When I initially started crossfit I did it for superficial and stereotypical reasons. I wanted to be skinny. I wanted to look thin. As I started to delve into the sport, as I became a consistent member, and I embraced all of the different facets this lifestyle and fitness routine brought, I decided skinny was no longer something that I wanted. I wanted to be strong. I am not the first person who has felt this way. There are a lot of women who believe that Strong is the new Skinny.
I am addressing this because I have had a few of my friends tell me that I look “so little” or “skinny” now. Which at one point would have helped boost my confidence, but now it’s an adjective that I don’t want to have associated with me. I think for the most part people who lift—especially girls—don’t want to be called skinny. Skinny is reserved for those people who are able to maintain a small size and frame with having to put little to no effort into it. For me, I want my body to radiate fitness and strength. So rather than being someone who looks skinny, I feel more accomplished and confident when I am told I look fit or strong. I have earned the muscles I have, I am continually pushing my body to be stronger and fitter and leaner. I have eliminated food groups from my diet to align with the changes that have been happening. If I were just skinny, I would not be putting my body through this, I wouldn’t be testing myself each and every day.
There are girls and coaches I know who may walk into a crossfit gym as skinny, but after continual work and progression they walk out strong. Sure, they may look thinner than people, but you can normally tell the girls who are strong. Generally they have huge quads and insanely inflated traps. And that is exactly what they want.
My coach/friend Jamie is 4’11”, 100 pounds. She is a little girl. When I first met her, we got to talking and I made the mistake of telling her she was little and skinny. I thought I had ruined our potential friendship because the face of disgust I had received. She made it clear that she was not skinny, she was fit, she was strong. And that’s true. My mind was changed. We often see people who strive to be skinny because of societal pressures, but as you start to see your body change with the help of fitness the goals change. You become addicted to the strength and progress you are making. You get addicted to the muscles that start to make your debut, you no longer want to be the skinny people or models that you see on the covers of magazines, but you strive to get toned and cut like the athletes you see in competitions.
Strong might not be the new skinny, but it is helping women come to terms with having muscles. And a lot of crossfit gyms and athletes are talking about it. Like Crossfit Fury!
What are your thoughts, is strong the new skinny? Do you want to be called skinny or strong?