When I was a kid I was always pretty skinny. I never overate and we had a healthy lifestyle with a fair amount of exercise and outdoor activities. I never thought about my weight and just took it for granted that I wasn’t the fat kid in class who everyone mocked and teased. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t grow up on a farm where days would be spent roaming the fields, climbing trees and foraging for apples. In fact it was quite the opposite, I grew up in a big city but thanks to the era I was born in it was still considered pretty safe for kids to play outside and we’d spend most afternoons and evenings roaming around our neighbourhood on our bikes, skateboards and scooters. At home most kids from my neighbourhood had their own TVs, VCRs (like an old fashioned Blu-Ray player) and a NES (think Xbox without the fancy graphics and only two buttons on the controller) or a Master System but that wasn’t the only way we got our entertainment. At home we ate healthily but when we were out we were allowed sweets, chips and burgers in moderation.
So what all that in mind it’s no surprise that I grew up on the medium to thin end of the scale.
Fast forward 10 years to when I’d just finished college after several years of hard partying and no time at all spent cycling, skating or having a kick about and things had begun to change. I was still relatively lean for the most part but was starting to develop a bit of a substantial gut and my chest was starting to get a bit bigger and that growth had nothing to do with press-ups or bench presses and lot more to do with a sedentary lifestyle and an increased consumption of ‘bad’ calories such as takeaways and beers.
It took me a while to see for myself but there was no doubt about it: I was a skinny fat man!
Being skinny fat is no great position to find oneself in. You might look ok-ish when fully clothed but in front of the mirror at night or when undressed at the beach you don’t look a pretty sight at all! Truly fat people might scoff at the complaints of the skinny fat guys and girls as at least they don’t get abuse in the street and they can hide their body composition but when you have skinny fat syndrome you feel just as bad let me tell you.
So How Did I Stop Being Skinny Fat?
Previously I talked about the five stages of getting in shape and once I’d moved out of stage one (denial) I was moving in the right direction in terms of getting over my skinny fatness. My main approach was to join a local gym and start pounding the treadmill and although this was better than nothing it wasn’t long before I realised I was getting fitter and faster at running but the weight wasn’t really coming off and I still looked like the proverbial sack in the mirror.
Cardio isn’t the Answer
While doing running or any other form of cardio is a great way to get fit it isn’t the best or most effective way to exercise in order to shape up and change the way you look. When it comes to making changes to your body type and shape that are pleasing to the eye the best way to do it is to start lifting those weights!
It wasn’t until I started doing resistance training using the weights machines in the gym and then the free weights once I’d built up a bit of foundation strength and confidence that I noticed the changes taking place.
I began to lose a bit of weight on the scales but more importantly I was building muscle which helped change the way I looked. I was no longer flabby and weak and I had started to become firm and toned. I never became a mass monster but I looked a lot better with my top off and those days out at the swimming pool or beach were now a lot less stressful and nights in under the covers a lot less daunting!
If you are serious about beating skinny fat syndrome then I recommend you either join a gym or start working at home. Working out at home is a lot easier and cheaper than you might imagine and this piece on why a kettlebell is all you need to get in shape at home can give you some great advice on getting started without breaking the bank.
Did you get over being skinny fat? If so leave a comment bellow or connect with us on Facebook.
- If you want a guide to help you get in shape fast then check out the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle ebook now.