Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics, but I’ll never be “the skinniest” gal around…and I’m ok with that. (See definition below)
You can walk into any gym, store, church or school and find a lot of girls who weigh less and wear smaller clothes than me. This has bothered me in the past. After all, I am an aerobics instructor, right? I have exercised consistently for years and have focused on healthy eating for the same amount of time. Most people describe me as “fit” instead of “skinny” and while I don’t mind that, there is something about the word “skinny” that can turn your day upside down if someone describes you as so!
Earlier this week, I posted on my facebook page and asked you, if there was a difference between skinny and fit and if so, which would you prefer? Most of you came in saying that you wanted to be fit over skinny! The word “skinny” invokes a different feeling for everyone. Some of you may want to be called that. Some of you may hate it.
(Remember this though, some people are just naturally skinny. They aren’t trying to be this way (my husband would be one in this category). So we need to be careful that we aren’t judging a “skinny girl” as she may have no choice as to what God gave her! Which brings me to another point. Can one be skinny and fit? Hmmm. We had some discussion on that on the facebook page, but I’ll leave that to another blog…)
Here’s why Fit > Skinny to me:
♦ I’m a mom
I’m going out on a limb and say that I’m in the same–if not better–shape than I was in the years BEFORE I had kids. HOWEVER, my body is a different body. There is no way that my stomach will look exactly the same that it did pre-kids. My hips have changed, and my chest (ahem) has changed. Does this mean its’ bad or worse? No. It means that it’s just DIFFERENT and for me to compare to my life pre-kids is unfair.
♦ My natural body build
I am not a naturally skinny, tall, lanky build. I have always carried more muscle, even in high school, but this always served me well, as I was always an athlete! I’m 5’4″, so I don’t have a lot of room for “extra weight” to distribute. I will always have stronger/bigger thighs (that have problem fitting into skinny jeans!) and strong shoulders. I can choose to fight that fact, but why would I? God created me uniquely in this manner, so I am going to be the best I can be with what He gave me!
Here is a fun flashback to high school! This picture was from the track team, but I also played volleyball and basketball!
♦ It will serve me better as I age
Staying skinny–and by that, I’m implying little muscle–will be harder and harder to do the older you get. Your muscle mass decreases as you age. (I have a lot of women ask how to get rid of the “flabby” skin!) When I see women who are older who exercise (with weights) I think they look rockin’! A little tone on the body does wonders. And because I’ll have more muscle, it will be easier for me to fight off the weight that comes on most women as we age and the hormones go crazy!
Denise Austin is a perfect example of how Fit > Skinny. She is 55 and looks awesome!
♦ It’s easier to maintain
For me to lose muscle and bring myself to a build 10 pounds less than what I am would require a TON of work. It would require me to do cardio 6 days a week, eat none of the foods I love and not exercise the way I love to. So because of that, it would be super hard for me to do. Why would I do that to myself? And as I mentioned earlier, that won’t fare well for me as I age. I’ll keep the muscle, thank you very much.
♦ I like it
I personally have always preferred a toned looking body. There’s nothing wrong with the thin look, but it’s just my personal preference. I really admire the look, and hard work, that comes with getting those muscles!
♦ I want to set a positive example for young girls
The truth is, society thinks “skinny” looks good. Magazines, models and actresses are tall and thin. It’s not that common to see a gal with muscular legs and some nice shoulders gracing the covers of the magazines. However, I am seeing a new trend swinging through stating that strong, fit and healthy is better than skinny. I want to be a part of that. I want my daughter and her friends to see a mom who is confident in the build that God gave them. It breaks my heart to hear of high school girls who are working so hard to ward off big thighs or broad shoulders. We need more people living a “fit” life and I want to be included in that group!
So, what are your thoughts? Have you struggled with not being skinny? Are you naturally skinny and want to be fit? How much of this discussion is just a semantics thing? I would love to hear what you think!