Hello everyone! I’m nervous and excited to share something with you that’s a bit more personal and will hopefully strike a chord somewhere inside of you! Writing a blog post that goes beyond a cute outfit or reviewing a beauty product isn’t always easy, especially when it has to do with something like body image.
Talking About Body Image
A few years ago, I heard a slogan/hashtag going around that encouraged a healthy lifestyle as opposed to a “get skinny” lifestyle. The slogan was “Strong is the new skinny.” I thought this was pretty clever and a great way to live life. For awhile, this was my mantra. I was going to be strong, not skinny. I went to the gym, counted my calories, joined Facebook fitness groups, and tracked my progress. The only problem was, I still wasn’t happy with being “strong”. What I wanted was to be skinny. And it just wasn’t happening.
Secrets My Heart Hid
As much as “strong is the new skinny” encouraged me to keep going, every time I was at the gym and saw myself in one of those awful, big mirrors on the wall, I felt my heart sink a little. I wasn’t getting skinny. Strong yes, but not skinny.
Whenever I’d go out, I’d see tiny, thin girls and think “wow, they don’t know how lucky they are! My body won’t ever be like that.” And it won’t. That’s just not how I was built. Sometimes I’d blame God and think things like “thanks for all the genetics I didn’t want!” Honestly, I still do think that from time to time and that likely won’t every change. All I wanted (and still do) is to be “skinny.”
My Own Worst Critic
Everyone, no matter who they are, is their own worst critic. We want what we don’t have and focus in on the imperfections that won’t go away. As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but notice the roll of fat coming over the waist of my jeans. You probably wouldn’t notice it, but then again you aren’t looking for it- I am. The jiggle in my thighs? You better believe I notice that! The hereditary double chin? My worst enemy in photos.
I’ve always envied the women that had a natural thigh gap. I can’t even begin to figure out how to get one of those! I used to do weighted squats to try and create that thigh gap and instead it just made my thighs more muscular in the most unattractive way. So yes, I’m my own worst critic.
It’s Ok Not to Love it All
As wonderful as “strong is the new skinny” is for encouraging women to be healthy instead of always trying to be skinny, it just doesn’t do it for me. There are just things about my body I’m never going to love no matter how much I try to convince myself. And that’s ok.
This slogan and many others aimed at empowering women to love their bodies are great, but sometimes I feel like I can’t be honest with myself or others about how I really feel. It’s almost as if its taboo within self-love movements to admit that there are things I’d change in a heartbeat.
I’m thankful that my heart beats, my legs walk, and that my mouth can smile. Those are things I’d never change! But would I shave a little belly fat off if I could? You bet I would, and to me, there’s no shame in admitting that. I’m being honest with myself.
So strong doesn’t always feel like the new skinny. Sometimes, I just really do want to be thin. But strong is what I can become and it’s much healthier than starving myself to be skinny.
What I’m Wearing
I want to give a shoutout to the special boutique that gave me the really cute athleisure outfit I’m wearing in this post! Studio to Street Boutique is locally owned in Texas and run by the sweetest ladies! They aim to give women an affordable version of luxury athleisure style to wear from the gym to the street. I’m linking everything I’m wearing below!
Please check out their online store as well as their Barre studio!
*Clothing was gifted and all opinions are my own.