Having a healthy relationship with exercise is HARD. super hard.
Growing up I had several occasions where I was made fun of for my body type. And I know I’m not alone in this. I had people telling me I needed to eat more, I had chicken legs, a flat ass, and all of these comments were EXTREMELY toxic for my self-image and esteem. As a result of these comments, I had a stage in life where I felt like I needed to lift and “gain” muscle in those areas that were made fun of. I couldn’t get the comments out of my head and it got to a point where I was lifting so much, trying to gain muscle, that I could barely walk.
As I type that out I don’t understand how I thought what I was doing was okay, or going to help!
Something I’ve learned from that experience was the concept of LISTENING to my body and EXERCISING accordingly. Don’t feel like lifting? I’ll do stair stepper and sauna instead. Feeling strong? Hell yeah, I’ll lift some weights.
Going into a workout and feeling as well as listening to what my body needs has completely changed the relationship I have with myself and exercise.
I see so many women in the locker room after a workout looking in the mirror making negative comments about their body. It’s allowed me to realize that so many people struggle with working out for the wrong reasons.
Our body works SO HARD every single day to keep us alive and healthy, so why are we so mean to it? It’s not just women that experience this pressure to fit a certain body type. Men feel it too. We need to work together to encourage exercise as something that allows us to grow mentally, increase our self-esteem, and nourish our bodies. NOT as something to change our body type and conform to society’s expectations.
I’m sorry if you’ve ever felt like your body isn’t beautiful; I’m sorry if someone’s ever said something to make you question that beauty. I want you to know you’re beautiful and perfectly imperfect. With the right mindset, exercise can help remind you of that.