Before we begin, we just wanted to say that we understand this is a very unclear/vague/questionable topic to be asking. And a sticky topic because there are so many layers to it but we wanted to share our thoughts and story in hopes to inspire you to rethink what is lean to you and is it healthy for you?
Can there be a healthy lean? Is it worth it to get that lean?
It really depends on you.
You only know what level of leanness works for you.
Every one has different definitions of what “leanness” is like veins showing, abs popping, etc.
One big thing to keep in mind is that we are all different and our “leanness” will look different on each of us.
We know not the answer you were hoping for as we don’t necessarily have a definite answer here. Because again it all depends on YOU and your priorities.
We just wanted to share some of our personal stories with it and shed some light on the topic.
Can there be a healthy lean? Is it vain to want to look better? how far is too far?
Share the video with your girlfriends that would love this.
Realize that every person is different, being super lean can be a stressor on the body and not always heathy and to be that lean you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Even when you reach that level of leanness, most of us still don’t feel it is enough.
Just as you can be in poor shape and lack confidence, so too can you be in incredible shape and still be miserable and lack confidence.
Like so many of us, we start working out because we want to look better and feel better about ourselves.
We personally weren’t only working out to look good, but also because we wanted to “fit” in. We felt people wouldn’t like us unless we looked a certain way. For us that was being super lean.
So what we did was extreme – we worked out twice a day, skipped meals, restricted, and even used diet pills. It’s really scary for us to think about what all that we used to do to our bodies.
On top of that we tried our best to have a social life in college, our obsession with our fitness made it difficult though. No matter how much we did, we were never satisfied. Always felt there was something else. To be fixed. This continued past college.
That’s why we are sharing our story so you don’t go down that same road and hopefully help you avoid some major health and skin issues.
As we know so many of us struggle with body image and striving for that perfect body. Comparing our bodies to others and not feeling happy in our own skin.
Looking back we realized we started out with going after a certain look, but what we really wanted was to be happy, have more confidence in ourselves.
How did we realize what a healthy lean was for us?
We had to start asking ourselves some serious questions.
Like were we willing to get even more strict with diet and exercise to hopefully seen a little more change in our physique without thinking too much about our health, hormones and skin?
During our obsession days, we said yes. It was worth it. (We didn’t know that it was going to cause us health issues down the road).
Because again we based our self-worth and value off our appearance.
HUGE lesson learned.
Now our answer would be NO. It is not worth it.
We had to start learning how to be comfortable with the level of leanness where we can still feel our best, perform our best, have our periods – keep hormones happy, keep skin happy and overall good health.
You are not a good or bad person for wanting to look better. It is a normal thing to want to see results from your efforts.
Also if you want to use external appearance as a source of motivation to get you started, do it. We want you to keep in mind what it’s doing to your health and happiness. Because those are important too!
We just wanted to let you know that you are WORTHY now no matter what you look like.
There’s nothing wrong with having a fitness goal to look better. It doesn’t mean your shallow or that you don’t like yourself.
Like for us we have fitness goals, but the difference is we don’t obsess over our appearance and go to extremes anymore. Yes we want to see results from the work we put in. Everyone does. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Realize there is a fine line – from you working out because that’s how you value yourself vs. hey I want to see how much stronger I can feel, can I do a few more pushups.
So okay how do you build more muscle, burn fat, get “lean” and still be healthy, full of energy and looking fabulous with without going down the dark road of basing your self-worth on your appearance?
We focus on these 4 things:
1) Eating for life. We found a way to eat that makes it a sustainable and enjoyable that allows us to maintain year round.
2) Workout smarter, not harder. Learn to workout more efficiently with your time, not doing more. More isn’t always better.
3) Rest. Don’t overtrain. Fit people understand the importance of rest.
4) Keeping your thoughts positive. Having a strong mindset is an important piece of the puzzle.
So if you are thinking you want to change how much body fat you have, or how lean do you want to get, start by a getting clear idea of where you are and figure out what you want. Figure out your goals and priorities.
Make sure you understand what it takes to get there, and then from there decide if it makes sense for your life. Is it something you truly want or you think you want because you base your level of leanness upon what society and others think?
Make sure you are detaching your self-worth and value away from if you have veins popping out or your abs show.
If you want to get lean that is fine. We just don’t want you doing it because you think you need to – to be accepted, to be lovable, to be considered sexy or worthy.
We’ve found a way to be able to maintain a “lean” look if you want to call it that while working out less (smarter), eating foods that make us thrive without restrictions.
We’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight for us that still allows us to keep our skin, hormones, energy, digestion etc happy, give or take a few pounds.
For us being super lean isn’t worth it. We have found a healthy “leanness” that works for us and that we can maintain year after year.
We’ve mentioned this before – we do feel can go after a “dream” body in a loving way that doesn’t cause restrictions, deprivation, craziness around food or long hours of workouts.
Michelle and Lori