Girls and women of all ages have been under pressure for years to be extremely thin. I was relieved to read an article called ‘Strong is the New Thin’ a couple weeks ago. I got all pumped up and decided to go to the gym to reach my goal of strong instead of skinny. But then I realized, why do I have to become strong in order to be attractive and socially accepted, why can’t I just be healthy?

Don’t get me wrong, I have been all over the scale in terms of weight. I have been as light as 112 pounds and reached a 160 pounds. And on my little frame, those extra pounds make a big difference. I often wish I could go back to the days of 112. I reminisce of the time I was shadowing the dietitian at the University Hospital for my nutrition and psychology class and when we reached the rooms of a couple of anorexic girls I could see the envy in their eyes. One of them even said to the dietitian, “look how skinny she is are you counting her calories?” Those were The days, or not. Yes I was thin but it came with a price. I got tired easily, I had no stamina, I was always cold, and anything that required any type of physical stress is exhausted. My husband told me once that if I told them I was hungry he had five minutes before it turned into a witch. I thought he was joking until one day we were in the car and I told him I was hungry he literally slammed on the brakes, made a U-turn and drove directly to the closest Mc Donald’s. It was then I realized that I truly had a problem.

Since then I’ve had two kids and I’ve packed on some pounds. Yes I’m heavier than I was before but I have much more energy and with two active boys under the age of five, I really need it. There is no way I would be able to do what I do now at 112. I can enjoy my children, I can play with them. We roughhouse and play soccer. I give them piggyback after piggyback not to mention the cooking, cleaning and patience it takes to raise healthy children. All of these are feats I could not have accomplished before. And by the way, when you’re hungry patience are nonexistent.  On top of that, I exercise daily, take my kids to different classes, and sometimes top it all off with a game of soccer with the boys before dinner. I’m not overweight, I exercise, I eat healthy, and I feel good. So why should I feel that my size 6 body isn’t good enough?  Well, I shouldn’t and I don’t anyone.  Just because the media shows us what they think beauty should be, women should not be prisoners to that unattainable ideology.  All of those women are photoshopped anyways.

Our goal should be health; that is all, health, plain and simple.  When women eat healthy, exercise, and have an optimistic outlook on life their beauty glows from within. We should not tie ourselves to unhealthy, unachievable goals. Life is too short to spend it starving ourselves. Instead let us be healthy, energetic, and full of life!