A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Do you want to be tiny or do you want to be strong?



Like the title says, I'm going to be honest in this post, and I'm probably going to say something that is going to annoy you.

This past weekend, I was at a party with a bunch of people I didn't know. At one point, someone called me "so tiny". As in, skinny.

I am not going to lie- I liked it.

BUT I DO NOT LIKE THAT I LIKED IT. In fact, I am pissed. It makes me seem incredibly shallow. I am telling you this so you know all the parts of me. Even the parts that are ugly.

Later on that night, another person said, "Dang, look at your leg muscles!"

Now, this too was a comment I really liked! Someone noticed my muscles!? That is awesome! I'm definitely not ashamed of enjoying the fact that someone noticed those. My muscles are hard earned.

Both comments are such contradictions to one another, yet I liked hearing both.

I no longer strive to be "tiny". I don't count calories or macros anymore. I don't weigh myself. I don't obsessively exercise. I focus more on what my body can accomplish rather than starving it and working to lose weight.

Yet I was still filled with glee when someone said I looked "so tiny".

I wish I wasn't like that. I wish I would get over it. Maybe I will I grow out of it someday?

23 comments:

  1. I totally get what you mean. :S When a person tells me I'm skinny or tiny or small, whatever I'm like "gee thanks" (Inside I'm saying 'you don't realize I'm 'tiny' from countless miles and good eating along with a scattered gym visit, but whatever'). I've decided i definitely don't want to be sickly skinny as I thought when I was a teenager was the look to go for.But I do want to be lean and muscly, only so that I can run better and be healthy.

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    1. hit publish too soon! LOL.

      I understand how you feel though when getting glee from such a comment is a tricky thing. Especially when you ( I mean myself as well) try to foster a healthy lifestyle and wouldnt' want anyone to feel that their size was a representation of themselves.

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    2. Yes, your second comment hit the nail on the head of what I was trying to get across. I don't think being "tiny" is something I should still like hearing from people.

      As for your first comment, that is a really good point and I would sometimes get mad when someone would say something like "Oh I hate you, you're so thin and you can eat that" (that being WHATEVER, you know. And you want to say... Wait a minute, I got up at 5:30 this morning and ran 5 miles before the sun came up. I WORKED FOR THIS THING I AM EATING RIGHT NOW hehehe. Luckily people don't say stuff like that to me too often.Or I have just gotten older and so my peers have gotten older too and we just have more social skills than we did 5-10 years ago. :)

      Thank you for your thoughts! I hope we get some good discussion going today.

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  2. Thanks for being so honest. I think we all find ourselves enjoying compliments by others that may seem a bit surface/shallow. But we are human and I know for sure you are in a healthy place of balance and living your life in a way that will enable you to do what you love for many years to come!

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    1. Thank you for pointing that out- we are all human I guess! I just hope I always have enough self awareness to evaluate such "compliments", and just keep my eye on the big picture.

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  3. I definitely appreciate your honesty. if someone tells me I'm "tiny" or "thin" or "skinny" I do take it as a compliment, but it also makes me a bit uncomfortable. I think I would prefer to have someone comment on my muscle tone! One thing that gets under my skin is when people assume that I "diet". I try to explain that I don't count calories, I just eat mostly whole, healthy foods but indulge when I want too. Like if someone offers me cake and I turn it down and they're all like "your so skinny, you can eat it" or "you run so much, you earned it" that drives me nuts because I really just don't want the cake!

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    1. Heather was saying something similar! I know what you are talking about. The more I figured out my "food stuff" and "body image stuff", I realized that I should NOT be commenting at ALL on what other people are eating. And not that I would comment a lot, but stuff would slip out, you know? And I realized a comment I may think is harmless actually gets under someone's skin.

      Another thing I realized you just CAN'T comment on is people's weight. One time, I saw a coworker, about my age, who looked like she lost a little bit of weight. She was never overweight to begin with, but she just look liked she thinned out a bit. This is back when I though being thing was in. So I just off the cuff said to her, "You look great, did you lose a little weight?" She immediately broke down crying saying she has been sick for several weeks and has had stomach issues that she has been going to the doctor for. STUPID FREAKING ME.

      So from now on, unless someone says to me, "Look at me, I lost 10lbs!!" I don't say a damn thing about how they look!

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  4. I could write a book about this. Most of the time, I think people are trying to find a way to be nice or compliment your hard work, but since I have struggled with gaining weight a few years ago and have been trying to lose it...I appreciate when someone notices that I am shrinking a bit, but I also feel even worse about how I looked when I gained. I tried to find a happy place when I was heavier because it took so long to work it off and I knew i wasn't overeating, etc...but sadly, at almost 50 I was still self conscious. It's just so hard to feel like you "could" look better at any age. I ask my self WHY all the time.

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    1. WHY indeed. I mean, we could ALL look better, no matter what age we are. But at what price???? Fitness and food should ENHANCE one's life, not CONSUME it. If we all tried to look perfect, it would be a life consuming endeavor and there would be no room for all the other joys in our life.

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  5. I think you had a completely normal reaction, both to liking the tiny compliment and then not liking it. When someone says you are tiny they may not be recognizing all of the hard work you put in at the gym since many people can be tiny without effort. You are FIT not just tiny!

    I had a similar situation, but kind of in reverse a couple of weeks ago. I was at the gym and after I got done deadlifting this guy came up and said, "nice work, you look like a power lifter." I know he was meaning to give me a compliment and/or just strike up a conversation, but I just kept picturing those power lifters who are larger and have no visible definition.... they could all kick my ass and I admire them ... but I had a tough time seeing what he said as a compliment.

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    1. Yup, I am sure he meant it as a compliment, but I understand your reaction to it. Commenting on someone's looks is so risky. What could be meant as a compliment may not taken as a compliment! I guess he would have been better off saying something like "you're strong like a power lifter" rather than you look like one. But people don't think. And I've said the wrong thing before too.

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  6. I think it is totally normal to feel good about getting a compliment, especially when you work so hard. I like it when my legs get complimented on. I was just discussing this with my running buddy while doing our long run on Saturday. People compliment me and then say, "I wish my legs looked like yours," and I will sit there and think, "Well, they don't magically look like this...." Sometimes I get so sucked into the comparison trap by reading blogs and looking at fitness pictures and such that I remember that I do, in fact, look fit or "skinny" to most of the people around me. It's a strange thing being complimented, but I think you should be allowed to be happy that someone said something positive about your body.

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    1. lol they certainly don't magically look like that!

      Comparison trap is tricky. I have had to stop reading blogs in which I believe the blogger is over exercising. I have been wrapped up in that and I just cannot stand reading about people doing doubles a couple days a week. I mean, unless you are training for an iron man, I don't see why people need to do doubles several days a week, and I can't bring myself to comment with something positive because I don't see anything positive about it!

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  7. I don't think you should be too hard on yourself for liking the compliment. It's human nature to crave and enjoy positive attention. Hundreds of years of cultural beauty standards, not to mention biological drives, have conditioned us to want positive attention based on our looks and our bodies.

    Now I'll be honest - when someone tells me I'm "tiny" or "skinny", it doesn't really mean a lot to me because I didn't have to work for it. I've always been thin and don't gain weight easily - it's just genetic. I didn't have to spend years dieting or working out to become skinny. I imagine it's similar for people who have naturally great skin, or hair, or eyes or whatever: you appreciate the compliment but it's hard to be proud of those things because you didn't work for them, they just sort of happen to you. And it's easy to take it for granted in those cases.

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    1. Is there anything you like people to comment on that you have worked hard for?

      I am definitely jealous of people with great skin. My skin has never been great. I've tried everything short of prescription drugs. I even tried that horrible proactiv stuff which just ended up first burning my face off and then making me break out even more than before!

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    2. Sure there is: my work, my writing, my progress in running. Things that actually take work to achieve and have some value to me.

      But the thing is, the average person on the street or at the party doesn't know what's valuable to me. They want to say something nice, so - for better or worse - they go based on what cultural norms and advertising tell them women like to hear: compliments on my looks, my weight, my clothes, my hair. It's a delicate issue because on the one hand, we want to educate people that we shouldn't compliment people on being "skinny", but on the other hand, I'm hard-pressed to chastise someone for at least trying to say something nice in a world where it's become increasingly common to default to saying things that are not very nice.

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    3. That's all very true. It's hard to fault someone for saying something with good intentions.

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  8. A few years ago I would have LOVED to be called skinny. Now I cringe if anyone ever says that to me. I think we can all agree that we would much rather be called strong than skinny. I get called tiny all the time but that is because I am so short so I think it has a different meaning to me. It is definitely normal to like being called small, skinny, tiny, etc.

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    1. Especially because it's hard to look strong than look skinny. For me, anyway!

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  9. OOOOOH I so identify with this. People call me tiny all the time; they tell me I'm "pixie sized" etc. I actually get offended because I think it's disingenuous. I'm 5'3 and I currently weigh more than I EVER have in my life. (I think it's mostly muscle haha.) I'm not "pocket-sized" so I feel like comments like that are almost like...making fun of me? I don't know. I used to like being called tiny when I considered myself tiny because it was a confirmation of what I already thought of myself. (Can you tell my neurosis is showing? lol) So I get liking the term and also disliking that you like it.

    Anyway, I have NEVER been called strong or muscular but I've been called an athlete and THAT was such a high compliment that just made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

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    1. YEAH! "You look like an athlete"... I think we would all LOVE to hear that!

      It's hard to tell how tall people are just from pictures on blogs. Just a random thought I had to share!

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  10. It has been MANY years since anyone called me tiny and I'm fine with that!! I just want to feel strong every day and most days I do.
    I used to wish I could fit a size 0 or even 2 but now I'm happy with my 6-8 and know that it is the right size for me to feel the best at.

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    1. I am glad you feel strong because I know you are a very strong woman!

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