Strong Not Skinny

“Growing up , I was a very skinny child with crooked teeth who could never play any sport as I was asthmatic and would get breathless even at the thought of doing a physical activity. Climbing up a flight of stairs used to seem like a workout. I always felt very inadequate and weak so would always question my worth. Why me? Why did I have to suffer from this disease when all the other kids could play? Why am I not good enough to be able to do normal things? That lead to me never doing any physical activity and being a couch potato instead. Though I was a skinny kid, I was always ashamed of having big legs, “thunder thighs” as they used to be called.
I got into fitness when I was in a very dark place in my life. I was depressed, overweight and that is when I got introduced to crossfit and it changed my life. It changed how I saw myself and made me fall in love with my body. It got me out of that dark place and gave me back my lost confidence.The same thunder thighs I was ashamed of, became my biggest strength. I would go to the gym and could squat more than a lot of the men and women there. I could deadlift with heavy weight which gave me the confidence that I lacked as a kid. I wasn’t “skinny” anymore, I wasn’t fat anymore, I got fit and felt strong. I finally feel confident in my own skin and am in a very happy place. But as you know, everyone thinks that if you workout or are fit, you need to fit into their image of a fit person. You need to be thin or have 6 pack abs. You can’t have broad shoulders or big legs and still be fit.
I face criticism everyday for looking the way I do and people have tried to put me down and asked me ‘why are you not thin even after you workout so much?’. I get loads of unsolicited advice from a lot of men on Instagram saying how I should run everyday and how lifting weights won’t make me thin. So to them I want to say that I might not fit into your idea of being fit, I might not be skinny and might not have 6 pack abs, but I am strong, not just physically but also mentally! Maybe not everyone works out to be thin, maybe some of us want to be strong and not skinny and I think it’s high time we normalise this!”