I Can Be Skinny and Strong

Hey y’all, so yesterday when I was getting a massage, something I splurge on about every 4-5 weeks to help with my stress management, I mentioned to the massage therapist that my left shoulder was hurting due to upping the weights I was lifting and probably slightly overdoing it. Wellll, she looked at me and said, and I kid you not, “your body isn’t meant for lifting weights, you’re not an athlete.” First, I was in shock, because this woman sees me for an hour each month and literally has no idea about my life, and second, only athletes can lift weights and work on their health?? I was so stunned, but I did finally respond that I not only do I play tennis, but I have also practiced karate, ballet, gymnastics, ice skating, and other athletic endeavors, and was pretty good at a majority of them. She apologized and tried to backpedal, but despite that, it really stuck with me. So once again, I’m back here, trying to make a point that maybe we should stop judging people based on what their bodies look like, because I can be skinny and strong.

There’s a hashtag going around Instagram and Facebook, and I’m not going to lie, for people who are so against body-shaming, I sure do see a lot of it, especially towards skinny people. You might have heard of the hashtag, it’s #strongnotskinny. Yup, implying that because you are more of a thinner build, you must be some weak person who can barely carry her own groceries to the door. Really great for making everyone feel good about their bodies, huh? Sadly, not everyone reading this will understand why this is upsetting, because yeah, there are some people who are skinny and can’t lift heavy things or aren’t considered strong. But there are also those who do crossfit or weightlifting and just don’t happen to appear as strong as they are. And I can tell you as someone who is deceptively stronger than people give me credit for, it’s really annoying to constantly be told to eat a cheeseburger or try lifting weights. I do both, and the way my body is, you just can’t tell.

You may now be thinking, well who cares, what do you have to feel self-conscious about, you’re thin, you should be happy. I am very happy with my body, but at the same time, it’s hard not to feel like there’s something wrong with my body when people are sharing that hashtag or telling me I should eat more or asking if I’ve ever had or have an eating disorder, implying to me that there’s something unnatural and wrong about my body. My body is 100% natural, I workout 30 minutes a day for my cardiac health, lift some weights, and I also eat pasta and desserts, and have never had an eating disorder. But thanks to comments like that, even though I’m good with how I look, I can’t help wonder if that’s how everyone sees me, and if that’s something that needs to change. I know I shouldn’t care what others think, and that’s great to say, but much harder to believe when everyone is telling you there’s something wrong with you.

So let me just say this again, I can be strong and skinny. I don’t have to eat a burger nor do I have to rattle off all the different sports I did to be considered athletic. I know people who run more than me every single day who weigh more and I know people who don’t workout much who weigh less. How about we stop shaming everyone’s body and just let people live? Look at the guy who plays The Flash, Grant Gustin, apparently he’s had people attack him for his size, because he’s not muscular enough in their minds for the character. I mean, really? He’s a great actor, it’s a great show, and he’s stated that his weight fluctuates when he gets more anxious about things. You know what’s great for anxiety? Having thousands of people comment on your weight and say you don’t deserve a role that you’ve been playing well for over 5 years. No one deserves that, I don’t care what gender you are, because yes, this happens to guys too, and he’s a great example of it..

Everyone’s body is different, and we all have different metabolisms, different lifestyles, and we are all different sizes. Being skinny doesn’t make me weak, being strong doesn’t mean you can’t be skinny, and being larger than what your BMI says you should be doesn’t make you overweight either. Everyone’s body is different, and we need to accept that and focus on loving our bodies without having to tear others down.


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