What if you could erase the idea of fit and start all over? What if I handed you a clean slate and said, rewrite the norm? When we think of fitness what comes to mind? – skinny, abs, athletic, small waist? When you say these words, they become much more. They are images, expectations, standards, boxes we try to squeeze ourselves into.
We see cellulite, extra weight, lose skin, wrinkles – and all these things leave us feeling flawed. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself where we got these ideas? You don’t have to look far to see it, hear it, feel it; every single day we experience it. I recently started reading “Untammed” by Glennon Doyle (love it!) and she talks about reading the body wash bottles in the shower. The boys bottle reads, “3 xs bigger, doesn’t rob you of your dignity, armor up in man scent” – all in bold writing as if screaming at you. Then her daughter’s bottle, “alluring, radiant, gentle, touchable, light, enticing” written in flowy fonts. (Doyle, p12) Even in the shower you can’t get away from societies expectations.
How unfair is it to be told “this is your box, this is your mold, fit inside here; this is where you need to be!” But is it really where you’re meant to be? No, no it is not. Cellulite or skinny does not tell the story of your health. Some of the sickest, fighting for their life individuals are skinny. Some of the strongest, healthiest individuals have cellulite. The truth it, we can be of all shapes and sizes and that does not define our health. Think about the science – resting heart rate, movement, & stress management.
New moms should be encouraged to focus on their pelvic floor and overall wellness. Sleep deprived mamas should not be struggling to pick up their babies because they worked out so hard and just want to lose baby weight. Pre and post menopause women should be inspired to lift weights and increase their bone density, not live in chronic calorie deficits, starving because their bodies are changing. And every day men and women should be focusing on their daily movements like bending, lifting, squatting. Working toward supporting their body that works so hard. Not trying to get a “perfect body” when they’re back, hips and neck are constantly in pain.
So to you I say this, ask yourself, in your perfect world, what would fitness look like to you? What would make the quality of your life better every day? Imagine how good that would feel. Write it down, work towards it and always remember fitness is not a number on the scale or fragranced body wash. Fitness is what allows you to perform your best at work, play with your kids and grandkids, and overcome obstacles. Be gentle, be kind and treat yourself well. This is your clean slate.