Why Strong Doesn’t Always Feel Like the New Skinny

stretching in athleisure wearathleisure in downtown Dallasmoto leggings Dallas

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.

 

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15 Responses to Why Strong Doesn’t Always Feel Like the New Skinny

  1. Belle says:

    Such an honest post! Love it! I’ve given birth to two beautiful kids and haven’t worked out for 3 years. But I learned to love and be comfortable in my own body.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  2. Chrissy says:

    This is such a raw and honest post. <3 You are a beautiful person, inside and out. I hope you know this. x

  3. Your beautiful! This is such a wonderful post, so honest and raw!

    XO – http://www.lydialouise.com

  4. delayna says:

    I love this jacket! I will be purchasing this!
    Delayna
    http://www.delaynadenaye.com/

  5. Jocey says:

    I really wanted to read this post when I saw you mention it on your Insta. Especially when I find you so beautiful…it is hard to imagine that you would have any issues with your body. You are right, it’s hard to accept every part of ourselves. However, it is interesting to see how beautiful is defined by different people. For example, the thigh gap you mentioned is so coveted by some people but in the latin community, it is almost frowned upon. To have lush, feminine thighs, is revered. What I am trying to say is that, though your feelings are valid, you will be beautiful in many ways to other people. Even the parts that you don’t like as much about yourself, will be attractive to someone else.
    This was a great post.

    • Liz says:

      Aww thanks girl! That’s so sweet! And different cultures definitely define beauty in different ways. It’s so funny the standards we have for ourselves!

  6. Natalie says:

    I do have such a hard time with “self love”. I know we all are our own worst critiques and it’s a hard thing to overcome. I also work out as often as I can…some days I just don’t feel like it though, you know? I’m not the skinny girl either. There are certain areas I have to agree which will never change. I do however try to do the “you are enough” every day. It’s a great habit to get into!

    xoxo, Natalie
    http://www.rachelgreenandprettythings.com

  7. Hey hun. So it makes me a little sad to read this, but I get it. I spent 24 years of my life being told by my mother constantly that I needed to lose weight. At my smallest in HS I was a size 12 and still 140 lbs. Any photo of my showing my midsection, you will see my arm across it hiding it. Now I am even bigger than I was then. I still can’t take a compliment. There is a book/journal that you might want to check out. It’s called “Beautiful You; A daily guide to radical self acceptance” by Rosie Molinary and it is just a daily journal prompt.Some days it has you answer questions and other days it has you do things like read “the vagina monologue”.

    • Liz says:

      Aww thats awful! I can’t imagine! My mom always told me I needed to gain more lol. I can’t take a compliment either, I always combat it with something like “oh you should see me other days!”

  8. Oh I love your honesty! And for what’s it worth, you are SO beautiful!! I’ve always been someone who is naturally very lanky and I’ve always wished I was curvier – we definitely are our own worst critics!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Chante xo | http://www.chante-louise.com

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