We Don’t Say “Skinny”


Growing up, I wanted to be “skinny.”

The only thing I really understood about that word is that it was the opposite of being fat. In my teens and through my twenties, that was the ideal body type. I was athletic in school and came from some good genes (thanks, MOM!) so staying thin wasn’t really a problem.

Fast forward to my thirties and having three kids…

Annnnnnd….all of that changed.

I actually had to work at it. Even when I started working out regularly in my thirties, I only had one goal in mind…being thin. I would do tons of cardio, with a few bicep curls mixed in here and there, just to stay “skinny.”

However, once I hit my forties, I was determined to be in the best shape of my life and started incorporating different things into my workouts…strength training, spinning, and boot camps just to name a few things. All of the sudden, I starting seeing a change in my body…I had more muscle definition and I liked it.

I was strong.

My body was the same size, so to speak, but it looked different. It was shaped differently…and I was proud of all the work I was doing to get there.

When my now thirteen year old daughter got to the age where she was becoming more active and started swimming, I wanted to present a different picture of what she could aspire to be:

I started using the words strong and healthy to describe why I worked out so much and what I gain from it. When I talked about eating well, I emphasized the importance of food being fuel for our bodies and we eat well for that reason….not so we can fit a mold of what society thinks girls should look like.

I had to break my husband of the habit of saying, “You are really looking skinny!” In his defense, that was his way of complimenting me…men have been programmed to think that’s what females want to hear.

For my daughter and ALL girls, I want strong to be the new “skinny.”

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I want them to strive to be healthy.

I want them to embrace their OWN idea of strong and healthy and understand that we are all built differently.

I know that can be hard…women are the worst at comparing ourselves to others. I am hoping that if we plant this seed at a young enough age, they will carry it on through out adulthood.

Too many people, myself included, have done stupid things to themselves to be “skinny.”

I want her to know that being strong and healthy isn’t easy…it’s hard, hard work. You have to work at it…..but the payoff is so, so worth it. 

So, here’s to raising STRONG and HEALTHY girls who LOVE themselves!!