The more and more I work out, the less and less I care about being skinny. Now, take that statement with a grain of salt, because hi, I am a woman, and hi, I do exist in this world of assholes, so I also really like the idea of being skinny.
But I really think that I’m actually happier being strong than I could ever be being skinny.
Skinny is great and all. I mean, I assume it’s great. I don’t know that I have the body type anyone would ever call skinny? Skinny is mostly reserved for those people that can eat a whole pizza and still weigh 100 pounds and/or people who literally never eat who I feel so desperately sorry for. But you know, sometimes I’m thin?
So I know the true joy of being told you look skinny. I know that feeling of satisfaction when that skirt you never usually wear because it makes you feel like you can’t breathe actually fits you and looks how it’s supposed to look and shit, what have I been missing this whole time? I know the conquering feeling of FUCKING FINALLY losing weight.
No, for real, “fucking finally” was really necessary here because in January, I doubled my weekly running mileage, tripled my strength training/aerobic workouts etc., cut out a ton of alcohol, and almost constantly ate in my calorie deficit. I did that for 8 months and lost 0 pounds. Seriously. 0 pounds. And then, I guess my body finally gave up and the pounds are flying off this month (why did this have to happen after I got my wedding dress altered?).
Actually though, I’m really grateful for those eight months of nothing. Because in those eight months, I finally solidified inside myself that I really, truly, actually care more about being strong than I care about being skinny.
I wish we could all change our goals to wanting to be our best, strongest self, not our smallest self.
Because feeling strong? So much better. Here is what being strong feels like:
- It feels like being sore at least two days a week, every week. Come on, you know you love being sore.
- It feels like never saying, “I can’t do that.” Because every other time you’ve felt that way, you’ve pushed through it. You’ve done it.
- It feels like seeing other crazy people doing stupid things outside in the blazing heat and knowing that you’re kindred spirits.
- It feels like catching a glimpse of yourself doing an awkward yoga pose and expecting to get depressed, but actually getting excited, because did you even know you had muscles there?
- It feels pretty sweaty. Like, really sweaty. Like, you have to go to the store and buy laundry detergent specifically designed for odor removal sweaty.
- It feels like being a badass bitch when you fall, scrape the hell out of your knees, and then just keep running because seriously what else can you do?
- It’s feeling pride when you start to realize how strong women are. Men can do cool things with their bodies too, I’m sure, but when you start to pay attention, you realize just how strong women are their whole lives. Old women runners? Legitimately the most impressive athletes.
- It feels like actually getting to eat a ton of food because you just burned 1200 calories and your body actually needs it.
- It feels like doing ridiculous exercises you’ve only seen professional athletes do and realizing that you can actually do them too.
- It’s wearing a shirt that says, “ATHLETE” and not feeling self-conscious at all.
- It’s knowing that your body is so grateful to you and so happy and so ready to live strong for a really long time.
- It feels like almost never getting sick. My immune system is out of this world.
- It feels like not drinking much on Saturdays because you belong to the church of the Sunday long run and you’re not risking a hangover. (This feeling can also be described as “smug.”)
- It’s having a lot of gross things happen to your body. Yuck.
- It’s nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs, instead of counting the calories of a lot of crap food your body doesn’t want in the first place.
As much as I love feeling skinny, I wish we could start to shift our focus to strong. I wish when we complimented each other, we said, “Damn, you’re getting tone!” or “Ooh girl, check out those quads” instead of, “Your arms are so small!”
Because as after school special as this feels to say, all of our bodies are different. My weight would literally terrify some of my friends. Like they’d probably spiral into depression if they weighed what I weighed. But that weight? It actually makes me feel good. That weight signifies a lot of muscle I worked really hard to build.
I look at my body, I see the serious thunder thighs launching my legs down the street, and I know that my body is exactly where it wants to be. It’s exactly where it’s been begging to be its whole life. Not the skinniest, not the fattest, but the strongest. And nothing feels as good as that.