Note from the Badass CEO: Recruits, there are many awesome things about Chris Turner, our "Army VP" who shared via this blog his awesome #360to30 journey beginning last year. He is funny, honest, smart, committed, and did I mention honest? Yes, Chris is great at bringing up for debate the topics we don't always like to discuss - a nod to his political junkie side. Today, he tackles an issue that he knows will elicit some "I am not sympathetic" eye rolls or outright "talk to the hand" face palms. But he raises very good points about the ways we tend to assume things about others based solely on appearance...including his "skinny legs." His guest blog is a reminder that being supportive of others on their fitness journeys is a must, regardless of size and body type. Read on, and I encourage you to read to the finish....
From Chris: In all the talk about fitness and eating healthy, people tend to push the discussion toward weight loss, or losing inches around our stomach, thighs, and arms.
But I'd like to address the dark horse of the community, the thing we don’t see discussed much. I’m going to say something that will probably have my tires slashed; tripwire and claymores placed in front of my door; and possible hits put out on my life: being skinny is tough, and not that great.
OK, wait, wait. Before you organize the mob to come after me, please read on:
Here are few things that we skinny-but-trying-not-to-be people want others to understand:
- Listen, we know we are skinny. We know how small our legs are. We get it.
- Yes. That meal replacement shake is for me. No, I am not trying to make you look bad. It’s because I burned 600 calories this morning in a spin class, or have a 30 mile bike ride this afternoon and I would rather not pass out while on it, and also I am trying NOT to lose any weight.
- Yes, I know I know. I am lucky to be this small “naturally.” Can we leave the condescension at the door please?
- Some of us do try to put on weight. Peanut butter protein smoothies twice a day. Heavy lifting three times a week. Nothing works. And when we do get that increase in weight, after a couple of bike rides or runs, it’s gone. This is not fun. It is frustrating. I may be skinny, but I want strong.
People see skinny as a goal. But why? Skinny isn't the same as "fit." When students or friends talk to me about their fitness goals, I always try to steer them toward focusing on fit, not skinny. When it comes to fitness, strong trumps skinny. Look at the pictures of the recent Augusta Half-Ironman.
Yeah, some of those people running around may not be the smallest people in the world, but they just swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles, and ran a half-marathon. They are strong, and beautiful, and they have worked for it. Some people are born a certain way, some bigger than others, some smaller than others. But everyone can accomplish a goal.
So how about we embrace all people of all shapes and sizes? There is too much to love and enjoy about life without being concerned with how someone else looks in comparison to you, and yes I have accepted I will never have the “V” of Nathan Adrian. So let’s all turn off the judgment for a little bit (me included, I have been just as guilty of looking at someone and making assumptions), and just be happy.
If you see someone at Starbucks who, in your mind, is overweight and is ordering a sugary glass of sweet, don’t judge. And when you see me walking by you, don’t offer me a milkshake. Odds are, I have already had one for the day.
Coming up: Pumpkin cake bread that will make you want a second slice...and another; and a circuit routine to make your 'junk in the trunk' stronger!