This past month I was told in more or less words that I shouldn’t be telling people to exercise when I am getting bigger myself. It was hurtful, but more so it was a reality check that unfortunately many people still think this way when it comes to fitness and health.
Firstly, I want to apologize if I have ever made anyone believe that my purpose in the fitness industry is to promote “skinny.” In years gone by, I entered the fitness world to be smaller (I think that most people do), but my focus has so greatly changed over the last few years.
The truth is: fitness is not about being “skinny”: not for me, nor should it be for you.
Fitness and wellness is about being healthier, stronger, and more cardiovascular fit. And for many people those things do not equate to being “skinny.” For me, it surely doesn’t.
Yes, I have been 110 pounds and a Size 0 before. But I wasn’t healthy. And the more I focused on getting healthy, the “bigger” I became. Now, I still am only a Size 4 (which is not huge by any means), but I am thicker, stronger, healthier, and happier about my body than I have ever been. Even in the last 3 months, as I trained more for an endurance hike, my legs became thicker and more muscular (and I probably gained around 5-7 pounds in the process).
The truth is the human body is capable of such amazing things! And if someone’s main focus is on being “skinny” they are never going to see what their body can do!
Just a few weeks ago I completed a one-day endurance hike of the Grand Canyon. I started at the North Rim, hiked down to the Colorado River, then back up to the South Rim. I trained for nine weeks leading up to this. The hike was over 24 miles and took around 14 hours. It was the most amazing yet challenging thing I have ever physically done.
I do not share this to brag on myself, but to brag about the human body! I surely couldn’t have done such an amazing adventure when I was 110 pounds. But my thicker, more muscular, and stronger 150ish pound body could.
It is my wish that we could begin to see fitness as becoming healthier and stronger, no matter what that looks like. Healthy is going to look different on everybody. For me, healthy may be a slightly thicker body. For you, healthy may be a smaller body. Everyone is made differently.
Never limit your thinking to size and/or weight (for you or someone else). If you are only focused on being “skinny” you may never have the privilege to see the amazing abilities that your body has.
And in the end, I believe we will appreciate seeing the strength and capabilities of our body more than seeing how “skinny” we can get.