Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
A whole lot of people come to the Primal Blueprint looking to lose weight. Some come with significant excess weight. Their before and after photos showcase amazing physical transformations that can have us doing a double take wondering how it’s the same person. Others, however, come to the PB with few actual pounds to lose. Their photos display less dramatic outward differences, but their stories tell otherwise.
Inherent to many of their narratives is the common refrain that people didn’t understand their interest in going on a “diet.” Why would they bother? What were they trying to prove? What exactly are they trying to accomplish anyway? As reader Stephart shared in her comment to last week’s gluten-free post, she’s been directly told, “You don’t need to diet. You’re tiny!”
Readers who begin the PB without weight loss goals tell me they’re often accused of being obsessive or vain. Family and friends worry and admonish them for imagining a problem where there is none. Others guilt them for their commitment, taking offense at their concern, which surely must be some kind of slight to those in their lives who really do have weight issues. Such are a few of the uninformed, insensitive or just inappropriate judgments they receive.
Not only do these accusations cross some serious personal boundaries, but they completely disregard the larger health picture any person may be dealing with at a given time. Sure, a person might look like a “normal” size, have a normal (or even low) BMI. They might even have genetics or youth or an expert side pose to suggest that they’re the ideal everyone else in mainstream society seems to be going for. We here know better. Weight isn’t the issue. Size isn’t even the issue. It’s health. And while thinness is correlated, it doesn’t guarantee it.
How many people fit the “skinny fat” label? Skinny fat means looking thin but having less lean tissue and more body fat – particularly around the abdomen – than is healthy. Those who are skinny fat are more likely to develop (or have) osteoporosis. Research suggests they’re also a lot more prone to developing diabetes than you’d guess. Almost 1 in 4 people of normal weight are “metabolically obese.” What’s more? They’re more likely to die, as well, than their slightly heavier counterparts, in part because they were likely less rigorously tested and followed by their doctors for conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
We all know people (or perhaps are one of these people) who can eat a typical S.A.D. diet or worse and not gain anything noticeable. It can be maddening, in fact, for the folks who work harder to maintain their weight. That said, don’t think for a minute that skinny folks get off the hook. They might not suffer the same social stigma or bear the inconvenience and weight-related mobility or joint issues that their heavier friends do, but they might be lured into complacence about poor health choices without the indicator of added weight. As our Success Stories show, those who begin with less weight to lose end up gaining more in their health and vitality than they ever thought possible.
What have “skinny” Groks reportedly lost in lieu of weight? Check it out.
And the list goes on and on…
Now, I’m not claiming the Primal Blueprint will solve all of your problems. There’s no such thing as a panacea in health and wellness. But I think it’s abundantly clear that its impact reaches much, much further than just weight loss. With all the benefits of the Primal Blueprint, it’s hard to justify withholding all the possibilities from your life. Am I wrong? If you’ve been on the fence or dabbling in the PB, the perfect opportunity is right around the corner. How about committing the upcoming 21-Day Challenge (commencing Monday, September 16th) and see what the PB can really do for you? And, yes, the skinny are encouraged to join. Your tribe awaits.
Would you describe yourself as presently – or formerly – skinny fat? What’s been your experience when you’ve told people you’re doing the PB (or any other dietary and lifestyle change)? What health issues has the PB changed for you, and what would you tell those who have fewer pounds but just as many benefits to gain by going Primal? Thanks for reading, everyone. Enjoy the end of the week.