How Do You USE This Thing?

So admittedly…it’s been FOREVER since I’ve written something.

And I’ve wanted to – no really, I’ve wanted to write something…I just didn’t have the words. To be honest, I still don’t have the words. But I figured, even if I don’t have the best things or the “right” things to say, that in this space…saying something is better than saying nothing at all. Who knows, there may be a person or two out there who can identify with what I’m going through.

So what am I going through, exactly?

Well…in short…I’m comparing who I am to who I used to be. I used to be a solid 60lbs lighter. I used to be a person who ran at least 15 miles per week. I used to be someone who had a BOOKED running schedule. I used to be a regular(ish) blogger.

And I miss that person. No, if I’m going to be honest, I miss the way that person looked. I loved running, hell I STILL love running. I went for a run this morning and felt that familiar glow and sparkle…that feeling of peace and the satisfaction of completing a run. But my eating habits have changed along with a number of things…and yes I have gained that weight back, but with it I have gained a couple of other things.

…like muscle and strength

…like a love and appreciation for the power of the female body

…like the ability to see in myself, even my heavier self, an athlete

…like an appreciation for and a commitment to regular physical activity

…like the ability to cook real meals (versus those pre-packaged messes I used to eat)

It’s a journey they say – one filled with ups and downs. So this might be a down swing for me…and I’m trying my best to fight my way through it. Someone close to me told me to focus on appreciating me NOW and not looking back on the me THEN. And that’s been good to reflect upon. We never really stop and admire who we are – when I look back even to my smallest days I know this to be true. I remember being happy with my progress, and feeling great – but not really being full on satisfied. I still wanted and tried to push for more. Looking at those old pictures now though? Man…I was FINE! And I still am. *smile* but I want better. Not to chase an image, but to chase a feeling.

That feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing the person you believe yourself to be reflected back to you. I had that at one point. I am working on finding her again. And as I continue that search for her, I will try to share my story along the way. Inch by inch. Mile by mile.

workout-motivation

Fitness = Bubble Butt + Thigh Gap + Body Shaming?

I was on Pinterest this evening, looking for some worthy motivational and inspiration messages to both share with you all and to keep in my personal collection. It’s been awhile since I’d been on the site, but I happened to type in “Fitness” as my search term and these were some of the top images that popped up:

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Nitpicking…dissecting…and shaming of the female body as a way to inspire fitness? Is that really the way we want to go? Is this truly inspirational, or are we playing on the fears and worries of many women who may already have a number of body issues. Is it not enough that we are bombarded daily with society’s standards of what beauty is? So now we have brought that same comparison and shame to the world of fitness. Now, don’t get me wrong, I recognize that you can tag a photo with as many keywords as you’d like and perhaps I just got the unluck of the draw this evening, but as I’ve been observing the fitness movement that is sweeping the nation, I can’t help but think that there is a bigger issue that we are just NOT addressing.

If we’re going to talk about physical fitness, we are going to also have to talk about health – mental and emotional. Shame and fear are both terrible motivators. Health, true and lasting health, should come from a place of love and understanding. You want to be a better, healthier person because you love yourself and perhaps even because the love you have for those closest to you motivates you to take certain steps to ensure you can maximize the time you are able to spend with them. Understanding comes in as you recognize that there may be ebb and flow in your day to day healthy living, but that these changes are natural and a part of life. Personally, I do not think that chasing after an ideal body part(s) or running from the fear of cellulite is a way to have sustainable and healthy weight loss and fitness goals.

And what really gets me in the midst of all of this – is that all of these “fitness motivation” imagery is more or less targeted at women with a very distinct message..

“Who you are isn’t good enough. You need to have these physical qualities to be considered healthy/fit/sexy.”

*yawn*

*yawn* …riiiight.

The feminist in me isn’t buying that one bit. And while I know from a professional and personal standpoint, that naturally as you reduce caloric intake and increase calories burned (aka good eating and exercise habits) you will see a physical change in your body – depending on HOW you’re exercising and WHAT you’re eating, results WILL vary. And that’s not even getting into what kind of body type you may be. Fit looks different on every…body. Why then, do we insist upon driving home such a narrow and frankly superficial view of what fitness is. And further more…who the HELL are you to tell me what’s wrong with my butt/hips/thighs? I really…REALLY wish that society would spend LESS time concerned with the female body and MORE time focused on promoting holistically healthy imagery, guidance, and examples of the multiple avenues to fitness.

Which brings me to yet another question…what is fitness anyway? What does it mean to be fit? These are questions I’m posing to myself and you as well. What are the goals that you’ve set for yourself? And why? What is your motivation? What drives you to get up in the early morning or go out after a long day at work and put in some time at gym? I hope, that after some thought and reflection, that the answers you come up with are ones that make you happy and will do no harm in the long run. I want everyone to reach their highest self, to be the best they can possibly be. Fitness looks and feels like whatever works best for YOU. Perhaps isn’t thigh gap, or super chiseled muscles. Maybe it’s a dress size or two less coupled with the ability to run around with your dog or kids a little more. Maybe it’s reducing the number of medications you need to take. Or being able to walk or run up a flight of stairs without losing your breath. It could be something as simple as being able to bend over and touch your toes.

It could be any of those things.

It could be all of those things.

But it’s YOUR choice…and you have the power to decide what fitness feels like for yourself. Please, don’t let society or family and friends try to define your personal goals and aspirations for you. You’re the architect here. Make sure you are building on a solid foundation.

Does anyone even hear me out there? Am I the only one who’s kinda over it? What do you all think?

Morning Motivation #122

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I’m going to continue with my theme of ‘”BELIEVE” for this week…There are a lot of times where I’ll hear someone say they wish they could run, or lift weights, or be more active or eat better, or live a more active lifestyle – you get my point. The mind is a powerful, POWERFUL tool, and when it comes to making positive life changes, your mind can be your best ally or your worst enemy – it’s really up to you. But if you want it to be your ally, you must start by telling yourself that you CAN DO IT. Anything you wish to achieve can indeed be done, but the battle for your goals starts in the mind. Believe that a healthier life is one you deserve. Believe that is is within your reach. Believe that it is a possibility for you. Believe in yourself, and no one can stop you.

 

Be great.

Morning Motivation #121


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I want to remind you, that whatever your hopes, goals, and aspirations may be…remain centered in your belief that it CAN happen and you WILL get there. If you’re looking to lose some weight, get more fit, complete a triathalon, run your first 5k…GO FOR IT. Nothing is out of your reach as long as you have the capacity to dream, believe, and DO.

Be great!!!!

Morning Motivation #120

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This Monday Motivational Message (oooo alliteration!), comes from yours truly. Ok, I know it’s Monday, and if you’re like me you probably hit the snooze button a few times this morning and had to negotiate with yourself to get out of bed. BUT you got up. There’s a whole day in front of you and with that day endless possibilities to go for your dreams and achieve something you never thought you could. All you have to do is step into that next level of awesome. It’s right there waiting for you. So…who’s ready to go????

Morning Motivation #119

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This one goes out to my lifters out there. I don’t have the words to explain what it feels like to set a PR, make progress on a new lift, or to hear your coach or peers tell you that they see the improvements. What I will say is, that as a female, I feel a lot more empowered since I’ve gotten into lifting. It’s a wonderful feeling, and as the quote above says, it’s more than JUST lifting. So, for those of you who have never tried lifting – I say give it a shot. For those of you who already lift? Lift on, lift heavy. 😉

Morning Motivation #118

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Something for you to reflect upon as you begin your week. A lot of what we want and expect of ourselves can only be given to us, BY US. Granted, you as you are are a beautiful being (if you don’t know that – now you do), but we all should aspire to be our greatest, most brilliant selves. It takes work, and there will be set backs and hardships along the way, but it is a journey that we make not only for ourselves, but for those who love us most. Let this week be one in which you make every day a chance to make your greatness made manifest. Go forth and be awesome!