Strong is the New Skinny

I’m a petite person. With the exception of my freshman year of college, I’ve always had a small waist. It’s my DNA. But that doesn’t mean I’ve always been a fan of my body. And it doesn’t mean I like when people tell me oh I wish I was that skinny. Because thin isn’t always what’s in. Small has meant I’ve constantly felt weak, inferior and pathetic. And to be honest, I don’t want to look skinny. I want to look like I could kick your ass! {Okay, so I’ll never actually look like I could but at the very least, I want to feel like I could}.

As women, we are often our own worst critics. I’m a mom with two cesarean sections under my belt. And that area has been a frustration since my first child was born thirteen years ago. However, I have finally accepted that the physical evidence from those life experiences will never go away. But that’s okay because I have two beautiful blessings to show for it. So instead of wasting my time being critical of something that I cannot change, I’ve intentionally shifted my focus to other areas of my body [and mind] that I could better control. I wanted to get stronger; physically, mentally and emotionally. I wanted to feel fit and healthier. I wanted to have more confidence. And I wanted to show my kids that if you commit, you can conquer.

Strong is the New Skinny (2)

For me, improving my physical strength has granted me huge strides in developing my mental and emotional strength. Looking stronger on the outside has been the inspiration I needed to convince myself that I could feel stronger on the inside. I no longer feel weak, inferior and pathetic. It’s still an immense work in progress. But progress doesn’t have to be mean perfection.

Our world is hung up on appearances; straight up physical facets that can make or break someone’s esteem with one breath. And unfortunately that kind of discrimination is never going to go away. It is what it is. Fighting that bias is like eating soup with a fork. It’s an unproductive battle. Instead it makes more sense to concentrate on our own individual beauty. What do WE find attractive rather than what others find attractive. As long as it’s in a safe and healthy manner, we can create a world that views strong as the new skinny. And don’t believe for a moment that strong has to mean chiseled abs or the perfect booty. (Those things are nice but they expire). I believe timeless strength reveals itself better through intelligence, talent, skill, education, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and love. It’s not about flaunting those skin-deep characteristics. It’s about flaunting the finest features that make us a better human being. Because that kind of beauty can be seen both inside and out.

Strong is the New Skinny