May is here! Warm weather is trickling in, the sun is shining bright, and the days are longer. Summer is around the corner ya'll! I see more people outside biking and running, and I see more people putting in extra days & hours in the gym. “Why?” – I ask.
I receive this common response –
“cause I want/need to be skinny for the summer?”
And it made me think back to when that used to be my sole goal. When all I wanted was to get skinny. Especially around summer time.
But, here's the interesting thing - I never felt great to be called "skinny". It was still such a hollow word that didn't feel right. I actually would just feel like I was constantly lacking something... And guess what? That has to do with the meaning of the word "skinny" itself!
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of the word "skinny" is:
“lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities, or significance”
Cambridge Dictionary defines skinny as “very thin,” and other common definitions that kept popping up in my search were: “unattractively thin,’ ‘lacking sufficient flesh,’ and ‘of inadequate size or growth.”
Now wait till you hear the synonyms that popped up in thesauruses too! Synonyms for the word skinny included: “scrawny’, ‘bony’, ‘narrow’, ‘undernourished’, and ‘twiggy.”
So why is it again that some of us want to have the word “skinny” describe and define us? The word had such a crappy meaning. Like no wonder I felt crappy wanting to BE it... wanting to let it define me.
How about seeing ourselves as being strong? Can you take a moment and actually understand how strong you are? And I'm not simply talking about the amount of weight you can lift from the floor or the number of pull ups you can do. You see,
you are physically strong and getting stronger with every workout you committed to & completed. You are also mentally strong and getting stronger with every decision you’ve made to contribute to a healthier you. And you are SO emotionally strong and getting stronger for loving yourself enough to continue to change what does not make you happy.
The point when my mindset began to shift towards getting strong instead of skinny, was the point when I started to feel less of me lacking something and more of me feeling like I exist as a whole.
I thought to myself - I go exercise, put in the hard word, and make healthier choices/improvements in my diet to be skinny?
No, I don’t aim to be skinny. I am not skinny. You are not skinny.
Remember that you’ve worked hard in your fitness journey. (Oh yes, you sure as heck can remember those difficult moments!)
So, you are anything but skinny, or “scrawny” and “twiggy.”
You are significant. You are strong.
We are strong.
This time, let's aim to have a strong summer, ya'll.
And you'll be surprised at how this mindset changes your life.