Hourglass, pear, apple or square? Whether you’re an extra small or a triple X large, you’re shape is your shape, for better or worse.
That means, if you don’t already have an hourglass like Kim Kardashian, you can’t get one through diet and exercise. It also means that if Kim wanted smaller, more square hips, she wouldn’t be able to have them either. We’re built the way we’re built.
That’s not to say that you can’t improve your shape or change the composition (fat/muscle) of your body. Of course, you can use diet & exercise to make the most out of the body you’ve got. But the hours spent pining over a body type that isn’t yours, is like being upset that you’re not a foot taller. Silly.
Fat accumulates on our bodies differently. Most women tend to ‘stock up’ under the butts & thighs, while men tend to bump out around the middle. Of course, it’s different for every single person and can vary by amount, body location, consistency, distribution and thickness. That’s why some people lose weight faster in certain areas, while other areas tend to lag behind. It’s also why your hips, despite getting smaller won’t actually disappear. This is due to genetics, not failure on your part. Hormones also affect how & where we store fat: something that diet & exercise can’t always control.
So want Angelina Jolie’s waistline? Jessica Biel’s back? Julianne Hough’s thighs? J Lo’s hourglass? You can’t get them. You don’t have their genes.
Now, if you have a shape that’s similar to theirs, you might get close. But you can’t fight your pre-existing conditions. I feel like I should say ‘sorry hun’ here, but there’s nothing to be sorry about. All body shapes are beautiful. You just need to love yours a little better and stop feeling bad you can’t turn it into something it’s not. It’s like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole & then crying cause you can’t. You can’t because it’s not within the realm of possibility. Not without a hacksaw.
(Psst… this is why your thighs may always touch. People who’s thigh’s don’t touch have wider set hips and/or don’t accumulate their fat that way. Your hips might be closer together. But you might have an easier time getting a flat tummy. Their shape isn’t perfect, neither is yours. But it is perfectly fine.)
The good news? You can make the best of what you got, and your best is THE BEST.
How fat loss works…
Many of you understand that you can’t spot reduce fat: doing crunches won’t get rid of belly fat, bicep curls won’t get rid of arm flab and lunges won’t remove your jiggly bum. The extra muscle will help your body lose more fat all over, and your body loses fat evenly all over. Plus, bigger muscles will show through your skin/fat more easily, but only once you’ve reduced the fat surrounding them. Example: if your arms tone up first it’s because you have less fat there that you do your belly. So if you have bits and pieces that seem to take forever to get where you want them: it’s not that you’re not doing enough and it’s not that those sections AREN’T getting smaller: they just have more accumulation than other parts and the burning process takes longer there.
“We lose weight all over in exactly the proportion that’s distributed throughout our body,” said Susan Fried, director of the Boston Obesity and Nutrition Research Center at the Boston University School of Medicine. That means, if you’re a pear, you’ll stay a pear. Just a smaller pear. If you’re an hourglass, you’ll stay an hourglass. Just a smaller hourglass. (Note for ladies who love their curves: lifting weights won’t change your basic shape. You’ll still be curvy cool cause you were born that way!).
Why Do Some People Have More Fat Than Others
Fat is stored in fat cells. Fat cells are developed while we’re in the womb and multiply as we grow in childhood. Once we hit adulthood, we have all the fat cells we’ll ever have, and they get bigger & smaller depending on our consumption. Those who are overweight have larger fat cells, or more of them, than those who are average weight. Those who are underweight have smaller fat cells than those who are average weight. Smaller fat cells will accumulate fat more easily; almost like they’re hungry wolves. When your fat cells are ‘starved’ the next source of fat they can find, they will hold on to for dear life (hence why messing around with your metabolism and deprivation causes fast weight gain when you go back to eating a normal intake. Eventually, this balances out with consistent eating & healthy foods.)
Overweight & obese children can be at a weight disadvantage even before they enter adulthood. As children, their fat cells can multiply at nearly twice the rate of average weight children, leaving them with twice the number of fat cells when they’re older. You can’t reduce the number of fat cells you have. A person who was overweight as a child, even if they’ve lost the weight, can have up to 100 billion fat cells in their body. Average sized individuals typically have between 10 & 40 billion fat cells in adulthood: a huge difference.
But the number of cells won’t matter much if they are all average or small sized. When you continually overeat, a fat cell can grow to nearly 3-4 times it’s size. This is why the fat cells of the obese are larger than regular sized people. So, someone with the unfortunate luck of having 2-3 times more fat cells to begin with, has more cells that can accumulate fat than someone who doesn’t. If they continually overeat, they have more cells that can expand. Double whammy.
This makes weight loss & maintenance more of a challenge for those with more cells. NOT IMPOSSIBLE and not necessarily HARD: those with more fat cells are just more sensitive to weight gain. Like allergies, it’s manageable!
When we overeat, your fat cells store it, increasing the size of the cell. When we burn calories, or need energy, we pull on those fat stores, making cells smaller. This is done evenly, to every fat cell in the body. So the fat cells in your thighs are losing the same amount as the fat cells in your forehead. There are just more fat cells in your thighs.
Weight Gain: Fat cells get bigger.
Weight Loss: Fat cells get smaller.
Either Way: Fat cells remain in the body, in pre-determined numbers throughout adulthood. You can’t get rid of them.
Wishing you body-love!