Hi Guys! First off, my apologies if you’ve been missing my usual style/fashion posts. I know, I miss them too! But I’ve also been enjoying writing posts that are a bit more real and personal and that go beyond “I love this dress and you will too!” Everything I read online says I need to stay on brand and stay consistent with my content, but ugh that just ins’t me at all! I really have tried that in hopes of attracting a larger audience, but at the end of the day my favorite part about blogging is sharing who I REALLY am with you all! It doesn’t matter to me whether 5 people or 500 people read this blog posts (although I do appreciate each person that does stop by here VERY much!), what matters to me is if one person reading along finds something I say important or helpful. That’s what matters!
Alright, now I’m kind of worried that this post might offend some people. I’m not writing this in a mean spirited way, I’m not trying to insult or belittle anyone, but I want to share my personal experience with body image in the most honest way possible.
I realize I’m skinny. I’ve spent most of my life being greeted with “you’re in such great shape!” or people calling me “skinny Minnie” or any other number of nicknames relating to my body size. The thing is, I haven’t felt great about my body until now, and even know I’m still struggling in some ways. About a year ago I saw something on the internet that completely resonated with me. Does that ever happen to you? When you read something and it just strikes a cord or in this case, strikes EVERY cord? I was reading an article by some blogger my mom follows (my mom is actually the one who handed me her iPad to read the post) and this blogger was talking about how she used to be “skinny fat.”
That was me! It was exactly how I’d felt for so many years! Such a simple phrase, two basic words, but yet putting them together completely changed my perception about my body image.
I used to be skinny fat, but I’m not anymore. But wait, what is skinny fat? Skinny fat, as described by the blogger whose name I can’t remember (oops!) is being skinny not by action, but by genetics. I was genetically blessed with a fast metabolism, which would allow me to eat 8+ chocolate chip cookies a day (not kidding…I swear that was my diet in college) without exercising at all and I wouldn’t gain a pound. I actually got a body-type analysis done the other day and apparently I have the metabolism of a 12-year-old. So yes, I used to be skinny fat.
I was skinny fat because I looked like a twig, ate like a football player, and acted more like a couch potato than an athlete. I always used to get embarrassed when friends (or strangers) would praise me for how great I looked! I mean, um thanks? It’s not like I did anything to look like this, unless eating your body weight in brownies counts? So maybe now you can see how I’ve had an interesting relationship with food and body image?
Once I found Pure Barre, this all changed. In high school I was a great runner! Not the best, but pretty darn good! That was, until I got injured…(insert sob story here). All through college I wanted to exercise and get in shape, but never really did. (Ha, here’s the thing, everyone always thought I was already in shape and would be like “why are you going to the gym Helen?” as if I wasn’t allowed to go work out because I was already skinny!) Towards my senior year in college I would work out 2-3 times a week, but it was always more work to get there than the effort I actually exerted while at the gym. Please tell me I’m not alone here!
Fast forward to last summer when Soul Cycle was just wayyy to expensive to commit to (hello, it’s almost $40 a class!) I decided to give Pure Barre a try. I hated Pure Barre the first time I did it. Once I got home that night I realized I had accomplished something. I had worked out. I had exercised. I was active. The intro offer was a week of FREE classes, and being the frugal girl I am I wanted to get my moneys worth. Six classes later and I was hooked! I signed up for the monthly unlimited package and haven’t looked back since. I’m active, I’m healthy, I’m in shape and I love it!
For the first time in my life I can look in the mirror and really feel good about what I see. I can finally see slight muscle definition and I look strong. Okay, maybe not to you, but I can see it myself and that’s what matters. Above all I know how hard I’ve worked and now I finally feel like I deserve this body. I deserve to look like this because I work out every day. Yes, EVERY day! And if I take an off day I make sure to walk extra to compensate for not going to Pure Barre. I’m a new person. I wouldn’t have known this Helen could have existed before Pure Barre. And let me tell you, this Helen is so much happier.
Okay! That’s all for now. My hope is that this resonates with someone reading along, just like it did for me when I first came across a term that so perfectly described how I felt about my body.