4

votes

Were Paleo women "plump" or lean and thin?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 28, 2012 at 8:02 PM

There's been a recent surge in people who believe in "fat acceptance" and they're usually women because certain women assume a size 12 is healthy. There's no way there was some size 12 cavewoman, is there?

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:30 AM

No, thats not true. Genetics does have a big input into it. MOST women would not get their period at such a bodyfat % that athletes with a 6 pack have. Or at the weight that most hollywood celebrities are. Im 5'4 and most certainly do not get periods at a weight of 108lbs (considered a BMI of 18.5, the lower end of the "healthy" range). I don't get them till my BMI reaches about 22 (130lbs) this would be considered fat for a holly wood actress.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 11, 2012
at 05:22 PM

LOL! I got down voted for stating a fact and offering proof.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 06, 2012
at 02:23 AM

+1 for a beautiful, beautiful answer, Jenny. Imagine - really sharp preception and DEPTH in a response. We don't come across this too often around here, these days. Thank you. And thank you for *all* women and for that matter, *all* men.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 30, 2012
at 11:57 PM

"I'm pretty sure the cavemen weren't running around with a measuring tape and tsk tsking them for it"--that is the funniest thing I've read in a while, thank you for the visual!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 11:40 PM

"you don't need double D's to look fertile". That was my favorite line. A lot of the time, women get caught up in the "I'm a real woman with curves and not disgusting looking like sticks" that they forget that they are doing they very same thing that they feel strongly against...bashing someone's body type, which may just be naturally how they are. I have always had small breasts even when very overweight. I will never be that "perfect hourglass" because I giant shoulders. Women are beautiful in all shapes/sizes, curvy or thin, giant boobs or pancakes as long as they are healthy.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 11:39 PM

"you don't need double D's to look fertile". That was my favorite line. A lot of the time, women get caught up in the "I'm a real woman with curves and not disgusting looking like sticks" that they forget that they are doing they very same thing that they feel strongly against...bashing someone's body type, which may just be naturally how they are. I have always had small breasts, even at +30 some pounds than I am now. I will never be that "perfect hourglass" because I giant shoulders. Women are beautiful in all shapes/sizes, curvy or thin, giant boobs or pancakes as long as they are healthy.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 11:37 PM

"you don't need double D's to look fertile". That was my favorite line. A lot of the time, women get caught up in the "I'm a real woman with curves and not disgusting looking like sticks" that they forget that they are doing they very same thing that they feel strongly against...bashing someone's body type, which may just be naturally how they are. I have always had small breasts at all weights, including overweight. Women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes, curvy or thin, giant boobs or pancakes, as long as they are healthy.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 29, 2012
at 10:15 PM

This is a fabulous answer!

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:40 PM

Great stuff!!! So eloquently put.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:33 PM

I agree. Dress size is not an indication of health.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:19 PM

And the % body fat that is healthy and sustainable for an individual varies from person to person! I lose my period below 18%, which isn't even that low, so clearly I need to be at least 20% for optimal health. Other girls are totally fine and getting pregnant at 16% or less!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:16 PM

You're such a badass, and anyone who acts like we "pretend" size 12 is healthy when they obviously have a weight bias has their head stuck in the celebrity-soaked sand. My size 14 aunt kicked my ass size 8 ass on our bike ride the other day- I'm 20, she's 50, and twice as fit as me. Size and weight are universally a waste-of-time hang up that distracts from true health.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I understand what you mean and I agree.

6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

(799)

on April 29, 2012
at 04:09 PM

+1 for use of "flying walenda"!

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on April 29, 2012
at 04:01 PM

I totally agree, and I got that impression from the question too. Yes, I suppose "undisputed" was an exaggeration - there are a range of idealised male body types. However, I do think there's more of a consensus than there is for female body types, certainly when it comes to paleoland (again, I'm not suggesting that women don't get it much worse when it comes to body pressure).

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:39 PM

What bothers me about questions like this is, I feel the person asking is looking for a way to justify their own aesthetic preferences for women's bodies. And I just feel like, dude, if you prefer slender women, that's totally fine! There's a lot of them out there, only date slender women if you want to. But I don't see the need to invest time or energy in demonstrating that such slenderness is actually some objective ideal, when, as LadyAdmin pointed out, it might not be natural or healthy for some women.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:37 PM

Well, but there's still a range of "acceptable" male body types, from the lean "fat-free and muscular" build you describe (which complies with modern ideals of male attractiveness) to a solid, stocky, heavier build that a lot of women (or gay dudes) find just as attractive, or even more so.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 29, 2012
at 02:21 PM

Agreed with Josh--those carvings and painting are of an idealized woman representing fertility--not just for babies, but for crops and hunting.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:13 PM

I hear what you are saying. I am a size 4 and have been for most of my life. I am constantly envious of the stronger larger women in my gym. This is not to mean that I am not strong but I do sometimes wonder if I would be stronger if I was larger.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:22 PM

I think it's more likely that just like the Ruben paintings of double-chinned women, or the rail-thin "beauties"(sic) of our day, it's about a creative artist pining for what is unobtainable.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:18 PM

I'm having a pretty hard time with this question. It's like a 3-layer cake, if cake were made from ignorance, offense, and assumption.

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:04 PM

The male ideal isn't discussed because it's not disputed: it's fat-free and muscular. It's the very low percentage of body fat that's required to reveal a six-pack. You'll find plenty of threads related to achieving that undisputed ideal. (However I realise there's much more pressure on women to look good and I also dislike the focus on weight, rather than health. I think LadyAdmin's answer is great.)

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 10:45 AM

Men are very visual and so I'm not surprised by the discussion of women appearances. Thanks for posting the links. Lawyers aren't evil. Ad executives are. Thank them for all this "we need our women to look perfect to legitimize our lifestyle" talk. PETA does it. Image obsessed, sex obsessed,etc.

65b327e053ca531a6916d43c19e1eaad

(143)

on April 29, 2012
at 10:44 AM

There is a saying where I come from, roughly translated as "Better two kilos more than two kilos to little." Speaking as a guy, I've always liked women to have a bit... more. Signals fertility, resilience, toughness. If it's healthy weight, ofcourse. But I see usually women who obsess with these last few kilos/pounds "to much", guys I think just don't mind.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 29, 2012
at 08:09 AM

At 6 feet tall, I have never gone underneath a size 8, even at my skinniest adult weight (130 pounds, technically "Underweight"). There is just quite simply also a great variety in underlying bone structure, something that no amount of dieting will change. (doh). The comment on "some people assume a size 12 is healthy" seriously irked me.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 29, 2012
at 08:04 AM

awesome answer.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 29, 2012
at 08:02 AM

It got my back up - particularly the "certain women assume a size 12 is healthy" -- HELLO!!! if you're a six-foot tall woman, a size 12 certainly is healthy.

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on April 29, 2012
at 05:52 AM

I'm 5'7" and don't know much about body fat %, but I know that between giving birth to child #1 and child #2, my weight dropped to about 118, and I never got my period back (ie, infertile). I know that I was STILL heavier than most model/actress types at that point...

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I definitely did a double-take when I read that line. I'm not even sure where this opinion came from.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:45 AM

18%?? Reeally? It is clear that he has never been a woman. 18% for most women is terribly thin. My best friend is tall and lanky.. 6'3'' and around 175 pounds naturally. When she was competing for a fitness competition she essentially starved herself and damn near killed herself in the gym and got down to 153 pounds, but was still hovering around 13% bf. Now 13% was the absolute lowest I could imagine she could go at that point.. so just 5% more is ideal? Yikes. It is no wonder women are so confused. If you read any Lyle McDonald he considers very lean to be at about 22% for women.

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:18 AM

I'm not very smart - but I remain confused why "Paleo" guys who are supposedly into the concept of evolution seem to constantly want women with BMIs that compromise fertility. Gentle reminder: the tribe continues because men eyeball fertile women, finds one with a pleasant temperament who shares his interests in hunting/gathering and possibly even tool usage, then gets ultra-busy with her. This is what evolutionary fitness means - kids, not abs. :)

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:11 AM

De Vany, like many men, may be unaware that women are most fertile at 20-22%. Below 20, many women experience difficulty conceiving, and below 18% most women lose their periods. So I doubt his 18% figure. Take poor Kate - everyone loved how she looked in her wedding dress, with her 16 BMI, but now that the crunch has come, she's too thin. Just 30 years old she's having to do IVF; her doctors beg her to gain weight. The House of Windsor: lost to fashion, and her ED.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:47 AM

No worries, I recognized that exact kind of thinking in myself;). Take care of yourself!

992862b1b9e443f83aa4e46d14833418

(264)

on April 28, 2012
at 11:43 PM

Yeah, 230 lbs? That's amazing. Swooning over here!

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 28, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Hah, you caught me... and no worries, I'm at 19% BF :)

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 28, 2012
at 10:22 PM

I laughed out loud too

32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on April 28, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I like LikesLardInMayo. This comment made me laugh out loud.

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on April 28, 2012
at 10:14 PM

+1. It makes me sad how often smart, capable, wise, strong women are reduced to their dress size. Ladies, we are so much more than the shape of our bodies!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 28, 2012
at 10:11 PM

@April, I wouldn't get too concerned about his opinion. I know you have a history of an ED, so don't use it to justify being at lower BF because a lot of bodies can't handle that. "In my opinion, you should be around 11% if you are a male, 18% if you are a female." His opinion. He later gives a range of 12-22% as "superior to the norm"

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Ha, LikesLardinMayo! A good point. This question is phrased more aggressively than it needed to be, IMO.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:53 PM

What about anything lower than that?

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:49 PM

230lb deadlift - wow!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:48 PM

I don't have an answer but I think it's worth noting that Paleo man had excellent survival instincts and was unlikely to imply criticism of this sort. Grok was no fool....

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:47 PM

Yeah, the size 12 comment seemed prickly to me, too. I'm a size 12 and overweight at 5'3", but at size 8 I didn't menstruate, so I think my ideal size is 10. Someone taller than I am could easily be a size 12 and not overweight at all.

Medium avatar

(115)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:10 PM

I don't think so. As you say, paleo means health. Which for people that have adequate amount of food to be thin. If people were fasting a lot like there was a food shortage than their bodies would try to store fat. Well, this is just me guessing based on reason. No scientific or anthropological study behind these claims :)

6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

(799)

on April 28, 2012
at 08:45 PM

To Roth's question specifically, I don't know if general weight can be deduced from the fossil remains, so I think the assumption is that most ancient peoples were kinda average?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 28, 2012
at 08:11 PM

I have a different take-away. I see a surge in people saying that paleo (1) isn't inherently a weight-loss diet, (2) paleo supports health, which for women means fertility, which means more body fat than desired by Hollywood stars for certain roles, and (3) that if you start off obese, and have been for a long time, it may be difficult to overcome years of obesity in short order, and focusing on health may be a saner approach.

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16 Answers

23
6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

on April 28, 2012
at 08:41 PM

I wish I could have upped Sara's comment. :)

For the record, right now, I'm between a size 12/14 at 5'5". I've struggled with "being chunky" my entire life, having had 3-4 time periods when I was able to starve myself down to a more socially acceptable weight.

At 47, the weight just doesn't drop off any longer, even with fairly compliant Paleo, and I could either choose to make myself even more neurotic about it or I could choose to work on eating clean, managing my stress, getting good sleep, and improving my workout performance (CrossFit and kettlebells). I've chosen the latter. And while I've not been rewarded with amazing weight loss, I have been rewarded with not feeling constantly hungry, bloodwork that is ABSURDLY normal and even high-optimal in some factors, normal blood pressure, reduced eczema, more even temperament, and a 230# deadlift.

The phrase "...because certain women assume a size 12 is healthy," makes me a bit prickly. Because I'm absolutely a size 12 (meaning I'm a little heavier than proportional for my height) and I am absolutely healthy by all other medical metrics.

Just as it's possible for larger people to be medically healthy, it's also possible for thin/slender/skinny people to be unhealthy on key medical metrics. You can't always tell just based on appearances, which I think is where the shift from "cosmetic appearances" to "focusing on health" (per Sara) is coming from.

6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

(799)

on April 28, 2012
at 08:45 PM

To Roth's question specifically, I don't know if general weight can be deduced from the fossil remains, so I think the assumption is that most ancient peoples were kinda average?

992862b1b9e443f83aa4e46d14833418

(264)

on April 28, 2012
at 11:43 PM

Yeah, 230 lbs? That's amazing. Swooning over here!

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:47 PM

Yeah, the size 12 comment seemed prickly to me, too. I'm a size 12 and overweight at 5'3", but at size 8 I didn't menstruate, so I think my ideal size is 10. Someone taller than I am could easily be a size 12 and not overweight at all.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 29, 2012
at 08:09 AM

At 6 feet tall, I have never gone underneath a size 8, even at my skinniest adult weight (130 pounds, technically "Underweight"). There is just quite simply also a great variety in underlying bone structure, something that no amount of dieting will change. (doh). The comment on "some people assume a size 12 is healthy" seriously irked me.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:16 PM

You're such a badass, and anyone who acts like we "pretend" size 12 is healthy when they obviously have a weight bias has their head stuck in the celebrity-soaked sand. My size 14 aunt kicked my ass size 8 ass on our bike ride the other day- I'm 20, she's 50, and twice as fit as me. Size and weight are universally a waste-of-time hang up that distracts from true health.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:49 PM

230lb deadlift - wow!

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 29, 2012
at 08:04 AM

awesome answer.

17
Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:34 PM

In your mind, do you see that Raquel Welch photo as what a 'paleo' woman was supposed to look like?

Who gives a flying walenda what size 'paleo' women were? Aren't we supposed to support health and not size. I know plenty of size 12 women who are strong and healthy, and I know plenty of size 2's that are sickly. So size really doesn't matter. And you really shouldn't count people out based on size - you don't know where they are in their journey or what their story is.

6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

(799)

on April 29, 2012
at 04:09 PM

+1 for use of "flying walenda"!

65b327e053ca531a6916d43c19e1eaad

(143)

on April 29, 2012
at 10:44 AM

There is a saying where I come from, roughly translated as "Better two kilos more than two kilos to little." Speaking as a guy, I've always liked women to have a bit... more. Signals fertility, resilience, toughness. If it's healthy weight, ofcourse. But I see usually women who obsess with these last few kilos/pounds "to much", guys I think just don't mind.

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:18 AM

I'm not very smart - but I remain confused why "Paleo" guys who are supposedly into the concept of evolution seem to constantly want women with BMIs that compromise fertility. Gentle reminder: the tribe continues because men eyeball fertile women, finds one with a pleasant temperament who shares his interests in hunting/gathering and possibly even tool usage, then gets ultra-busy with her. This is what evolutionary fitness means - kids, not abs. :)

16
E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:58 PM

I've seen a few questions like this on PH, in which people spend a lot of time pondering what the right size for women's bodies is... I haven't seen many threads in which female PHers have long discussions about the true size or build of paleo men. Wonder why that is.

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on April 28, 2012
at 10:14 PM

+1. It makes me sad how often smart, capable, wise, strong women are reduced to their dress size. Ladies, we are so much more than the shape of our bodies!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I understand what you mean and I agree.

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:04 PM

The male ideal isn't discussed because it's not disputed: it's fat-free and muscular. It's the very low percentage of body fat that's required to reveal a six-pack. You'll find plenty of threads related to achieving that undisputed ideal. (However I realise there's much more pressure on women to look good and I also dislike the focus on weight, rather than health. I think LadyAdmin's answer is great.)

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:37 PM

Well, but there's still a range of "acceptable" male body types, from the lean "fat-free and muscular" build you describe (which complies with modern ideals of male attractiveness) to a solid, stocky, heavier build that a lot of women (or gay dudes) find just as attractive, or even more so.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 29, 2012
at 03:39 PM

What bothers me about questions like this is, I feel the person asking is looking for a way to justify their own aesthetic preferences for women's bodies. And I just feel like, dude, if you prefer slender women, that's totally fine! There's a lot of them out there, only date slender women if you want to. But I don't see the need to invest time or energy in demonstrating that such slenderness is actually some objective ideal, when, as LadyAdmin pointed out, it might not be natural or healthy for some women.

E05b8d2c9ae8a9a92341785f342f131d

(346)

on April 29, 2012
at 04:01 PM

I totally agree, and I got that impression from the question too. Yes, I suppose "undisputed" was an exaggeration - there are a range of idealised male body types. However, I do think there's more of a consensus than there is for female body types, certainly when it comes to paleoland (again, I'm not suggesting that women don't get it much worse when it comes to body pressure).

12
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:33 PM

So you are curious as to what the perfect female body is? Can it be defined as "anything less than a size 12"?

Tell that to my size 16 50 year old aunt who is currently number 1 in her mountain bike category, got pregnant the same month she decided to try each time, pushed out 3 beautiful babies with absolutely no problem, and worked as an ICU nurse that hardly took a sick day in her life. Or, you could meet by 80 year old grandma who camped for 7 months out of the year this past year, fishing, hunting, and hiking with her new husband, strong as an ox, had 8 babies in her time, and her doctor proclaimed she has some of the strongest bones she's ever seen for someone her age- she has never dipped below a size 12 and is as "curvy as a logging road", in her words. One of my cousins is a size 0 and nicknamed "Mogoli" from the Jungle Book because she is lanky as a monkey and could eat a horse without gaining an ounce, and she just announced her first pregnancy which she is thrilled about. Another friend of mine is is between a 0 and a 1, she boxes regularly and is a tank. I'm 5'4, 140 lbs and take either a size: 2, 4, 6, or 8, depending on the store. So clearly my dress size is not a particularly good marker of my body size. All I know is that I'm happiest when my body fat is above 20%, preferably 22%, and that I will lose my period and feel like shit waaaaaaaaay before I will start to look skinny. The fact of the matter is, no matter how much of a weight bias you have and how much you want to think that women either have the "right" body or are "not trying", the variation in health can be staggering.

People don't have to wait until they weight 10 or 20 or 60 lbs less before they start to feel like a healthy, valuable person. You don't need to have huge hips to bear a healthy baby, you don't need abs to attract a mate, you don't need double D's to look fertile, you don't need to be less than a size 12. This "fat acceptance" as you so condescendingly put in quotations is about sending the message to women that they are more than a six pack, and the unhealthy emphasis on the idealized, skinny, westernized female is not helping anyone feel like a better person. Women are often chasing this usually unattainable image, leaving us disappointing, if not disordered. We should accept everyone for how they look, whether that be a different body weight, a disability, or anything out of your comfortable "norm". Don't try and put women in a box and label it with "the perfect female", because when you open it your just going to find a jumble of half truths and variation.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 11:37 PM

"you don't need double D's to look fertile". That was my favorite line. A lot of the time, women get caught up in the "I'm a real woman with curves and not disgusting looking like sticks" that they forget that they are doing they very same thing that they feel strongly against...bashing someone's body type, which may just be naturally how they are. I have always had small breasts at all weights, including overweight. Women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes, curvy or thin, giant boobs or pancakes, as long as they are healthy.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:40 PM

Great stuff!!! So eloquently put.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 29, 2012
at 10:15 PM

This is a fabulous answer!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 11:39 PM

"you don't need double D's to look fertile". That was my favorite line. A lot of the time, women get caught up in the "I'm a real woman with curves and not disgusting looking like sticks" that they forget that they are doing they very same thing that they feel strongly against...bashing someone's body type, which may just be naturally how they are. I have always had small breasts, even at +30 some pounds than I am now. I will never be that "perfect hourglass" because I giant shoulders. Women are beautiful in all shapes/sizes, curvy or thin, giant boobs or pancakes as long as they are healthy.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 11:40 PM

"you don't need double D's to look fertile". That was my favorite line. A lot of the time, women get caught up in the "I'm a real woman with curves and not disgusting looking like sticks" that they forget that they are doing they very same thing that they feel strongly against...bashing someone's body type, which may just be naturally how they are. I have always had small breasts even when very overweight. I will never be that "perfect hourglass" because I giant shoulders. Women are beautiful in all shapes/sizes, curvy or thin, giant boobs or pancakes as long as they are healthy.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 06, 2012
at 02:23 AM

+1 for a beautiful, beautiful answer, Jenny. Imagine - really sharp preception and DEPTH in a response. We don't come across this too often around here, these days. Thank you. And thank you for *all* women and for that matter, *all* men.

12
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 28, 2012
at 10:12 PM

At my heaviest, when I was pounding Busch Lite and pizzas every night and smoking my body weight in who knows what, I was a size 8 (a very mushy, chubby and unhealthy size 8). My cousin has a perfectly flat stomach and is toned all over and is a size 10 - even now that I am a 2/4, I would KILL for her body. She'll never be as "small" as I am and I will never have the perfectly flat stomach. It doesn't make sense, but that's just the way it is.

I think the "fat acceptance" trend you are seeing in the paleo world is less about a woman not caring if she's got a spare tire that hangs over her pants but more about prioritizing your HEALTH above your ABS.

So, to answer your question, yeah... I'm pretty sure there were size 12 cavewomen. And I'm pretty sure the cavemen weren't running around with a measuring tape and tsk tsking them for it.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 30, 2012
at 11:57 PM

"I'm pretty sure the cavemen weren't running around with a measuring tape and tsk tsking them for it"--that is the funniest thing I've read in a while, thank you for the visual!

10
18d89478c2fbd0a69889ae094f5fa5d3

on April 28, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Size and weight mean nothing. Let's hear about bodyfat %! You can be a size 12 and 60% fat, or a size 12 and 10% bodyfat.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:19 PM

And the % body fat that is healthy and sustainable for an individual varies from person to person! I lose my period below 18%, which isn't even that low, so clearly I need to be at least 20% for optimal health. Other girls are totally fine and getting pregnant at 16% or less!

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on April 29, 2012
at 09:33 PM

I agree. Dress size is not an indication of health.

9
5a44ddf35ab962b11a375b94f3e7e800

(175)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:48 AM

"Size 12" means NOTHING. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Because every shop over here has a different size 12; never mind different countries. So when I read your post I hear "ewwww fatties". There is now the same body shaming in "paleo" as there is in mainstream health/beauty/porn. Screw that. You want to know about health, look at body fat %, muscle strength, maybe fat distribution.

Or do you want to post your own picture for our scrutiny? Hmm?

http://www.ancestralizeme.com/2012/03/27/paleo-women-are-phat/

http://gokaleo.com/?p=431

http://www.paleoplan.com/2012/04-02/my-body-image/

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on April 29, 2012
at 10:45 AM

Men are very visual and so I'm not surprised by the discussion of women appearances. Thanks for posting the links. Lawyers aren't evil. Ad executives are. Thank them for all this "we need our women to look perfect to legitimize our lifestyle" talk. PETA does it. Image obsessed, sex obsessed,etc.

8
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:43 PM

I don't know. If you look at indigenous tribes, who live off the land, in more traditional paleo type lifestyles, a lot of women are not stick thin. Lots of them are curvier and carrying more weight than a traditional size 4-6 ideal of beauty.

And I'm a size 4, who struggles for every ounce of muscle I can put on, who would not have been all that helpful out there in the paleolithic times--I think the paleo man would have chosen a more robust woman who could strap a baby to her back and get to work fetching wood or water or berries...

4
4ccf5d9bba64e54fc95802fe8ae33c47

(900)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:51 PM

Paleo women where and when??? Depends on climate, genes, location. In Northern climates one needs to put on several pounds of fat for the winter, both men and women. The Inuit are short and plump, the Tuareg very tall and thin. A "size 12" is probably obese for any South-East Asian woman and anorexic for any Dutch woman. I myself am skinny/normal and a 12/14 above the waist to fit my shoulders and bust, and a 6/8/10 (depending on season) below the waist because I don't have hips. According to latest genetic research I should have a good amount of Neanderthal genes in me, I bet a size 12 would barely fit an elementary school Neanderthal girl.

2
5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 29, 2012
at 08:29 PM

Do we really need to ask others for answers to what our bodies should look like?

Whether or not cavewomen were fat or thin shouldn't really matter to what size we are. We are never going to be the same as people who existed many years ago.

We should be the right size for our bodies. The size where our health isn't compromised and a size where we are still agile, fit and physically comfortable.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 29, 2012
at 07:12 AM

Were Paleo women ???plump??? or lean and thin?

Both. Go and look for hunter-gatherers on Youtube and Google images.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 11, 2012
at 05:22 PM

LOL! I got down voted for stating a fact and offering proof.

2
58c33847c5b7ecbf6572075df2cdd002

on April 28, 2012
at 10:26 PM

Do you think the Paleolithic person who carved the Venus of Willendorf just made her up or do you think s/he made a representation of the fertile women s/he would have seen at that time?

were-paleo-women-

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 29, 2012
at 02:21 PM

Agreed with Josh--those carvings and painting are of an idealized woman representing fertility--not just for babies, but for crops and hunting.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:22 PM

I think it's more likely that just like the Ruben paintings of double-chinned women, or the rail-thin "beauties"(sic) of our day, it's about a creative artist pining for what is unobtainable.

2
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:10 PM

We would expect Paleo women would have been heavier if they were healthy and probably not so much if they weren't, I'm thinking. I say "expect" because, clearly we don't have pics.

Still, much of what I've seen about body weight and size is about health and focus. As others have pointed out, dress size and a number on a scale cannot tell the whole picture. I've been thinner than I wanted to be most of my life. Some of that time I've been healthy and some not so much. You won't hear many women who write about this saying "Hey, I'm a size two" partly because it doesn't mean a lot and partly because it could be intimidating to someone who struggles with weight. Strength, beauty, worth, vitality, health don't come in a smaller or for that matter, larger, dress size.

For disclosure purposes only, I'll tell you I wear a size 4. I am not nearly as strong as I'd like to be, so that may just go up. It also may not. And I do mean I wear that size, I will never say I am a size four.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:13 PM

I hear what you are saying. I am a size 4 and have been for most of my life. I am constantly envious of the stronger larger women in my gym. This is not to mean that I am not strong but I do sometimes wonder if I would be stronger if I was larger.

1
3408e1d1c7d6b49fca2edb96b433ff9b

on April 29, 2012
at 03:49 AM

Genetics have to play a large part of this too. Seems to me it would be very individualized!

1
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on April 28, 2012
at 09:35 PM

Arthur De Vany (author of The New Evolution Diet) said that he thinks women should be around 18% body fat and that "anything higher than that is above the evolutional norm and begins to alter your metabolism."

I'm not sure how I feel about his "opinion" though.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I definitely did a double-take when I read that line. I'm not even sure where this opinion came from.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 29, 2012
at 12:47 AM

No worries, I recognized that exact kind of thinking in myself;). Take care of yourself!

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:45 AM

18%?? Reeally? It is clear that he has never been a woman. 18% for most women is terribly thin. My best friend is tall and lanky.. 6'3'' and around 175 pounds naturally. When she was competing for a fitness competition she essentially starved herself and damn near killed herself in the gym and got down to 153 pounds, but was still hovering around 13% bf. Now 13% was the absolute lowest I could imagine she could go at that point.. so just 5% more is ideal? Yikes. It is no wonder women are so confused. If you read any Lyle McDonald he considers very lean to be at about 22% for women.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 28, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Hah, you caught me... and no worries, I'm at 19% BF :)

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 28, 2012
at 10:11 PM

@April, I wouldn't get too concerned about his opinion. I know you have a history of an ED, so don't use it to justify being at lower BF because a lot of bodies can't handle that. "In my opinion, you should be around 11% if you are a male, 18% if you are a female." His opinion. He later gives a range of 12-22% as "superior to the norm"

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:53 PM

What about anything lower than that?

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on April 29, 2012
at 01:11 AM

De Vany, like many men, may be unaware that women are most fertile at 20-22%. Below 20, many women experience difficulty conceiving, and below 18% most women lose their periods. So I doubt his 18% figure. Take poor Kate - everyone loved how she looked in her wedding dress, with her 16 BMI, but now that the crunch has come, she's too thin. Just 30 years old she's having to do IVF; her doctors beg her to gain weight. The House of Windsor: lost to fashion, and her ED.

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on April 29, 2012
at 05:52 AM

I'm 5'7" and don't know much about body fat %, but I know that between giving birth to child #1 and child #2, my weight dropped to about 118, and I never got my period back (ie, infertile). I know that I was STILL heavier than most model/actress types at that point...

0
A27af99fb86f33c1979c32882607de2a

on January 04, 2013
at 09:31 AM

Genetics actually take a minor role in here.

How you grow up, what you've been eating, your daily activities play a heavier role in your weight.

Dana Torres gave birth to her baby after the Beijing Olympics and she still had a six pack afterwards.

This just shows how ignorant people are. They would rather rationalize and put up excuses than actually doing something about it.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4

(638)

on March 24, 2013
at 07:30 AM

No, thats not true. Genetics does have a big input into it. MOST women would not get their period at such a bodyfat % that athletes with a 6 pack have. Or at the weight that most hollywood celebrities are. Im 5'4 and most certainly do not get periods at a weight of 108lbs (considered a BMI of 18.5, the lower end of the "healthy" range). I don't get them till my BMI reaches about 22 (130lbs) this would be considered fat for a holly wood actress.

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