My whole life I have been concerned with how my body looks. I know that I’m not all that different from other girls/women. My earliest memory about weight was a third grade physical that I weighed the same as a boy in my class, a whole whopping 72 pounds (which I believe is probably an average weight for a 9-year old girl). It wasn’t too long after that when I began to gain weight faster though, and soon was bigger than most of the other girls in my class. Fast forward to junior high. I was with my 8th grade basketball team in an away locker room prior to our game. This school had the standard physician office scales so we were all taking turns on them, and when I stepped up, I heard that dreaded “thud” of the scale being tipped too far. So, we moved the hanger over another notch and it leveled out completely. Before I could hear what was about to be said, I felt the warmth come over my face. “150! You must be solid!” came from one of my coaches, and although now I know that was meant to be a compliment, it felt like anything but to my fragile 14-year old psyche. That was just one more instance that formed my warped way of thinking about my own body.
So, what prompted my not so fun walk down memory lane?
I love fitness now. I love it enough to have worked to get my personal training and fitness nutrition certifications. I WANT to be the healthiest, most fit version of myself. Not only so that I can live a long, full life but because I still have a small, dark spot that resides in me that needs to FIX my body. What a bunch of hooey…
Real women have curves. Thigh gaps are for flamingos. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Fat lasts longer than flavor. Skip dinner, be thinner. Get the point here? How did we all become so consumed with how we look that we have such little tolerance for others? It’s a fact that I am a personal trainer and work with people who want to improve their physical appearance AND their overall health. I hope that doesn’t give the idea that I condone any kind of body-shaming. It’s also a fact that as a trainer, I am able to help people reach goals that have nothing to do with the number on their scale, or the size of their thighs! I want to be part of a movement that allows us all to work toward our health goals, while NOT competing with each other for the best, or smallest, or most muscular whatever. It’s time to shift our focus.
I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and came across a top that I thought was adorable. So, I hopped over to their site and was immediately moved by what I saw. A call to action, an invitation to change the conversation:
“from bashing our bodies to celebrating them. From dieting and weight-loss to well-being. Let’s move from relating to our bodies as objects, to understanding them as instruments. Instruments of passion, peace, love, acceptance, creativity, power, and purpose. Our bodies are instruments of all that we encompass, our true selves.”
I was inspired to say the least. I realize that where I have always focused my energy was on what I didn’t have or thought I wasn’t able to achieve instead of celebrating what I’ve accomplished. This body, the one that I have been ashamed of more than half my almost 34-years of life is AMAZING! I’m not saying that to brag, I’m saying that because I have been able to carry and birth two beautiful boys (not so easily, I might add). I have worked hard to learn ways to challenge myself, running half-marathons as a self-proclaimed “half-asser”. I have worked to sculpt muscles because I enjoy pushing weight around. My body is not a thing that needs to be fixed. It’s an vehicle for my work, my passion and purpose and should be treated as such. I will work each day to take care of myself – emotionally and physically. I will not speak negatively about my body or someone else’s. If you need a reminder, here’s a freebie to hang at your desk, on your mirror or wherever you might need it! Be a rebel!
You are not a number on a scale. Your measurement is far more than a 36-24-36 mind-set. Your results are not a direct reflection of your worth. Remember that! If you get the chance, I encourage you to hop over and check them out. I hope that you will be inspired by something that will allow you to see you for who you really are. Even if you want to improve or set new goals, that’s okay. Just make sure they come from a place of love for yourself, not out of hate – nothing good grows from there.
Love, Erica.Tags: arrow fitness, guest blogger