Strength Is My New Skinny

If you want completely change your lower body, take up speed skating. There’s nothing like skating around a rink in a squatting position again and again and again to build muscles you never knew you had. Not even all those times when out drinking at clubs or outdoor festivals where you needed to use the bathroom but there was no way in hell you were going to sit on the toilet seat so you squatted while you peed, legs shaking and burning. In an experiment I like to call “my 20s” I went out drinking with my friends to put the pee squat to the test many times just to see if it would build strong legs.  One can never be too sure.

Despite all my years of running and off and on weight lifting, my body never changed much but over the past year a wonderous thing has happened. Where once I had a sad, saggy bum who liked to hang out with his best friend, the back of my thighs, it has now lifted. I’m bummed the back of my thighs have lost a friend but am delighted with how much bigger my ass is, it’s become independent and likes to stand on its own. My legs which were smallish and undefined are now muscular and more developed. I haven’t lost a pound, in fact, I have gained five – I’m the heaviest I’ve been in four years.  In the past this would have sent me into a frenzy but now I embrace it, even though it means not being able to fit into any of my jeans.  Larger sizes be damned, my lower half has a strength I didn’t know was possible.

For 12 years I fought an internal battle so my external body would be skinny. Not a “my body is supposed to be this size” skinny but a fight to become skeletal.  When the numbers were lower, I felt better. I felt I looked better. The battle almost killed me.

Therapy may have helped me accept my body but speed skating has made me appreciate all it can do. Strength is my new skinny.

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About Sharon

Sharon DeVellis is a mother, wife and writer who can uncork a wine bottle in less than 10 seconds but buys twist-offs for emergencies. She’s currently in therapy to stop talking about herself in third person.
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20 Responses to Strength Is My New Skinny

  1. Having met you in person, I can say you look terrific. I can also add, it’s personality that makes you glow.

    I also never want to go back to the day that my jeans are painted on.

  2. Cindy W says:

    Love, love, love your story!
    You look fantastic and I’d imagine feel that way too. It’s so hard to get out of our own way sometimes and embrace what we have. From the comments you’ve received here, I hope that you can see that your strength is amazing. And we’re slightly jealous of your butt and legs. I’m hoping after this pregnancy to get back to that same mental place while becoming fit again. Have bookmarked your story as a reminder. Thank you!!!

  3. Kat says:

    It’s great that getting strong can make you realize how much better that feels than skinny. I’m working on feeling that great. One run at a time. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Michael Pereckas says:

    Go you! You know, most beautiful group of people, on average, are the speed skaters. Because of the great legs. And great bottoms.

    I’ve actually ended up wearing “relaxed fit” jeans, with a 29 waist—and 30 length, so in both dimensions the smallest size men’s pants are sold in. (Any men smaller than me, I guess, just don’t count as men for the purpose of buying clothing.) The regular fit with a small enough waist doesn’t have room for the legs, bottom, and, er, boy parts to all fit at the same time. I prefer to call my pants “speed skater fit”. I’m fairly sure 29×30 relaxed-fit is not a very common size, but fortunately you can mail order anything over the Internet these days.

  5. Steve Kubien says:

    At the risk of probably sounding like a complete male pig, nice ass! I will always find muscle far more appealing than a lack thereof. But, the sexiest thing about a woman, is what comes from inside. The inner strength and confidence you have gained and display makes you a hawt mama far more than your butt ever will.

  6. Sara says:

    Fierce! Strong is awesome and I love that you’re embracing the power of your newfound body :)

  7. Tweepwife says:

    I admire this so much – because it’s tough for most of us to refuse the images of the way too thin bodies we see on every magazine and in media images everywhere, but with the journey you’ve been on to get to this point is just downright awesome. I’m learning this lesson differently – working out regularly with a trainer has helped me get to a better place of strength than I’ve been in for over twenty years. Because I’m struggling with neurological problems with balance, perception, pain etc it’s this strength I see from pushing at the gym that reminds me that I am bigger than this challenge. And my body is strong. I am a powerful woman despite this new obstacle. But my ass is not as nice as yours. Yet.

  8. Mel Gallant says:

    First time ever I feel it appropriate to say in a comment: Nice butt!
    I love that your focusing more on getting stronger/healthier than getting skinnier. Muscle weighs more than fat – and those extra pounds look good on you!

  9. I love your story and your honesty. You know I’m a big fan, right?

    I fought years against the waif-like-look. I thought that was what was considered beautiful. As a downhill ski instructor and competitive skater in my younger years, I had thunder thighs and calves that prevented me from ever buying those cute boots and sheath dresses. I hated my body, but boy was I strong. Now I’m all grown-up and wise ;) I realize my body was beautiful and strong because of things I could do. I may not be as strong and firm as I use to be, but I think I still have a beautiful body because of things it has accomplished with carrying and nourishing three children (hello, I carried two at one time!).

  10. Kia says:

    Wooooohooooo lookin good mama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I wish I was as strong as you… on the inside and on the out!

  12. Love this story.
    One of my favourites.
    Ever.
    I have an understanding of how transformative and liberating this is. (And not just liberating your hot tush from your upper thighs, either…)
    Your head too. Congratulations!
    What a victory — and a body. Hooray for power and living larger!!

  13. Lisa says:

    That booty is downright pinchable.

  14. Heather says:

    That is so totally fabulous. May even inspire me to give this a try!

  15. Awesome! I believe I told you when you started you were gonna get a fine ass. There it is! Muscles are heavy so great you gained. Love reading your posts. Way to go!
    PS thanks for saying hi this morn, things are good, less on Twitter, more on FB lately, I know the people there, less stalker types. :)

  16. Think of all your body has done in the last 15 years and tell your long ago brain to “stuff it” (to quote someone I know.) You have lived, loved, created two amazing children, and found your way to a beautiful life. A life that needs legs strong enough to chase children, run with friends, and skate fast enough to catch dreams. A life you deserve – and apparently, also the ass you deserve. ; ) Strong is the new skinny, and kicking ass is more fun than standing around too tired to move your body. Good for you!

  17. Jen Banks says:

    Looking good Sharon! You’ve worked so hard and certainly deserve the nice ass to show for it :)

  18. Amazing!! Both your hawt ass and how far you’ve come with your body image ;) You are strong and shapely and fit. I am so proud of you!! (And jealous. But then again I could get off my own ass and do something about that, couldn’t I?)

  19. mara says:

    You are strong. Your body can do stuff. That’s better than being skinny.

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