As a female, have you ever wondered about all the different supposed body types out there? “You’re an apple and I’m a pear.” I’ve heard my friends utter these words countless times as we’ve shared clothes, compared our figures, and complained about our sizes. What does any of it even mean? Are there really only three female body types in terms of endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph? Why are we even comparing ourselves to fruit? What about hormone body types?
What if there was another way for females and males to define our body types?
My general practitioner has often asked me what I do to strengthen my back. He has stressed the importance of a strong back in order to maintain a healthy body, robust immune and gut health, reinforce good posture, and relieve back pain.
Taking my doctor’s advice into account, and reviewing the most recent data from Fellow One Research’s The Four Body Types theory and research, looking at my back, vertebrae, muscle mass, and posture to define my body type began to make more sense.
When It Comes to Female Body Types, What Am I Looking For?
I had to understand what I was looking at before analyzing my back. According to The Four Body Types, I needed to look at my spine, specifically the individual vertebrae–the building blocks of the spinal column. Of course I can’t easily see my own vertebrae. However, I can get a good idea of things in relation to my posture, the amount of fat throughout my back, and the lack of muscle mass and definition.
Focusing on these details, my initial conclusion is that I am a Body Type Three. Looking closely at my back I see a lot of fat. It is soft, doughy, and lacks muscle definition. The Fellow One Research website, and The Four Body Types data, includes images of the spinal column, classic arch, and Body Type One dimples. By looking at this information I was able to estimate which of my vertebrae are lacking development.
Analyzing My Female Back Using The Four Body Types
In particular, the fat begins above my mid-back, around the Cervical C7 down through the Thoracic T5 or T6 vertebrae. It increases around my lower back, the L1-L5 vertebrae. My spinal extension as a whole is partially developed. This results in poor posture, which I now know comes from a lack of muscle mass and probably underdeveloped vertebrae. My back begins to bend slightly forward right around my bra strap. I can feel that my shoulders are hunched when I’m sitting or standing.
A Body Type One is the ideal body type found in every modern-day anatomy book. This body type likely has fully developed, built, defined, and balanced muscle mass and vertebrae. Comparing myself to the image of a Female Body Type One, the differences are immediately obvious. There is no arch in my back, nor is there a sign of dimples that are prominent in people who have Body Type One. This body type has defined muscles and lacks fat, unlike my body.
Could I ever be a Body Type One? What would I need to do in order to achieve developed spinal extension, vertebrae, and muscle mass? What combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes would help me accomplish this? How do genetics play into things?
Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle, and Genetics
Questions about diet and exercise have plagued me for as long as I’ve battled with the number on the scale. From a young age I struggled with my weight. Instead of participating in activities that got me moving, I chose more sedentary activities like reading books or watching TV. I made questionable lifestyle choices and developed unhealthy eating habits, coping with sadness and anxiety by eating “comfort” foods. As I grew up the habits I developed in my youth stuck with me, and so did the pounds.
Looking for an easy way to shed the weight I often turned to the internet. I would search “how to lose weight fast” and read dozens of articles. Each one touted some fad diet or exercise program or routine that promised I’d lose ten pounds in a week. The information was overwhelming and no matter what I tried the results were always the same. Failure. At least in the long-term.
I went on countless crash diets, exercised seven days a week until I dropped from exhaustion, and even starved myself. I was hungry and tired, but I told myself it was worth it in order to look like the A-list stars, those females with the ideal body type I so admired. With this extreme combination of diet and exercise I did lose weight, but I wasn’t fit and toned like I imagined I’d be. Instead, I was skinny fat. The fat was still there, just less of it, and there was little to no muscle underneath the fat. As soon as I began eating my favorite comfort foods the weight came back, almost double.
What Role Do Genetics Play In Female Body Types?
Diet and exercise can alter the size of my body, but it will never change the shape of my body. According to the findings of this study on the genetic basis of body shape, your body shape is genetically predetermined, including spinal/vertebrae extension (posture) and muscle mass. Hence, as a Body Type Three I am much more likely to be obese, and becoming skinny fat is a strong possibility when I do lose the weight. It takes more effort to lose weight in regards to diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle changes. While taking much less effort to put the weight back on. Metabolism and muscle mass go hand-in-hand. And, as I have now surmised, having defined muscles, or being ripped, such as a Body Type One, is nearly impossible for someone like me.
What Does All of This Mean?
Since birth, I was genetically predisposed to be a Body Type Three. It was never going to be easy for me to manage my weight and stay off of the obesity weight gain and loss roller coaster ride. And I am certain now not as easy as it is for someone who is a Body Type One.
As a female who is sick of being compared to fruit, I am happy to know my body type and understand what it means in terms of my ability to manage my weight and shape. Knowing that I may never be able to achieve a Body Type One without serious, guided training or even more drastic measures, such as surgery, is actually a relief. Because knowing is half the battle. Instead of focusing on the unrealistic and unattainable image of an A-list star/celebrity or the body type of a professional athlete, I can have more realistic and manageable goals based on my actual body type.