Since I’ve started in the health and fitness world, there’s always one thing I’ve never wanted to do, and that’s to perpetuate the idea that everyone needs to look a certain way.
And here’s the problem with that … I look a certain way.
I’ve been called skinny, I’ve been told to eat a cheeseburger. I’ve been told “oh it’s not fair you’re so thin, I hate you.” In a ha ha kind of way (it’s not ha ha just FYI). So I know that when I post my before and afters it’s not wow inducing for many. In fact it’s typically met with “pfff. Well you were already small. I hate girls like you who are just naturally thin.”
So with that, I’ve worried that I would make people feel like they need to be thin in order to be fit, or accepted. As if I think everyone needs to look like me and if you don’t I’ll PM you and insinuate that you look like you could lose weight here buy a shake from me.
I don’t want to be apart of that, and I have no part in that.
I don’t want to play a part in eating disorders unless it’s breaking free of them. I don’t want to play a part in taking pills to be skinnier. I don’t want a part in helping people chase an ideal that simply does not exist. I don’t want to perpetuate the crapy societal standards that have been placed on women, to be tiny supermodels. I don’t want to play a part in shady practices where it’s assumed that since you aren’t a size 2 you must be unhappy and you definitely need my help.
Because we have all been created different, and beautiful, and fitness is a feeling not a look.
So what part do I play?
This has been really hard for me to figure out, because girls who are thin are given no room to feel imperfect; I’m not allowed to have an off day. I can’t feel uncomfortable in my own skin because I’m skinny and dammit if you’re skinny you have it all so just stop whining already! Sigh. I can’t say I feel chubby. Or gooey. Because obviously that means everyone else who doesn’t look like me is huge. It’s insulting and written off if I’m having a bad body image day.
I’m about being real online, and sometimes I have bad days, hating on myself for how I look compared to how I’m used to looking, but I haven’t posted about it much because I’m not big enough. I don’t have as big of a mom tummy. I don’t have stretch marks. I haven’t earned it I’ve heard.
So because of this, I am afraid to share my own insecurities about my body for fear of making other women feel worse about themselves. Because of my size, I fear the backlash of posting certain content to my page. That’s not ok. And it stops today.
(Oh and FYI I hate being called skinny. Healthy. Strong. Beautiful. These are appropriate things to say just in case you were wondering.)
We need to stop commenting on women’s size as a compliment because it consistently perpetuates that being skinny is the goal and the only thing worth complimenting.
So again, what’s my part? What’s my point?
My point is I will never tell you to be skinny. To lose weight. You will tell me what your goals are, you will bring up fitness to me, and I will help you realize that you won’t find your happiness in a size 2.
How do I know this? Because I’ve been a size 2. I’ve also happily toted around my size 00 pants thank you very much (which means nothing because vanity sizing is a real thing; look it up). And in all those years I’ve never been as confident as I am now in my size 4-6 pants with my momma belly flopping over my jeans as I trudge my way into new territory of my fit mom bod.
… you won’t find your happiness in a size 2.
Your floppy belly?! I’ve seen your abs girl!
Yes, you’ve seen my abs. Flexing. Standing.
But they aren’t my joy and I’m just like everyone else. I celebrate these victories yes, but my greatest achievement is in finding a way to love myself regardless of the appearance of my body. To find fitness in strength.
We have been taught to talk down to ourselves because society says the only beauty there is, is being thin.
I’ll take it a step further, because I’ve also been told not to look too manly when I start putting on muscle because apparently as women we’re only perfect if we hit just the right amount of toned vs muscle so as not to look manly, and extra fat vs too skinny so we don’t “look anorexic”.
When will we be enough ladies?!
The world will always have its screwed up standards and my part, YOUR part, is to be ourselves. It’s to embrace our beauty in whatever way being healthy looks like on each of us.
I can see that I can be real about my struggles, and that there are others out there like me.
I hope that women can come together through this one common theme, thatwe all feel as though we just aren’t enough.
And we all feel like a foreigner in our own skin sometimes, and all those feelings are valid whether you’re a size 2 or a size 10.
If we can come around one another, and instead of rolling our eyes at small or big or any women who struggle with their bodies, we choose to speak against the pursuit of perfection, then we can start to see real change.
Yes fitness and eating right are important for long term health, but we will never find fulfillment in our pant size. I believe fitness is important for our happiness (hello endorphins) but thin or thick our root cause of unhappiness comes from not being rooted in who we are and knowing that who we are is loved and treasured in any shape and form.
We will never find joy and identity in the foods we eat and the measurements of our waists.
My role as a fitness and health coach is to encourage people to take care of themselves, to see results so they feel empowered to continue their journey towards healing, but it’s also to break apart the lies we have placed upon ourselves, which create unrealistic goals causing us heartache and perceived failure day in and day out.
I want you to know that today you are enough.
Right now you are beautiful.
Right now you are all you need to be.
And if you aren’t feeling that, if you don’t know it, go for a run.
Find that girl.
Fight for that girl.
Whatever it takes.