“For awhile, I just wanted to be skinny. Then, I only wanted muscles. Now, I just want to be happy*.” I have been planning this post for few weeks and seeing this quote yesterday gave me the glue to put it all together. For the past decade, I have gone from wanting to be super skinny to wanting to be super strong to just wanting to be super happy. We’ve all heard that strong is the new skinny but when is enough, enough?
Strong is the New Skinny?
Or is it? Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the fact that I could snatch 205 lbs or clean and jerk 235 lbs but maintaining that amount of strength for so long just got to be uncomfortable. When you constantly wake up in the middle of the night because your arms are numb, it may be time to reevaluate your training and recovery, or lack there of. Risking an injury because I’ve become lackadaisical about my training, nutrition and recovery is not something I want to do.
#TBT to 2008 right before I started #crossfit. I was a size 2, 128lbs (I'm 5'8") and ran 30 miles a week. I had an unhealthy relationship with food. Since then, I've had two more kids and found my exercise of choice. I'm now 168lbs. I've never been completely satisfied with my body but I'm hoping that it comes with age.
A post shared by Alicia M. (@liftlikeamother) on May 5, 2016 at 11:51am PDT
I have been labeled everything from too skinny (2008) to too bulky to too intimidating. I’m constantly asked, “Do you workout?” or “How many times a week do you lift?” and to be completely honest, it’s annoying as sh*t. At my heaviest (175lbs), I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. Having to balance my regular lifestyle with my crossfit life is really hard. You try packing all this muscle into a dress and not feeling like Shrek. News Flash: it’s impossible. I think that’s why I enjoy being pregnant so much. There are no body expectations or stigmas when you’re growing a cute, squishy, little human.
As long as I was competing in Crossfit and GRID, I was happy with the scabs from muscle ups and the barbell bites because I was an athlete and it comes with the territory. I could deal with the comments about my body to which I must say, if I can’t call people fat, then you can’t call people skinny or bulky or manly. Now that I’m not competing as much, I’m not OK with it. I’m not OK with explaining that my husband doesn’t beat me. I’ve been asked by numerous concierges about the marks on my arms. I mean, come on. And I’m looking at that most recent scabs on my forearms (from last weeks muscle ups) wondering if they’ll still be visible at an upcoming conference. Annoying to say the least.
A New Journey
Will I ever compete in Crossfit again? I absolutely love competing but I don’t love the sacrifice so who knows. The sport aspect has changed so much since 2010. I went from deadlifting in the middle of a field in Ohio to snatching in the Georgia World Congress Center. If you’re not 100% committed to training, to dieting, to living the gym life, you don’t stand a chance at Regionals or the Games. And even if you are 100% committed, your chances still aren’t that great.
So for now, I just want to exercise really fast and work on my weaknesses. I don’t want to count macros or keep a training log. I don’t want to leave my kids for 2-3 hours a day to train. I’m completely ok with never snatching 200lbs again and I’m ok with not squatting 300lbs. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to have balance. Happy is the new strong is the new skinny.
My hope it to set my kids up for success. I have 2 daughters that have to make their way though this skinny obsessed world. Are they going to be strong enough to handle it? If I have anything to say about it, they absolutely will!
*Thank you Sara W. for the great find!