To most of the world around me, I’d be considered fit. Apparently even “skinny” to some. My aunt even told me that I need to stop this “losing weight” thing I’m doing, (which, you know, actually made me laugh because if you know me, you know I’m not trying to “lose” anything.) My goals right now are to lift heavier, harder, and fuel my body efficiently. And gain some muscle!
But yes, admittedly when I started my fitness journey it was about fat loss. So, I figured out the most effective way to do so (Lift heavy and often, and eat correctly), and *BAM* here I am.
Now- I’d say I’m at a point right now where I’m pretty stabilized. After 1 1/2 years of CONSISTENT weight training and eating healthily (but flexibly,) I’ve made some pretty great progress!
But here’s the thing. The place where my body now comfortably resides without extreme dieting/fat burners/excess cardio just so happens to not look like something straight out of a magazine.
“OH NO! TIME TO MAKE SOME DRASTIC CHANGES!” Right?
Nah. I mean, I could choose to despair, over-obsess over cutting calories, hit macros perfectly, increase cardio, etc. but I know personally I’m not happy doing any of those things. So here are my choices: I can,
A.) Freak out that I don’t look like a fitness competitor and berate myself for not being perfect, or
B.) Make no apologies for my body, rock it, and keep being awesome while hitting my physical and strength goals.
Naturally, I choose the second option.
But here’s the thing, it seems the fitness world doesn’t want you to choose option B.
Many people just can’t understand the concept that you can be both fit and healthy, and body positive. It’s like, I know what people think. “That’s only for overweight people who want to make excuses for staying that way”
Well, first of all, I’ll have you know I do not promote fat shaming in any way and yes, here I am a fitness blogger telling you that overweight people should still feel positive about their bodies- because once you start feeling positive about your body instead of hating it, you will actually want to treat it better, laying a foundation for a much more satisfying and rewarding fitness journey.
But I digress.
Body positivity and loving yourself is not only reserved for people who seem to not be able to or desire to improve their health by getting in shape. You can be on the journey to better fitness and be on the journey to self acceptance at the same time!
What a novel concept.
And here’s the thing- from my experience, even people with a single digit body fat percentage can be just as unhappy with their appearance as the average overweight woman. Yes, even those with the “thigh gap”, with the shredded abs, with the gravity defying glutes. It’s all an internal decision you make with yourself.
So basically, dissatisfaction with your body will never end until you DECIDE it’s time to end it. You have to DECIDE to make no apologies for who you are. It’s so critical to realize that your perceived “flaws” are really not that big of a deal. People don’t care if you have a little pooch, cellulite, whatever. Really. It’s irrelevant. Just pound that into your brain.
And if I can get really blunt here, fat on the body is not inherently harmful. Fat is actually essential for optimum health, especially in women. Excess is in where the problems lie. (as with anything.)
Even fitness competitors aren’t shredded year-round. Check out this photo:
I love that photo because she is beautiful in both. She clearly works extremely hard on her physique and it shows. But it’s also obvious that she doesn’t obsess about being “the leanest possible” at all times.
When we realize that being fit does not automatically mean perfect and strong does not automatically mean shredded, we can accept our bodies on our journey to strength and fitness without being as critical as we tend to be.
And while those qualities can live in harmony, it’s just not always how everyone’s body works.
So- is it healthier to obsess and pick yourself apart every single day or is it healthier to just accept your body the way it is while choosing healthy habits day in and day out?
I think you know the answer to that.
So anyways, here’s me not apologizing for not being a perfect “fitspo.” You can like it, you can hate it, I don’t really care.
I’m just not going to play this smoke and mirrors game with anyone. I am who I am. I’m not perfect, I’m just me! No filters, angular posing, extreme flexing, or anything here. I don’t have a photo of a “goal body” taped to my mirror. I don’t idolize other women because I think I’m actually quite beautiful the way I am. (Hey! Isn’t it cool I’m allowed to think that instead of critique and pick myself apart? I think so.)
We all try so desperately to fit in, to adhere to a mold, to cover up our flaws and insecurities, when these are the things that make us human, raw, real, and ultimately more beautiful, inside and out.
I’m so glad that I realized this at this point in my life because it was one of the most profound thought process-changing things I’ve ever realized.
Because when I stopped hating my own body, I actually started to really perceive the beauty of others more, too. It’s a blessing and a curse, because more often than not other women only express dissatisfaction with their bodies and appearance when they don’t even realize how beautiful they are. I just want to scream at them “STOP IT!!!!” But I know I used to be the same way myself for basically…my whole life. So I understand where they’re coming from. But the fact is, this self-acceptance does have to come, in fact, from one’s self.
I just feel like the diet and fitness industry (which we as a whole perpetuate) needs to stop promoting this idea of “hating ourselves thin”, and of “being proud but never satisfied.”
Because you know what? I am proud. AND satisfied with myself! Right now! And I’ll choose to live my life to the fullest. Right now. Not when I lose 5 lbs. Not when I start “cutting.”
So stop apologizing for your flaws. They’re actually not really flaws at all.
Fitness and body positivity can go hand in hand. It’s my mission to show you that.