Thin or Strong . . . What Would You Choose?

One of our family's favorite board books is named "Magic Colors". The storyline carries us through color decisions this little girl, Rosie May has to make on this particular day: "Should I wear yellow, or should I wear pink?" Then, she ask the reader: "Yellow or pink . . . what do you think?" Part of the reason we love it, is because each page has a plate that changes images depending on the lighting as you tilt the book . . . letting you see each color choice the little girl has to make.

I've had a number of conversations with women lately that reflect this same kind of questioning: "Should I be thin or strong?"
"Thin or strong . . . what would you choose?"

I wonder what we'd see if we had one of those shifting images to preview how we'd look as either thin or as strong. If we saw a "thin" version and then a "strong" version of ourselves. . . which would be more attractive?

There was a point in time when I felt forced to make this choice. I chose thin. I believed that if I stopped being athletic I'd slim out and rid myself of my "thunder thighs" as I was once unaffectionately labeled. Yet, just the opposite happened . . . and worse.  Not only did I gain weight because I was less active and lost muscle mass, but because I no longer had the benefit of the mood stabilizing effects of exercise, I became depressed. My eyes no longer shone, I lost confidence, and I receded into the background of life.

That is a huge price to pay for the false promise of thinness.

At the end of "Magic Colors", Rosie May looks out the window to see all the colors reflected in a rainbow. No longer asked to make a choice, she remarks that "It really is a colorful day!"

The fact that I'm in the best shape of my life nearly 30 years after turning my back on my powerful thighs . . . both in terms of strength and body composition . . . I'd argue that the question is misplaced as an either/or.

"Should I be thin and strong?"  Why not?

- Coach Rebecca

Rebecca Boskovic