News flash: you don’t need to say goodbye to fats forever, cut carbs completely out of your diet, or starve yourself to be healthy. Nor do you have to exhaust yourself run yourself into the ground for hours every day – the new “it” things are: weight lifting, circuit training, nourishing foods and strong bodies.

The term “strong” and its many connotations is rapidly gaining popularity among women in the fitness industry – it’s clear that strong is rapidly replacing skinny as the “ideal” among women, all part of a movement to empower women.

Strong is not anti-skinny. Strong doesn’t limit or define a woman’s body to a certain aesthetic – strong is a feeling. Not everyone has fitness goals to have arms like a Greek goddess, and not everyone wants to deadlift 100kg, and that’s okay. Strength is more than how much you lift or how smokin’ your arms look. Strength is a feeling of empowerment.

Here are a few reasons you should stop looking at the number on the scale and instead focus on how awesome strong feels.

You get to celebrate your curves

Thankfully, curves are well and truly back in the public’s favour. Great progress has been made in portraying what real women look like. Today, our social media feeds are crowded with women who liken Marilyn Monroe’s wholesome figure in yoga poses and lifting heavy in gyms – these are portraits of strong women, totally comfortable in their own skin, celebrating womanhood. Cheer, cheer – we’re celebrating right along with them.

You get to build yourself up

When you build muscle, you are not only stronger physically, but your strength increases your resilience mentally and emotionally. Muscle also takes up way less space than fat, which positively impacts your physique and waistline. When you’re on that hamster wheel of treadmill for hours a day and cutting your calories back to zilch, you aren’t building muscle. Muscle not only gives you strength, it adds tone and definition to your body. Bonus points, it also helps increase your metabolism.

You’ll have energy to do the things that matter

When you eat fresh foods in the right macro ratio for your body, you’ll have super charged energy. And when you have super charged energy, you can think, walk, talk, problem solve, jump, weight lift, laugh, and take on all the crazy-hard-exciting things life throws at you. And when you don’t have energy, everything in life is harder – you risk losing the confidence and strength you need to be an active participant in the world around you.

As you build strength, both physically and mentally, you’ll be able to do more. The more you do, the more you can enjoy what life has to offer – whether that’s playing with your children, running a marathon or climbing a mountain. Being strong is a gift you give to yourself.

If you’re passionate about replacing skinny with strong – why not lead and motivate others to stay active, and turn your passion for fitness into a career? Take control and get a nationally recognised qualification studying with the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers. Why wait? Enquire now.