This week, I came across this article, and it really got me thinking.
For those who don’t have time to read it (though I highly recommend), this woman talks about her weight fluctuating pretty drastically over the years, and how she discovered that being thin does not equal being happy. She talks about working her ass off, skipping meals, and running for hours each week to achieve a body that society would consider “thin” or “fit” or “hot” — and discovering that it didn’t make her happy. In fact, it made her miserable. The things she had to sacrifice to achieve that body — food that she enjoyed, free time that she wanted to spend with her kids, sleep that she desperately needed — turned out to be her happiness. When she decided to let all that go, she found what she truly needed to be happy.
A huge reason that Size Strong exists is to be a voice that dispels the widely held notion in society that we must look a certain way in order to be happy, or confident, or comfortable in our skin. If you have read my story, and Lina’s story, then you know that we each experienced our own struggles with this and eventually have found a peace with and in fitness. We each, in our own way, battled our desire to look a certain way and now chase our desire to feel a certain way. It’s liberating, and it’s brought us joy, which is why we write this blog — so that we can share it with you and anyone else who might want to listen. But as I read the above article, I started to think about the importance of clarifying what it means to be Size Strong.
Yes, I’ve found happiness in a love for fitness, and I’ve joyfully swapped my “goal weight” for the feeling of strength and power I get when successfully defending myself from a rear naked choke (which we did yesterday in krav, and I am covered in bruises). But my strong isn’t the only strong. It’s not Lina’s strong. and it isn’t YOUR strong. Your strong might be something totally different. It might be running a marathon, or running a mile. Or it might be learning to do something — anything! — new. Or it might be making the time to spend with the people you love, pursuing the career of your dreams, letting yourself simply be surprised by life sometimes.
Your strong, like your body, doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. It doesn’t need to look like any specific thing at all. It just needs to be something that makes you feel amazing, that gives you joy, that polishes you until you shine. Go forth!