In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve been contemplating keeping this blog going. I’ve been blogging for over 3 years now, and the goal of it has been to document the changes I’ve made in my life in order to lose weight and the thoughts that I’ve had throughout my journey. I’ve come across so many blogs and so much information, and so many of people behind it all are nothing short of inspiring. However, in the years that I’ve blogged, I’ve encountered things I just wish would cease to exist. Through personal experience, experiences with family and friends, and through the education I’ve obtained, I’ve become really passionate about nutrition and the problems we know as obesity and eating disorders. Except, guess what? Our problems don’t stop at nutrition and physical activity. They occur because of issues like body judgment, misinformation, extremist ideas, and the unrealistic, unreliable “secret”. I consider my blog a “healthy living” blog. A “health and fitness” or “wellness” blog…and while my views and what I do or what I recommend is obviously not the end-all-be-all, because it’s definitely not and nor will I ever claim it to be, I do find myself frustrated with other bloggers within my niche. Not all other bloggers, of course, but you catch my drift. My views have changed as I’ve gone from desperate, obese, clueless, and depressed to fitter, healthier, happier, and more educated. I was impressionable. Shoot, I still am, but back when this blog first started, I was looking for inspiration wherever I could get it. I had a hard time giving up ideas that I found out were bunk. I had a hard time swallowing the “everything you thought you knew was actually wrong” pill. I wanted a quick fix just like most other people. Yet, over the past year, the year I truly started to understand what this really is all about, I’ve found myself taking the steps to wipe my blogging slate clean and start anew. My views have drastically changed, and here’s why:
News flash: we all have real bodies. Let’s talk about this “real bodies” bullshit, why don’t we? I started out on this journey touting that skinny women (like the famous Victoria’s Secret models – pretty sure I took a jab at them) don’t have “real bodies” – that women with curves have “real bodies”. That’s I was sick of everyone striving to have bodies like them. That it’s not healthy to be skinny. Boy was I ever wrong. Thin women need to get off the “fat girl” crap and the big girls need to stop taking swings at the “rail thin” women. Last I checked, every single one of use have real bodies, with real, beating hearts and real, thinking brains. We all have feelings, too. This judgment bit is what has so many people seeking one specific body type, and that’s just stupid. No, I will never look like a VS model or my friends who do fitness competitions, and that’s okay with me! We need to stop bashing each other to the point that not a single body type – skinny, thin, rock-hard, soft, whatever – goes unscathed by nasty, judgmental comments. It’s become a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t sort of situation. No physique makes anyone more “real” than anyone else. Skinny people can be unfit. Large people can be unfit. Anyone can be unfit. It’s not a particular body shape or size or weight that determines who you are, how far you’ve come, what you’ve been through, or how fit or unfit you are. None of us are defined by our bodies unless we allow ourselves to be. There’s far more to me than my body, and I’m willing to bet my life that it’s the same for you and everyone else in this world. (Note: I understand the biological concept of “attraction”, believe me. That’s a much deeper concept that will result in an insanely lengthy post.)
Get over clothing sizes. NOW. PLEASE. Stop generalizing that a, say, size 14 means someone’s a “fat ass”. Yes, chances are, if you’re wearing a size 26W, you’ve probably got some extra weight you need to lose. I can’t deny that. Health science won’t let me, and I’m speaking in terms of health. But when it comes to the sizes 0 (seriously? who came up with that size? doesn’t 0 technically mean “nonexistent”?) through 14, when are we going to start understanding this little thing I like to call “brand specificity”?? Every brand sizes its clothing differently from the next. I even see it in my 6-year-old’s clothes!! I’m going to put it all out there for you. I am a size 10/12, depending on the brand. I’m 5’8″, with a large frame. (Yes, I suppose that could be considered “big-boned”…and guess what? That’s a real term. There are different frame sizes, people. Some of us have larger bones than others, and I, well, got the in-charge genes on that one!) I wear medium sized pants and large shirts, even x-large for some brands, oh, wait, because I have a decent pair! (Those genes I’ll keep! lol) I wear a size 10.5-11 shoe. I’m no tiny little lady! But I’ll tell you one thing…my size has gotten only slightly smaller very slowly over the last few years. I’ve only gone down one…yes one…size since 2011. You know what has changed? Everything else. I’m fitter. I’m faster (but still not “fast”). I’m healthier. I’m happier. I’m stronger. I’m more muscular. I’m more flexible. I’m smarter. I’m more confident. I could go on for hours with this list.
You see, my clothing size has nothing to with what I’ve got going on up in here. I used to be stuck on weight loss to a point that it ruled every single second of my life. Every thought in my mind had something to do with how much weight I wanted to lose and how to lose it. I based my self worth on how much I was losing and what size I wore. Sure. I have some fat to lose. I would love a flatter stomach – which won’t be happening for at least another 10 months, haha – but guess what? I’m cool with that. I’m healthier than ever, and that is what matters. Stop judging yourself and others over a clothing size that changes with every brand that you strut your stuff in. Focus on your strength. Your pace. Your energy levels. There are plenty of ways to measure your success.
Fit doesn’t have a size or a weight. Last I checked, the definition of being “fit” is “being in good physical condition” or “in good health”, not “size 2″ or “super tan” or “cut”. You know…the typical body type you see in those “inspirational images” you search for? Notice that not a single elite athlete has the same physique as another? We’re all built differently, and being fit doesn’t come from a size or a specific “look”. I’m not skinny. I may be tan from all the running and work I’ve done on my land, but I’m not svelte and perky in every spot on my body. (Haha, I love using the word “perky”…) But, I am fit. I can lift heavy. I run. I eat well. I may not be the fittest of the fit, but I am fit, and my weight and my clothing size says nothing about that.
You do not have to puke or feel like passing out to have a successful workout. I’m sick. and. tired. of hearing about how the key to workout success is feeling like you’re going to vomit afterward. Yes, you should push yourself, but there is such a thing as going too far. You can go on Pinterest at any given moment during the day, search “fitness”, and find a slew of “inspirational” photos will pop up with photos of the 10% of the population that can “look like that.” Most of them will have a quote attached to them about how the “more you work out, the weaker his knees will get”. Images like this can have a profound effect on impressionable people seeking guidance to become healthier. There is such a thing as pushing too hard. There is such a thing as obsessed, and neither are good for you. There is such a thing as pushing too hard! Be active. Enjoy your workouts. Fight through the days you’re feeling discouraged, but rest. It’s okay! Bodies need rest as much as they need movement! This extremist crap has got to stop!!! Sore is good, legit pain is not. Not everyone finds it enjoyable to puke or be on the verge of passing out during a workout. All it takes is some time, some sweat, and some dedication to see results from your workouts.
You do not have to be a runner. Or dedicate your life to CrossFit. Or rule the ring as an MMA fighter to be healthy and fit. You do not have to run 120 triathlons, run 7-minute miles, or bench twice your weight. I’m getting fed up with the people I encounter who think they’re above everyone else because they’re able to do these things. Or because they practice any specific sport. Fitness isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s about who you are when you’re doing what you love to do to become healthy. I’m a runner. You’re a CrossFitter. I don’t push my poison on you, so don’t push yours on me, and don’t judge. Some people need to overcome the mental block. Some people need to overcome the physical obstacle. Just because something is easy for someone, doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for another. Be humble. Feel blessed to be able to do what you do, and don’t make others feel lower in life than you because of your abilities. Bottom line is this: do what you love, not what someone else loves. This isn’t about conformity.
There. I know I sound like I’m perched up on a soap box, but I’m frustrated. Haha. I’m not sure how much more of it I can take seeing anymore, and that’s part of the reason I fell off the face of the blog-world. I have so many ideas for this space of mine – because, honestly, I love writing – but I need this upcoming week at beach to refresh my mind, jot down my ideas, and decide on where to go with this.
Do you find all of this as frustrating as I do?