June 15, 2012

Skinny vs. Strong

Before I go into another tangent on body image, I made some cake pops.  And I'm sharing them with Kara's readers at All in a Row(e).  So "pop" on over and say "Hi!". 

So let's pretend there is not a giant cake pop picture right there...we're moving onto some healthy body image talk today..

 Ah ha!  Now I have your attention.  No longer are you thinking about cake pops...

I'm sure you're wondering, after all my lamenting and whatnot this past winter/spring, how I'm doing on the body image front

Well, truthfully, I"m still trying really hard to convince myself of this.

Because, after months of constant working out, I'm getting to be pretty ripped.  My arms are huge (for me) compared to the weak little chicken wings I was sporting before.  However, my actual weight is higher than it used to be.  Muscle weighs more than fat?  I sure hope so.

And my legs?

My *only* complaint is that they are getting a little too muscular.  What a problem to have, I know.  What's happening is that my jeans are loose in the waist, but tight in the thigh.  Has anyone else run into this issue?  They're not unwearable, obviously; just noticeably more snug in the thigh.

I'm not an expert and this is not professional advice, but I think that the best way to get started on your legs is...

Lunges and Squats.  

Start without weights and then try 5-8 pound weights on your shoulders.  It makes a huge difference!

Lunge around your house from room to room.  And plie squat while rowing 5 pound weights and watching t.v.

I did hundreds every week.  And then, after I started running and kickboxing and doing crazy cardio like RIPPED, the rest just came along. 

My abs?  I'm working on it.  I think the fact that I refuse to give up dessert is counteracting all those ab workouts.  But I'm not upset with my progress.  Ab workouts like Mean Abs June are easy to do on your own.  I started that calendar but then realized I was doing abs at least 4 times a week through classes at the gym, so I probably shouldn't do it everyday.  Does anyone have a hard and fast rule for when it comes to ab workouts? 

I still keep this whole No Fat Talk challenge in the forefront of my mind.  I know this is as much a mental issue as it is a physical one.

Try this.  Go to Pinterest.  Search "skinny".  You will get emaciated models in lingerie and tight jeans and quotes from Kate Moss (A real role model if there ever was one, right?? Um. No.) saying that "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".  I didn't click on any of the images because I was afraid it'd take me to one of those terrifying encourage-the-eating-disorder websites that Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil are always talking about.

Now.  Search "strong".  You'll get pictures of women working out.  Most of them are very thin, yes.  But they are muscular.  Not KStew pale little weakling thin.  But strong thin.  Healthy thin.
You'll get quotes about bravery and resiliency.  Everything we're supposed to be, right?

Skinny and strong seen to go together so often, especially on the covers of magazines, but the images representing them are totally different.  Which of the images are you trying to exemplify?  We all (I'm assuming) want to be skinnyskinnyskinny.  But there's such a difference between being skinny and being fit and strong.

I spent so much time (high school, college, and beyond) wanting to be skinny.  But if I had to choose?  I'd rather be toned and strong than the dreaded "skinny fat".  I don't care if you can squeeze your muffin top or flabby bottom into those size 2's.  You still have a muffin top.   And a flabby bottom.  (We all know people like this, no doubt.)

Any workout stories or motivation to share??   What keeps you working out day after day?  Are you trying to be strong or are you trying to be skinny?



  1. Great post! Exercise is the key and sensible eating, not all these FAD diets. Keep up the good work :-)

  2. I feel like we are the same person. I'm totally all for strong and not skinny, lifting has become my new drug! Yay to lifting heavy things. Abs are still my spot Im not happy with too, I've seen some pretty good results when I started doing weighted incline sit ups, so if you dont do that maybe try it out?

  3. I've never been a naturally skinny person since puberty hit. I've had to at least workout or diet to stay a healthy size despite people telling me often that I'm crazy and definitely "skinny". I'm glad you know what I mean! I knew I wasn't fat, but there were periods in my life when I was wearing a size 4 but I still looked and felt gross. I miss being active and feeling strong. I feel like I've been pregnant forever...2 summers in a row of maternity swim suits. Yuck! Next year, I shall have strong arms like you. ;)

  4. kudos for your strong arms. : ) I get so annoyed when people talk about being "skinny fat." First of all I'm annoyed that they're complaining and are really skinny and don't have to work out and eat whatever you want. I think I have bad genes and a low metabolism and seriously have to work hard to just maintain my weight. And I am proud that I am healthy and in shape but I work really hard at it. I get so annoyed when my friends who are just naturally thin complain about being fat when they do nothing about it! Oh and I have the same thigh problem - I blame it on years of soccer and running (oh and maybe eating desserts.)

  5. Your cake pops look yummy! Aside from that though, this is an awesome post. I definitely forget that fit is better than skinny sometimes. You are looking good girl! Love that last quote the best :)

  6. Um, yes, I do have that problem with my jeans. However, it's not from being muscular. :)

  7. Looking like you've got some guns to bring to the gun show! Bam! I'm ridiculous.
    Great post though!
    I have a post scheduled up this week with similar thoughts.
    I also enjoy the last photo.

  8. put those guns away! :D

    definitely strong is the way i want to be/look. i have the same "issue" as you re: muscular thighs and a small waist. i also have the same problem with my calves which makes it hard to find cute boots to cram my calves into! this was the reason why i couldn't buy hunter boots - my damn calves could barely fit so there's no way in hell i could shove my tucked in jeans PLUS adorable welly socks into those boots without cutting off the circulation in my legs!

    i've been doing p90x for the past month and i love the way it's transforming my body. i stay motivated because i can see my body changing.

    keep it up!

  9. With all these weight loss products featured on late night infomercials and Internet ads and magazines it's no wonder skinny women are having a difficult time trying to gain weight. skinnysprinkles


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