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The Skinny on Being Called Skinny

Aug 19, 2021 | Beliefs

For the first time in my adult life that I can remember, I was called skinny (envision me with a “mind blown” emoji expression here).

I grew up a husky kid – for real, I wore husky jeans all through adolescence – so skinny has never been in my repertoire. Ever.

So when two women called me skinny, in a swimsuit no less, I did about a hundred cartwheels while jumping up and down with a marching band behind me as my hype crew… all in my head mind you.

And while I’m still reveling in the good feels that I got from their comments, it got me wondering…

I’ve Always Been Strong

Once my husky years passed, I moved on to becoming athletic. Again, never skinny, but I was in shape with my muscular soccer legs and strong arms to boot. There were never visible abs because I’ve not been ‘lean’ per se, but always muscular. 

And, for the most part anyways, I’ve LOVED being muscular and curvy.

It’s often been tough to find jeans, but in general I’ve always been proud of looking and feeling strong.

Let’s be real, I was a strength and conditioning coach for five years! I love lifting weights and I nerd out over the science of exercise, so of course it makes sense that I’ve loved being strong.

Plus I know there are plenty of women out there who hate their flat butts, or their noodle arms; and on the flip side, just as many women who want a smaller booty and more toned arms. And despite my moments of envy for a different shaped body, my rational brain has always told me I’m somewhere in the middle and I’ve been happy there.

So Why Was This A Breakthrough?

Like I said above, I’m still basking in the compliment of being called skinny, especially because I have been especially cognizant of making healthier choices in my attempts to lose ~10 pounds over the last six months.

However, I couldn’t help but wonder why receiving that comment had such a profound effect on me when I’ve not been dissatisfied with my body.

And I wondered if it had something to do with how much I’ve subconsciously been brainwashed over the years with traditional diet culture and media influences.

Thinking back to my pre-teen years, I was a tomboy so I didn’t really think about body image in the traditional sense. 

A client of mine said it wonderfully that she loved her body in her pre-teen years, she felt strong and it was a point of pride getting new scars from the playground.

However, recent studies are showing crazy percentages of pre-teen girls having body issues – upwards of 50% from what I was able to find.

So when did it start?

When did we go from aspirations of strength to aspiring to mimic the uber fake looking Instagram filter?

And how did we go so wrong that now pre-teen girls want their bodies to be different, even before they’ve gone through puberty and seen the beautiful body that they get to grow into?

I’m Still Working It Out

Admittedly I’m writing this blog before I’ve even worked it all out in my head of what it all means and why getting called skinny had me glowing.

It still does if we’re being honest – I still like thinking back to them calling me skinny.

But perhaps it’s because skinny to me equates to fit? And I’m also using it in my motivation rolodex for times I need a boost – I can remember what that felt like and get my butt moving so I maintain the healthier lifestyle I’ve had over the last few months.

Or maybe it’s just a “nice to have” because I know the reality is that my goal isn’t to be skinny.

I will never be skinny in the fashion model version of the word, and that’s 100% fine by me!

My goal is to be healthy; to feel good; to feel strong; and to have my body be able to do all that I ask of it as part of everyday life.

And so far, so good!

These last few months I’ve made changes, and I’ve gotten healthier, and yes, I’ve lost weight.

What’s skinny to me is different from skinny for you, or for those two women. “Skinny” is relative and always will be. So no matter what it means for you, don’t let someone else’s version (aka society’s unhealthy version) dictate how you feel about your body!

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