A few weeks ago, I heard on the news about a new fitness motto called, "Strong is the new Skinny.” Then the broadcast went on to show a bunch of women at the gym who were living this motto and were lifting weights and getting more muscular. At the end, a woman interviewed brought up a very good point. She said something like, “When will just being healthy be the new skinny? Or better yet, how about just being healthy.”

The media and society broadcast a very slim ideal of the word healthy, which usually involves the female being quite thin, with a flat stomach and very little body fat. However, just being thin doesn’t necessarily mean that you are actually healthy. I’ve mentioned before how eating disorders can drastically change your weight, among other things. However, that could be your natural body type to be thin, no matter what. But that doesn’t mean that you are necessarily healthier than someone who is bigger than you. Despite outward appearances and regardless of body shape, size, etc., that you may have, if on a daily basis you eat unhealthy and don’t exercise, you’re not very healthy.

Most importantly, that model of a healthy woman, is not one that is naturally attainable or possible for some of us for various reasons. (You could be bigger boned than most or maybe you could have a thyroid problem or maybe weight gain is a side effect of whatever medication that you are on.)

So I think that in a way, health mottos like the one mentioned, have caused many women and men, across the spectrum, to sit down and re-evaluate their bodies. And when they do this, they look towards the most popular model, which may not exactly be the best one for them. So I think that we should all take to heart what the woman in the interview said. Instead of following the next health craze, or drilling the next motto into our head, we should just take a step back and think about how we feel. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I feel good inside and outside?
  • Am I able to do all the things that I want to do?

Use fitness and food, as a way to better yourself, not change you completely. If it so happens, that maybe you do need to lose a few pounds, go ahead and do it. But don’t starve yourself and spend all day working out, find fun activities to do and try new healthy recipes that can spice up the food you already eat and incorporate them into your everyday life. And most importantly, remember to feel good about yourself, because when you feel good, you look good to everyone else too.