How To Be Skinny

February 21, 2011

how to be skinny

This week I got a question from a 14yr old girl asking me how to be skinny.Β  She asked me to give her a schedule of diet and exercise.Β S0 I answered her.

How To Be Skinny


  • Look in the mirror and list everything you love about your body.
  • Avoid sugar.
  • Do something you love and that makes you laugh.
  • Make someone else laugh.
  • Throw away all fashion/women’s magazines.
  • Get active doing something you enjoy, dancing, surfing, running, building, fixing, yoga, tidying, whatever makes you happy and smiley.
  • Shop for clothes that look good on you, dont look at the size, just find what fits well.
  • Throw away your scale.
  • Eat less red meat.
  • Drink 2ltrs of water.
  • Make a list of everything you’re grateful for.
  • Find ways to make other people happy.
  • Commit random acts of kindness.
  • Never say anything to yourself that you wouldnt say to a friend or loved one.
  • Accept yourself and know that you are and will always be, good enough.
  • Focus on becoming strong and healthy, the weight will take care of itself.

Repeat Tuesday to Sunday.

the problem is not with your body

What are some ways you have learned to love your body and stop obsessing about diet and exercise?Β  Share in the comments below. πŸ™‚


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  • Jed February 21, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Yes, Yes, Yes.

  • Erin March 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    This is great!!

  • rachel March 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Fantastic! Yes.

  • Lulu March 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm


  • Zorra March 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I’m down with everything you said – minus the bits about editing what you eat. I’m sure they were meant in a “take care of yourself” sort of way but that sounds a lot like a diet – and diets fail. Not only that, you can’t truly love yourself if you’re dieting. That’s like saying you’ve completely quit smoking except the cigarette you slip in every other weekend. It seems very backwards to tell a girl that looks don’t matter but by the way – watch what you eat anyway.
    …Actually, the more I think about it the more I ask myself “Why didn’t she just say something about how skinny isn’t the point and it’s health that matters? Or about ‘health at every size?'” because the more that I look at what you’ve written the more it sounds like the sad, back-handed advice from the women magazines you told her to toss out.

    • The Dame March 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks for your opinion. I meant it purely as healthy eating tips. I like to think the entire post says that “skinny isnt the point and healthy body and mind is what matters” πŸ™‚
      I dont diet, but I eat a healthy diet of fresh, organic fruit and veg. In my mind, there are two definitions of diet.

      • Whitney March 19, 2011 at 1:49 am

        I think the bit about the sugar is important…

        One of the best ways you can express your love to yourself is by feeding yourself wholesome foods!

        • The Dame March 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

          yes yes yes! Sarah Wilson has been doing a sugar elimination diet and she explains how sugar makes you fat. Check some of my link love posts for links πŸ™‚

          • Zorra March 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm

            How exactly is this not about a diet if the moment someone agrees with you, you say things like this?

          • Sophia December 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm

            I’d like to point out that there are two definitions of diet. There’s those unhealthy things where you edit the amount and types of food you eat, which ultimately always fail and leave unhappiness in their wake. But the word diet can also refer to the food one eats in general, as in, “Koalas subsist primarily on a diet of eucalyptus leaves”. I think in this case diet is being used in the sense of “The Dame subsists primarily on a diet of organic fruits and veggies.” So stop biting her head off, Zorra.

    • Pen March 31, 2011 at 4:34 am

      I have to agree with you, Zorra. Does anyone else find it…ironic, perhaps, that a post which seems to want to say that being skinny ISN’T the most important thing (“Strong is the New Skinny”; “Throw away your scale”; “Accept yourself and know that you are and will always be, good enough”) simultaneously asserts the need to be skinny in bearing the title “How to be skinny”? Just by saying that this advice is geared towards helping someone being skinny, this post basically reaffirms that “skinny” is something everyone should be working towards.

      There’s some good advice buried in here, I think, and I can even agree with some of the eating tips from a health perspective. But packaging it as “how to be skinny” seems to be counterproductive and potentially damaging to the body image of the fourteen-year-old girl it was meant to help.

      • The Dame March 31, 2011 at 6:58 am

        Pen, it is ironic, I called it “How To Be Skinny” for a reason, to attract the type of person who wants thinks skinny is good, so that when they read this, they will get good advice instead of thinspo crap. My post was intended to be empowering, I understand not everyone might see it that way.

        • Jack August 16, 2011 at 1:06 am

          NO KIDDING! The Dame, I apologize for everyone. I felt your answers to these accusatory questions were evident..

  • shabby March 19, 2011 at 12:40 am

    That girl is lucky to be getting advice from you! Very wise, lovely.

    xx shabby

    • The Dame March 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words! πŸ™‚

  • T March 19, 2011 at 6:09 am

    The only thing I would change is allow some red meat if you love it (a quality steak beats a McNugget any day), and try new fruits and veggies all the time. Great advice; I hope the girl takes it to heart.

    • The Dame March 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      To be honest, I very occasionally eat red meat despite knowing what it does to the environment. I dare you to watch the whole of an online movie called Earthlings.

      • Sophia December 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        I haven’t watched Earthlings, because just the trailer was enough to dissolve me into a shivering mass of tears and anguish. All I can say is that if you are going to eat meat, please make an effort to know the person who raises your cow or pig or chickens. Go out and pet that cow or chicken that will one day be on your table. Be mindful of and involved with what you are eating, because everything you consume does have an impact on every other earthling.

  • Sarah March 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Love this! Especially the parts about RAOK and making others laugh – that always makes me feel better about myself πŸ™‚

  • Chris March 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Lot’s of good suggestions for positive affirmation here, which I am all for!
    It’s been discussed, but a word on diet: Do what works for you!
    After 12 years as a vegetarian I am now maintaining/building muscle more effectively and have less weight fluctuation with meats back in my diet. Go figure =/
    Also, I suggest a push/pull weight routine to ANYONE.
    Don’t worry about getting “huge”, it won’t happen unless you actively work for that.

  • Malaika Alice March 22, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I love the sentiments of this post!!
    However, I think that before encouraging young girls not to eat red meat, an alternative source of iron should be suggested. Being anemic is no fun. How can you be your best and most beautiful self when you are tired and grumpy all time?
    That said, wow and thank you for such positivity and inspiration.

    • The Dame March 22, 2011 at 12:09 am

      Meat is not the only source of iron πŸ™‚

    • Laura August 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Just “stumbled upon” this blog…loving it. Just thought I’d share that I was anemic BEFORE I became a vegetarian…

  • oja March 22, 2011 at 3:13 am

    I get what you’re going for with this but, as someone who has struggles with weight since childhood, I’m getting a little sick of skinny girls telling me that I can be like them if I just stop thinking about what I eat and “do what feels right.” Have you ever considered tha tmaybe that works for you because you’re naturally thin?
    Not thinking about what I eat is what made me 180lbs at the age of 15. In my experience the ONLY thing that makes me lose weight is extreme calorie restriction and keeping maticulous track of everything I eat.

    • Sophia November 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      You definitely should think about what you eat, but that doesn’t mean you have to brutally restrict yourself. You just have to think, every time you’re about to put something in your mouth, “Does this contribute to making my body healthier?” The answer could be yes for a piece of lettuce, but it could also be yes for a piece of chocolate. As long as it’s what your body needs at that point. But always check in with yourself before you take a bite, and always eat slowly, and never allow yourself to become ravenous. Really, you should constantly think about what you eat, but in a way that is about respecting and taking joy in your body and the food you are enjoying.

  • Elizabeth March 22, 2011 at 4:28 am

    This is a fabulous post and I am sorry to see people leave such overanalyzing comments. Rock on.

    • The Dame March 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

      Thanks Elizabeth πŸ™‚

  • DT March 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Nothing wrong with a little red meat, but it’s gotta be the right kind. To eat red meat that isn’t overly hard on the environment (and actually great for your health), eat venison. Also if you like beef, you can eat grass-fed grass-finished organic beef, great for you, and all natural.

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  • Melissa March 31, 2011 at 3:34 am

    I approve! πŸ™‚

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    I love this!

  • joann, sidewalk chic April 2, 2011 at 12:37 am

    What a great response! This is print-out-and-put-on-my-fridge worthy.

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  • reese April 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I’ve honestly tried so many things. I’m one of those “lifestyle change” people who doesn’t believe in diets. and trust me people – the mantra that Dame has listed above is not a ‘diet’, it is a lifestyle change that suggests you take a closer look at what you put into your body. I really like that. I appreciate its simplicity and sunny quality. Instead of a ‘diet’ that can be frightenig, it shines a happy light and makes me actually want to give this a try. Thanks, Dame! I’ll let you know how it goes πŸ˜‰

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  • Ana April 29, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Well I absolutely love the part where U say to throw away the fashion magazines. My daughter Veronica is Obssessed with fashion magazines(Latina,Glamour,Cosmo,and Seventeen) even bringing them and reading them in school when she is supposed to be paying attention to her teacher(s). Well the other day Veronica brought her newest issue of Latina and The Jennifer Lopez Glamour magazine and her teacher had to confiscate the magazines because she would’nt put the magazines away when she was asked to . Her teacher called me and asked what I would like done with the mags and I told her to rip them up and throw them away because I am not going to pick them up. I also gathered all her remaining magazines and shredded them right in front of her when she arrived home from school. This is not the first time that Veronica has had her magazines taken away and she’s getting a D+ in the class, I’m sorry but Education is more important to me than fashion. So she caused her on magazines to be disposed of because she brought them to school when she knows they will be taken away Fashion magazines are GARBAGE

  • Deniz GΓΆzler Γ–zenΓ§ May 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Great post! I have linked it thru a post on my website. I’ve also translated it to Turkish, just for those who cannot read n speak English. I hope u don’t mind πŸ™‚

    Thanx a million in advance,

    Keep it comin girl πŸ™‚


    • The Dame May 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

      Thank you! πŸ˜€

  • DrCastellanos August 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Thank you for this very healthy balance, including the day off!! I’m passing it on with lots of smiles….

  • MyMelody August 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    My major problem with this ( I like all the other advice) is the the completely abstain from sugar and red meat part. I think you don’t have to be free from it completely. My experience with all or nothing thinking is, most people are going to give in eventually and just feel really guilty about it, and may just give up. Which is why many “avoid all X” diets and the like don’t work. Weight loss should be about sustainable change to one’s lifestyle, and for most people “never eat x” is not sustainable. I think getting it right 90% of the time is all that is required, and can easily be done by a lot of folks. I can imagine someone taking the “don’t” advice, and the screwing up by eating a snickers and just really hating themselves for it, instead of realizing a small piece of candy now and then in moderation isn’t going to do any harm. How about instead of “don’t” or “stop”, we try rules of thumb? Like, limit your sugar and red meat intake, and try not to kill yourself over not eating healthy all of the time, as long as you get t about 90% right, you are good.

  • Ana Bella August 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Doing these things are harder than getting skinny, for us ana’s. You people think you may know, but you have NO IDEA. You don’t know what it’s like. So please, stop pushing your self-loving bullshit on us. That poor girl was looking to you for affirmation that she’s not good enough and can take steps toward being perfect. And she got this shit.

    • The Dame August 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      I would NEVER give anyone affirmation that they arent good enough because that isnt possible. Everyone is good enough. Please seek help.

  • Kamie November 7, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I’ve always thought I was fat. I can’t explain why, though. My friends always call me skinny, but they don’t know the tricks I use to make myself appear that way. I’m almost twenty and it’s just one of those nights where everything seems to be crashing down. I really beat myself up when I think about my self image. Being desperate I searched for ways to get skinny and I clicked on this. I’m grateful I did. The things you said aren’t cookie cutter. It was positive and very uplifting. This is what caught my eye the most, though”Never say anything to yourself that you wouldnt say to a friend or loved one.” Thank you so much for sharing this. It really helped me. πŸ™‚

  • Erin December 10, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Thank you do much πŸ™‚ this is exactly what I’ve been looking for something to tell me exactly what to do πŸ™‚ I had no idea

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  • Lorra January 22, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Awesome – but sugar is good for you – in the form of ripe fruit!!!!

    • The Dame January 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Yes, I love fruit, I meant refined, processed sugar.

  • Jo January 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Lady lady lady, this is wonderful.

  • Kirsten de Bouter Shillam March 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Really nice post! I have worked for 20 years as a personal trainer/coach and I can wholeheartedly confirm that it is not about a crash diet, a temporary training regime or a detox, but about those things you do on a regular basis. You only have one body and one mind and then one life to live well! What you put in (and out) on a regular basis is what counts. There is no magic formula but I campaign for putting an end to guilt, because so do many people feel guilty about their health and wellbeing. They feel guilty about the things they have done, the things they didn’t do and the things they ought to do. The tips in “How to be skinny” are a really great starting point, especially the “repeat” part at the bottom. But in the midst of it all, work with the best of what you have got and transform the energy wasted on guilt or putting yourself down into positive little things you can do and enjoy. Kirsten

  • kimberly morales June 14, 2012 at 5:29 am

    how can i lose weight i am 12 years old

    • The Dame June 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Stop reading “women’s/fashion magazines because they warp your idea of what you should look like. Get active – find something you enjoy doing that gets you moving. Stop eating junk food and processed crap. Learn to love yourself regardless of what you look like.

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