Hey there everyone!

Recently I wrote a blog entry on my site regarding womens body fat levels, and what is 'normal'. I was surprised at how many comments, emails, and feedback I got in response to the topic. There is so much confusion out there and huge amounts of pressure on how 'lean' we should be. Within the post I included a photo of what I looked at within the range of 20-25% body fat, which is considered 'normal and healthy' for women. You can still be healthy at lower levels, however under 20% takes a lot of training and discipline with nutrition. It really boils down to priorities and what works for your lifestyle. I decided that the message was so important that I have included it in today's blog post. I truly hope it clarifies and gives some perspective about your own body fat levels and physique goals.

"Setting yourself realistic body fat goals. Don't set yourself up for this continual cycle of failure. I am not a big fan of 'numbers' and 'measurement', but there is always a lot of talk about being certain body fat levels. Personally I think photos are the best approach to monitoring and seeing results.

 

Body fat percentages lower than 12% for women are not healthy. When we prepare for body shaping events such as figure we aim to get our body fat in the range of 8-12%, and sometimes lower. This is for a SPORT! It is not a goal for the average woman. Yes, I am a contest coach and there

 is a way for a women to reduce her body fat levels very low for a limited time in order to achieve the look required for stage, however this look is NOT realistic for the average women.

A normal, healthy woman who exercises regularly and eats 'clean' the most of the time will sit around 20-25% body fat. This is realistic and achievable for the majority of women. If you are wanting more of the 'fitness model' body composition you would be aiming for around 14%-18%. Anything under 20% takes commitment to training, discipline to following a structured meal plan, and hard work! It can be done but you need to realise that you will have to make some sacrifices, and make this a priority like anything else you wish to succeed in. Remember Kim Dolan Leto's saying T.I.M.E, THINGS I MUST EARN.

The most common problem women are facing, and why they never reach their goals, or get there and can't maintain them, is that they are setting goals that do not suit their lifestyle, or the amount of commitment they are willing to give. Setting a goal of 20-25% for most women is very achievable with sensible nutrition and training, without having to sacrifice your life. You know what...this range of body fat is where I sit most of the time! I am not shredded to the bone but I still have definition and look 'in shape'. I have posted a current photo so you can see what I currently look like. Really...is 23% THAT BAD???

I am in a healthy weight range and body composition, so I am happy with that for the moment whilst leading my current lifestyle. If I decide I want to reduce my body fat for a shoot or to tighten up then I ACCEPT that this requires more commitment and work! For the time being though I am happy with how I look and am extremely busy with looking after my girls and running a business. So if you are 'healthy' and enjoying a balanced lifestyle then you need to accept your body for what it is. If you want to get leaner then you have to do the WORK.

What I am trying to say is that when setting goals, set ones that are equal to the amount of time and commitment you are willing to give. Wouldn't it be great to be in the healthy range of body fat, enjoying life and being happy!!!! I can honestly say that at my smallest and leanest for my first show, I was 56kg shredded to the bone and MISERABLE! I am a HAPPY, HEALTHY, FIT and PRODUCTIVE girl now weighing 71kg's, and 23% body fat. I am totally cool with that. Please ladies start to accept your bodies and perception as to what it is to be 'in shape'."

Have a fabulous week :-)

Nicky J xx