First off, I appreciate the overwhelming number of positive comments regarding my last post about the haters I recently experienced. You all were awesome at defending me and saying just the right things to outweigh the hurtful comments, and is makes me love my community, online and offline, that much more. I have no problem speaking my mind on my blog or elsewhere; I like what I like; I like who I like; I like me and I’m comfortable with my choices.
I am all for this movement about being comfortable in your own skin. Embracing the body that you have while on a quest for the body that you want. But on the other hand, there seems to be shaming against those that do have the body they want. Self-shaming. Fat shaming. Fit shaming. It all really just needs to stop.
An article floating around came out the other day about how you shouldn’t strive to look like fitness models as they must be starving themselves and doing unhealthy things to get there. I understand the intent; that fitspo can have adverse affects and that there are people who will go to unhealthy extremes to look a certain way. But what about those of us that have worked hard the right way and are loving the results? Those that feel comfortable with the so-called “pornification” that many have negative commentary on?
I did a “sexy” fitness-themed photo shoot for my 32nd birthday, with just about no extraordinary aesthetic prep beforehand. The days coming up to this fitness shoot, I was on vacation and binged on burgers and donuts. I did one workout in five days, a quick 21-15-9 of KB swings and KB squats, and took one six-mile walk. The result was not anything detrimental. There was no starving or crazy cardio for a last-minute fix. And while the photos may have airbrushed some flaws, and the lighting just right, this is still completely my body.
If there has one thing that I have learned since doing Crossfit, it is that there is so much more that goes into play with how you look, workouts aside. Diet is a major factor; so are rest and recovery, stress levels, sleep. If you do things the right way, the body will follow. With no weight loss or major transformation story, my journey to an aesthetically happy place hasn’t taken long. But for some people, it may take years, but it is finding that happy place and being confident and comfortable with the journey, not just a focus on the end-result.
But that doesn’t mean I do not have a right to embrace the body I have because, shallow or not, I earned it.
“The worry is that what women see in fitness magazines teaches them that what they are seeing is possible for them too. Women are desperate to be published in fitness publications, to be glorified into eternity through a photo. Women will do anything to get there. They will starve themselves to get lean enough to be able to see all muscular definition, they will experiment with recreational and pharmaceutical drugs, they will prostitute themselves to judges and more, just to make it.”
I have done no such thing as mentioned above, yet despite no visible six-pack or stick-thin thighs, I think my body looks darn good. I eat 2500 calories a day, have never taken any sort of diuretic or weight loss drug, and the muscular definition I have is because I lift heavy, not because I have starved my body to get it here. I do not work out for aesthetics, yet I will not complain about what my body is doing. I do not target areas or look to tone or shape. I just workout. And this is what happens.
A coach of mine once told me, as I mentioned in a prior post, “You can control the workouts that you do. You can control the food that you eat. But you cannot control the number on the scale.”
Similarly, you cannot control how your body is going to react to certain workouts. I can do the same workouts at the same lifts as the girl next to me at the box. We can eat the same things, get the exact amount of recovery and work the same amount of mobility. And our bodies can look completely different.
I think if you are doing the right things, however your body looks is doing to be what looks best for your body.
I’ve heard a few girls recently tell me they don’t want to be bulky. Girls that do Crossfit. Girls with natural genetics with an athletic build that I envy, yet physically will likely never be able to look like due to my smaller frame. Genetically speaking, her body may get a bit “bulky,” compared to other girls, but that probably will look great on her body. Another wants to have a dancer or ballerina body. That my never happen, because genetically that is not how she is built.
When you commit to functional fitness and eat for performance and health, your body is going to do whatever it is going to do, and that you may not have any control over the outcome. But the end result on how YOUR body looks is going to be what looks best for YOU, and you should be more than happy with that over time. The article questions,
When will it be acceptable to lift heavy, building confidence and brainpower while strengthening your body, not concerning yourself with how cute your bottom looks in booty shorts?
What’s wrong with being comfortable with how you look in booty shorts? Why can’t you lift heavy, build confidence and brainpower and want to look good doing it?
I love my body.
And I do not think it is perfect and I do not think it is done transforming. But I am proud of it and think it does depict strength and confidence.
And yes, pictures like above may be “sexualizing” my fitness, and may be projecting the very image of “fitspo” that I so much despise; but why not embrace where I am? Why not want to show off what I have worked hard to achieve? My “working hard” is eating clean about 80% of the time, lifting 4-5x a week, and aiming for 8 hours of sleep. I am not stressing out about what I look like or what my body is doing. I am not doing anything extraneous to get to where I am.
I own that booty. And I am proud to show off my shoulders. And even if I will never look jacked and it would take a heck of a lot of work to put on more mass, I accept and embrace what I have. I love to wear short shorts. And sometimes I strip my shirt off in a workout. And sometimes, I take way too many selfies..
I think fitspo can be detrimental and can send out the wrong message to girls who think that is the way they are “supposed” to look. But most of us will never look like those girls, and that is okay. You shouldn’t have to strive for a thigh gap or aim for long and lean limbs, a flat stomach with a visible six-pack. But I love the body I have and love what it does. You should love your body you have and love what it does. And never be sorry for that.