I used to think that to be beautiful, I had to stop eating until my ribs showed and suck it in so much that my face turned purple. Some people are blessed to be naturally thin, but unfortunately I did not receive the "thin gene." I wasn't alone either. Many of my friends have also struggled to lose weight. For years I was surrounded by the influence of fad diets, useless pills, and extreme calorie counting. One time, I spent 3 days drinking only cranberry juice.  Don't get me wrong, I did lose a lot of weight with these methods, but it usually came back. Even at my skinniest, I was still unhappy because my body was so tired of being malnourished.Why was I hurting my body when one of the biggest reasons I wanted to lose weight was to be healthier?

I thought that I would be happier if I was skinny. After years of useless and harmful diets, failing over and over again, and losing confidence, I decided that I needed to get serious. I researched a ton (and I mean a ton). Finally, I realized that the problem was my goal. Why aspire to be skinny when I can be fit instead?

Why i chose fit over skinny // The PumpUp Blog

From that point on, I began my journey towards becoming fit. Although I have come very far, I still have a long way to go. It is a constant challenge. Being fit not only makes you lose unwanted fat and makes you look better on the outside, but it also helps you become happier, healthier, and stronger on the inside. You legs might get bigger because your muscles will grow. Your shirts might start fitting a little tighter around your developing biceps. You may even gain weight eventually, since muscle weighs more than fat.  Although getting "bigger" and "heavier" are things that all girls dread, it really should not matter how big or small you are as long as you are healthy.

Right now my thighs are bigger than they have ever been, but they are also the most beautiful they have ever been. I nourish my body with healthy food: vegetables and lean protein. I eat multiple times a day and I eat a lot. I no longer ration all my meals as if I was amidst a famine. I just eat smart. I went from being an insecure girl who hurt her body trying to FIT an ideal image, to a confident woman who strengthens her body to BE FIT. That's why I chose fit over skinny.

This is part of a series of posts by PumpUp member @gabygetsfit. Find her on Instagram and Snapchat @gaby.fitspo