on my own. Here’s the link to – best yoga dvd for beginners. Good luck!


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