In the past, I have gone off on rants with friends or family on body fat percentage. There seems to be this terrible perception about body fat and women. Based on most websites and medical journals, the normal range for a woman should be 25%-30% body fat. However, based on perception, I have read numerous forums where being in the 20% range is seen as a terrible thing. Women think 25% rate is obese, and in studies men rate the skinniest woman in the whole study consistently as the most attractive.
These finding make me angry, and understandably so. When taped to determine body fat percentage, I consistently come in at 22%. I mean, I know I am not skinny, but obese? I am sorry, but I am not obese. Furthermore, if I lose about 4 pounds or so, I lose my period. How can being so thin that I lose my reproductive ability be attractive?
This has lead people to question whether or not something is wrong with me. “You can’t lose your period due to weight loss when you look like you do,” they’ll say. “You must have another health problem.”
Well, yesterday that myth was laid to rest. I finally got hydrostatically tested, and clocked in at a 16.7% body fat. If I lose 4 pounds, that puts me at around 14%, which is where women can start losing their periods according to the trainer who performed my test. Therefore, okay so I am not 20% body fat, however my not the slimmest body build is perfectly natural, normal, and healthy. No, there is nothing wrong with me because I cannot obtain a skinnier state. Maybe there is something wrong with society instead.
This makes me all the more mad at the blogs and forums detailing the horrors of a woman being 20% body fat. If I am on the lower side currently, and still seen as too big to be conventionally attractive, what must these 20% women feel? Why do we twist ourselves in such knots to only hurt our bodies in the pursuit of American beauty?
In conclusion, 20% body fat in women is healthy and beautiful. American society? Get the fuck over yourself.
This Week in Updates: Jennifer is coming!
So this week has been kind of weird. Again. And now I am rushing all over the place to try and get ready for my sister, who is arriving tomorrow! In regards to all my cooking, I’ve made it through my first almost vegan week, and my muscles are doing good. I am craving fat though, and haven’t really determined how I want to get that. I am going to try and up my olive oil and coconut oil consumption this week, and see if that helps. I am already at the point where large amounts of milk and eggs are beginning to gross me out. Wow! That happened fast! I guess that means I was ready for this change. My body isn’t craving any of the food I have been giving up. I’ll take that as a good sign.
This weekend I am very excited to try cooking my very first batch of vegan cookies and homemade seitan. The nice thing about this whole almost vegan thing, is the crazy variety of food I am eating! From spelt and amaranth to potatoes and conventional flour, to amounts of produce I have never purchased before. And such very interesting taste combinations! This was one of last week’s projects before it went in the oven, from the Moosewood Cookbook. Tart and tangy black beans. Who knew that apples, black beans, apple cider vinegar, garlic, apples, tomatoes and cumin would go together so well?
The Recipe: Simply Balsamic Crock Pot Squash
I used to think that the only spices I could pair with squash were cinnamon and nutmeg. How wrong was I! This squash is simple, easy, and delicious and healthy. I would certainly add it to your repertoire.
1 delicata squash
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
Cut up squash into slices and take out the seeds. Add all ingredients to crock pot and stir until squash slices are evenly coated. Cook on high for two hours. Enjoy!