08/07/2011 12:59 am ET | Updated Oct 06, 2011

Cankles: The New Muffin Top?

Hillary Clinton and I both have cankles. For those of you bird-boned creatures who do not know what a cankle is, it is the body part just below the calf and just above the ankle, that on some people is especially...big.

Not everyone has heard of cankles. I heard that Jennifer Garner is never photographed below the knee if she can help it because she may have cankles (please resist Googling her until you've finished reading this).

Cankles often accompany thick ankles. I personally was born with mine although they were cuter as an infant in diapers. But I turned them to my advantage by becoming a fitness instructor. Fitness teachers are expected to be "solid" and "muscular". My cankles are what my big brother used to call tree trunks. Cankles are genetically like a big nose -- meaning you just have to learn to live with them.

Bodybuilders at the gym admire my cankles, not because they like them on me, but because they would like to have them on themselves.

But as a general rule, cankles do not serve female politicians well -- or any woman who enjoys wearing a dress, for that matter. If you do have cankles and insist on wearing a dress it absolutely must be a mini-skirt with fishnet hose and five-inch stilettos so that no one looks down that low.

To be clear, cankles are not just fat legs. They are a result of a low muscular attachment of the gastrocnemius (the belly of the calve) and a shorter soleus (the muscle just above the Achilles tendon) so that the belly of the calve is not as differentiated.

Women who have great dress legs usually have a calve muscle that attaches higher on the leg so that the ankle looks slim and the lower leg looks long and tapered. Medically there is a rare condition called lipedema, an unusual disorder where fat deposits on the lower extremities.

But for Hil and myself, our cankles are just our genetic predisposition.

Women built like us will never be panty hose models but there are some dos and don'ts to follow so that your are less rankled by your cankles.:

-Firstly, do not do squats or lunges or use extra weights to train your lower body.
-If you do biking or spinning, use less resistance and go at a faster pace.
-Do lots of cardio -- running, speed walking or elliptical, four to five times per week for an hour (I know it's a lot but long distance will burn the harder to lose leg fat!)
-Wear boots! Avoid shoes with ankle-straps and leg-higging skinny jeans.
-Cut down on salt to avoid additional watter retention in the ankles.
-Lastly, learn to love your legs. I do.