Test Yourself: Can You Tell How Skinny is Too Skinny?

Woman lacking self confidence in her body

Go with your gut (har, har…but seriously….)

We’ve all seen it: some poor girl tries to get healthy, to get skinny, and everyone is warning her, “Don’t go too far! It’s unhealthy!” She loses weight, knows she still has excess fat, but can’t help wondering, “Am I too skinny?  Everyone is telling me so….”

If that girl were you, would you know when to stop?

Shall We Take a Little Test?

Let’s perform a little test, then, so you can see for yourself whether you can tell when it’s time to stop losing weight.  To make it objective and subjective, and fun, we will use the wonder of the before and after photo.

What do you think of the following photo, which shows a girl who already looked fairly slender, even athletic, but who then shed almost 16% of her body weight, revealing her ribs and going from thighs-touch-when-feet-apart to thigh-gap-when-feet-touching?  Ask yourself: Did she go too far? Is she too skinny? Or, instead, should she keep going and lose more fat? If so, how much more can she safely lose? Or should she actually try to gain some weight?

Kelsey Wells loses weight
From 145 to 122 lbs – a loss of 23 lbs, or almost 16% – Photo Credit @mysweatlife on instagram

How did you answer?  Personally, I think she looked pretty good before, and now looks almost a little too skinny, but only “almost”.  She’s in fairly enviable shape, by the look of things.

Regardless, meet Kelsey Wells, who was recently plastered all over the internet after she posted the above progress picture of her weight loss.  The internet erupted in rage with cries of “How disgusting!“, “Shameful!“, “Anorexic!“,  “Somebody give her a sandwich!“, shaming Kelsey for setting a poor example for impressionable and triggerable young women everywhere.  You’ve seen it before: the same people who got my blog terminated petitioned Instagram to stop this evil by taking down this girl’s account, which they did, citing their responsibility to maintain social justice and promote body positivity.

Test Results

There’s just one thing: in the above paragraph: with the exception of the first sentence, none of it happened.  In fact, what happened is, Kelsey kept up her diet and exercise program, and kept losing more weight(!!!), and everybody loved it.  According to Kelsey,

“I have never had…less body fat than I do now….”

… yet the internet erupted in praise, even to the point of the mainstream media, international mainstream media, applauding this girl for her efforts, and holding her up as an example.  She’s being heralded as the heroine of those who worry too much about their weight.

WTH?!? – The Rest of the Story

What gives? Why is Kelsey so applauded, when people like yours truly get crucified for saying that it’s okay to set a skinny goal for yourself, and even that–hello, name of this website!–“the real you is skinny”?

Well, perhaps, because this:

Fitness transformation before and after
Skinnier than ever and HEALTHIER than ever! – Photo Credit should be obvious

According to Kelsey, she lost even more fat after the middle photo, but, because she also gained muscle,  she’s (as anybody can see) far from being worse off for it! Rather, she’s in ridiculously good shape, reportedly extremely healthy, and as of today, she has over 2.6 million Instagram followers. She’s an “influencer.” She deserves to be.

Moral of the Story: there will always be hypocrites–don’t listen to them

If the shrieking critics of the internet were intellectually honest–heck, even just intellectually consistent!–they would have to admit that getting skinny alone isn’t unhealthy, otherwise they would have to contend that Kelsey Wells is LESS healthy in the third photo than in the second, because she lost even more fat.

You see the insanity of these people.  If they could get away with it, and some are already trying, they would tell us that Kelsey is indeed unhealthy even when she looks her best.  Ignore this mentally defective reasoning and go be your best you.

Starving, bingeing, purging, malnourishing yourself, getting emotionally and mentally wrapped up in and consumed by self image–all these are unhealthful…

…but getting skinny is not.

About Alyssa Dahl 8 Articles
Author of The Real You Is Skinny (the cult weight-loss book) and several professional publications which have been well received but would bore you to death, Alyssa Dahl loves writing about health and weight loss. Since writing TRYIS, she certified as a Clinical Weight Loss Practitioner and decided that this website needed to happen. She also occasionally says silly things on Twitter (@AlyssaMDahl) and loves to answer questions and comments---so please leave one below!

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