Monday, 8 December 2008

The Secrets of Skinny Chicks

I just finished reading this book and it is fantastic. It says everything I've ever said to people who ask me how I lost weight and how I maintained it. Plus, it is a guide to take you that step further, from a 'normal' weight range to cut and hot--if you're willing to do what it takes to get there. (I have managed to get to a normal weight, and have spent the last couple of years wondering how to get to 'really cut'--or even a little bit cut to the point that people who see me would say, 'Oh, she must work out a LOT'.) This book offers a real-life look at actresses, body doubles, fitness models and other super fit lovelies, so you can read up on how they do it and decide for yourself if you want to go that far or stay where you are. When you've read it, you'll know the truth, the whole truth, and the skinny-forever truth about the matter. The size-6 bottom line.

Part 1: Deciding to Make the Change
This section is an oblique caveat to the contents of the book. The implication here is that if you embark on this level of scrutiny to your diet and exercise, you must be aware (and beware) of the possibility that you could go over the edge into an eating disorder if you aren't careful. What you have to do is decide at what weight and what level of discipline you are willing to live your life. There's a HUGE spectrum between sedentary shlub and bulemic marathon runner! Heck, there's a 40-lb range just in the 'normal' spectrum of the BMI. For my height, my 'normal' range is 115-155 lbs.) The question is, where in that spectrum do you want to be, and are you willing to face the truth of what it takes to get there, and then put it into practice every day for the rest of your life? Because in this book, there's no question that you want to, at the very least, be at the top end of 'normal', if you aren't there already.

Part 2: The Secrets Unveiled
This is the best section of the book, to me, because this is where we get the profiles of the real women who have put the work in to become 'skinny chicks'. We get complete profiles of 21 fit chicks--what they eat, how they workout, all their vital statistics, plus what a nutritionist, personal trainer and a doctor have to say about their regimes. It's illuminating! These women don't eat much--and they work out a lot. Here are 2 samples (the book goes into great detail about everything, I'm just giving you the bare minimum):

Sazzy Varga, actress
5'7", 126 lbs, dress size 6
35-25-35, BMI 20
1 child
daily caloric intake 1420
works out Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat 30-45 minutes (bike, treadmill, floor aerobics, pilates, weight training)

Alex Barker, accountant
5'10", 155 lbs, dress size 10
36-29-40 BMI 22.5
1 child
daily caloric intake 1600-2100
works out 6 days a week, running 5-6 miles per workout, plus 20 minutes of free weights and 10 minutes of abs 3 out of the 6 days

The author then explains 50 secrets (really top tips) from the skinny chicks and makes suggestions as to how 'real women' can put them into practice. (I don't like the phrase 'real women' because it has come to mean 'fat lazy women who won't make time to care about themselves'--I don't want to be a 'real woman'. I want to be a skinny chick!)

Here is a random sample of the 50 tips. Bear in mind that there is nothing earth-shattering or new in this book. You know why? There is no earth-shatteringly new way to become a skinny chick! It takes hard work!

#12 Have a cheat day once a week to eat what you want.

#13 Have a 'no excuses' mindset.

#17 Get a portion size wake up call.

#26 Portion foods out. (She means when you buy something, get straight in there and portion out into baggies or containers and put it away. Good tip!)

#42 Focus on the good things you do get to eat.

#47 If man made it, avoid it.

See what I mean? These don't sound like anything new, but the author explains them well, gives great examples and has really good ideas about how you can apply these tips to your life.

Part 3: Putting the Plan into Action

This final section gives you more basic information about food (calories in, calories out), exercise (cardio to burn fat, weights to keep burning at rest), and a little pep talk at the end.

I guess there are a lot of women out there who would read this and still say, 'Get real. I can't do that. I won't do that.' That's fair enough. You don't have to do anything if you don't want to. Stay fat forever, your choice. But if you really want to get skinny, if you really want to know how 'real women' do it, then read this book. It is the truth--the whole truth--yes, the size-6 butt TRUTH!!

Now I'm going to add my profile:

Carla, library assistant
5'7", 136 lbs, dress size UK 10/US 6
32-27-36, BMI 21
1 child
daily caloric intake: no clue
works out 5-6 days per week, 45-60 minutes--all home exercise done to DVDs


Anna Down Under said...

I don't think 'real women' implies fat -- just not super skinny like models and actresses. Real women to me are most of the people I see every day, they may be a size 10-14 but to me, that's not fat. I'd give anything to be one of those 'real women' and being skinny has never been my goal. But thanks for the review, I may have to find a copy just out of curiosity. :)

Carla said...

Oh, I do. I think when most women say, 'real woman', they mean someone who looks like them, and they usually are overweight. I think this because when I did it, I was overweight. I used to like that Trisha Yearwood song, 'Real Live Woman.'

I don't think the women in this book are 'super skinny'--to be that, you'd have to have a BMI below 18.5,and none of the women in this book dip below that. Most of them are 19.5-21. And for me, that's as high as I would ever want to be.

Of course, I'd just about give me eyeteeth to be skinny. I would LOVE to be skinny. Yes, oh, yes!

jamie said...

Hi Carla, it's Theresa.
I am no skinny minny, as you know, but I was at my happiest when I was a size 16. I had all my curves in the right place, great boobs, nice legs, I felt sexy as hell. I could still eat what I wanted within reason and I felt great. I think that's what life's all about. Feeling confident, happy and good about yourself. I don't beleive I am meant to be a size 10, it's not in my genes. My Mum was always a size 12, my nan was a size 14. I'm sure if I starved myself I too could be that skinny but it's not healthy any more than being the weight I am now. It's bad for bones, teeth, muscles and well being. I would be miserable as hell as I enjoy my food and drink. Yes, I should abstein a bit more than I do.
I have two friends who are polar opposite of me, I only have to look at a piece of chocolate and I put on a pound, they could eat their body weight in chocolate and they would stay the same. My friend is criticised for being too thin by people who don't know her but she is naturally that thin. She doesn't enjoy food, she finds it a chore (bizarre in my mind) but she tries to eat what she should and still stays thin as a rake - I think she has my real 'eat what you want genes'. She has problems finding clothes that look nice on her or that fit properly in the same way as I do.
Don't be too jealous of skinny people, a goal weight is a goal weight for a reason.
Be happy, life's too short!

Carla said...

Hey, Theresa, hope you guys are doing well. :) Maybe we can all get together some time soon.

I don't want anyone to misunderstand where I'm coming from with this post, but we've all got an opinion, and I've shared mine. I've been fat and I've been thin, I know what both feel like, and for me, being in control of my body has been more rewarding than any pleasure I got from eating and drinking. That is still true, even though for the last few months I've not eaten as well as I could have.

I'm not jealous of skinny people. I am pretty skinny myself, actually! For my height, I'm doing well. I just truly admire the women featured in this book, because I know from my own experience that people can become as fit as they want to be, it's all down to the effort they decide to put into it. What I admire about them is that they have gone just one tiny step further than me, and have reaped even more benefit. I know that I can do the same. I'm not even that bothered bout losing pounds, I want to increase my lean muscle mass to body fat ratio. And the point of this book is that you don't ever have to be jealous. You can do it, too, if you want to put the work in. If you don't want to put the work in, reconcile yourself to the size you are and be happy there. It's all about what you want. You can be just as self-accepting and self-loving while pushing yourself a bit physically as you can by saying 'I'm a size 14 and I love it.' Well, I exercise and watch what I eat, and I love it. :) And the women featured here don't starve themselves. They eat truly balanced diets, fueling their bodies nearly perfectly (ie, the building blocks of health, with nothing extra that nature could never have expected to encounter), and thus they have bodies as close to perfection as nature allows them. How cool is that!

I never had curves, even when I was fatter. On my frame, thinness looks better. I have a sporty build, not a curvy one. I think I was designed to be slim and toned--I have long legs, a more than decent bottom (if I say so myself), relatively narrow hips, broad shoulders, and no boobs at all. I look best with some muscle and a flat belly. When I have more weight on, I don't get curvy, I get shapeless, and I'm still boobless--not a good look! :)

If I hit a nerve by my comments about 'real women', sorry. No harm meant, really. But just my opinion.