It may come as a surprise but you don't need to train to be skinny (and for what it's worth I'm not anti the word 'skinny'). Up to 80% of our weight is driven by what we eat, and so if you're super disciplined with your food you can get there. So if the thought of exercise makes your stomach turn, then it is still possible to wear fabulous clothes and look, well, fabulous. If you need proof, look at pretty much any catwalk model.
The bad news is that you do need to be super strict with your food and staying at your preferred weight only gets harder over time. The other downside is that you end up looking more than a little hungry, weak, limp.
The alternative option could be the big trend at the moment of 'fitness'. Think personal bests, VO2 max and high fives all round. Fitness is very different to skinny because you can be fit, strong, fast yet still over weight. I've nothing but admiration for their athleticism but look at props on the rugby field or quite a few female tennis players and you get the point. They can push, pull, press about 10 times what I can and they will tuck into a big bowl of pasta far more often than I do, but they won't be reaching for the XS in Selfridges on a regular basis which in my book is a price not worth paying.
And that's where 'hot' comes in. Think teeny, tiny, toned. Slim as opposed to skinny, strong without being bulky. The only way you get here is with a lifestyle where you consistently eat well and exercise too. This isn't about the 'super-strict regime' that skinny entails and it doesn't mean 'smashing it' in the gym that true 'fitness' demands. But it does mean consistently being on track and spending the majority of your time sticking to a healthy lifestyle.
For me 'hot' is the only word worth chasing because the lifestyle part of this strikes the right balance between the compromises of fit or skinny. You can have a huge amount of freedom by striking the deal to stick to some simple rules most of the time, without being a food or gym bore (I saw a great postcard the other day saying 'Unless you fell off the treadmill and smacked your face, I don't want to hear about your workout' - funny).
One of my fabulous trainers is a chap called Eric. You'd meet him and you'd think he spends hours in the gym everyday - he's in great nick. But the truth is slightly different. Yes he trains hard and enjoys it three times a week. But he also does something on those days where he's really not up for it. Even if it's a simple 20-minute circuit or a jog with some intervals. It's this combination of being in the zone going for it, and doing something when you're not in the zone, that is so powerful. We call it high-low training and there's a lot of science that supports the benefits.
It's a habit you need to build, nurture and embrace. You'll have to fake it at first until it becomes part of who you are as it certainly doesn't happen by accident. But the empowerment when you find this balance this is life changing. And the best part is that as the fads come and go, 'hot' always remains in fashion.Suggest a correction