Why I Stopped Chasing The Idea That Skinny Was Best and Started Focusing on My Health Instead

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

As long as I can remember in my life, I have wanted to be skinny. Even as a child, I had a thick, strong body. I have thick muscular legs that could carry me as far as I wanted to go. But that never mattered to me. What mattered to me was how I looked in my clothes compared to my friends, compared to the girls in the magazines and on TV. I grew up feeling like I wasn’t pretty or good enough, even though I got straight A’s in school, had a happy family life, had friends, and even had a cute boyfriend.

 
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I spent the majority of my young adult life chasing the idea of being skinny. I tried every diet, I tried every exercise routine... and no matter how much weight I lost, it still wasn’t enough for me. I always had that voice in my head that said- Now, if you could only lose another 5 pounds, then you would be perfect.

When I got sick, and I mean really sick, after the birth of my second son (to read that story click here), I realized that it all needed to change. I had spent my whole life chasing after an idea that wasn’t really important. Being healthy was all that mattered. I didn’t know that until my most basic abilities were taken away from me. My legs were no longer strong enough to carry me, instead they just hurt all the time and felt weak and needed to rest.

So instead of trying to be skinny, I changed my mindset, and decided that I want to be strong. Because to me- strong equals healthy. Now, I look at my thick muscular legs, and I am proud. All my decisions are based on what is healthy for me- what I eat, how I move, how I spend my time.... And if that means that the scale gives me a number that the old me wouldn't like, well, so be it. We are more than just the number on the scale, and we are more than how we look in our clothes. And it’s crazy to say, but for the first time I my life, I love my body for what it looks, lumps, stretch marks, and all. And it took being sick and going through the long slow road of recovery, to teach me that.

 

Andrea Wool