I’ve always had slender, curvy friends. Tall or not tall, there were lots of small waists, round hips, small hands, small feet, small legs- you get the picture. The girls who look awesome in bikinis and have actually seen the days of a size 2. The girl that Cosmo told me I needed to be. The girl that was more like ‘a girl’, or at least our society’s notion of what a female is. I was always jealous because I wasn’t built that way. Even when I was at my thinnest in high school, I was never a petite girl. Broad shoulders, big rib cage, your stereotypical ‘thunder thighs’. Put me in a strapless dress and I look like a linebacker. Seriously, I’ve never been referred to as slender. Once I tried on a petite shirt because I am short, and I figured well I’m short, maybe I’m petite: I moved and I almost ripped the sleeves right off. So no, definitely not petite. I hated my shoulders, my ribs, my legs- I hated and despised my ‘stocky’ build. Always.
When I got off track with my fitness, my first goal was to lose weight and become the slenderest me I could, but something changed along the way. I adopted the strong is the new skinny mindset. I started making gains with CrossFit and saw my body doing things that I never, ever thought I could do, even when I was thin and at my prime. I started to put more plates on the bar. I started to decrease the width of a band. I started to see heavier kettle bells go over my head. And now, as I’ve started to get more and more into Olympic Lifting and more into CrossFit itself, I realized just how lucky I was to be built the way I am. I love my broad shoulders that support the bar overhead. I love that my back is getting wider and how racer back tank tops accentuate that fact. I love that my thighs touch, because they’re muscle. I love that my short, stocky frame gives me a good center of gravity and I can really focus on lifting heavy shit.
I know that no body type is ideal for CrossFit or lifting. That’s the beauty of the sport- it really is for everyone. I just love how CrossFit has helped me love who I am and how I am built, how it’s changed the way I see myself in the mirror. Instead of someone got a raw deal by being built like a boy, I see someone who is getting stronger every day. I see someone who will eventually walk into a room and a dude will say ‘she could probably kick my ass’. I have never felt so much like a strong ass chick as I do right now, and I’m not even THERE. I’m not even a fourth of the way through this journey.
The lesson that I’ve learned and that I hope everyone can learn that’s struggling is that we are exactly the way we were meant to be, for better or for worse. And there is beauty in everyone and everything. We didn’t get dealt a raw deal. There’s a reason we are who we are, and we just have to find a happiness inside of us to help us understand that.