I’m a thick girl and I always have been…and that’s ok. Getting into CrossFit taught me that there’s nothing wrong with having muscles. They help me do amazing things. Let me tell you, it took over 40 years for me to be cool with not shrinking my body and to appreciate it for what it can do.
In the past four years, I have some of the best fitness experiences. I have done Spartan races, CrossFit competitions and even an Olympic weightlifting meet. I can lift heavy weights, but more importantly I have confidence that I didn’t have in my younger years.
Learning about how my body works and all the things that go into being a healthy human has been a game changer for me. It’s not about calories in, calories out or eat less and move more. The conversation is so much more complex and nuanced than those catch phrases say. I have learned from my teachers, mentors and self study that your health is made up of so many factors that contribute to health and longevity. As you work on your health, make sure that your movement, nutrition, sleep and mindset practices really support the body that you have. But that’s not what you’re going to hear on the interwebs.
All the fitspo social media will tell you that you need to have ripped abs and a thigh gap to be your happiest self. Guys, you need to have a V just below your abs. If you listen to the grams, you need to make yourself smaller and leaner. You can’t have any cellulite, or stretch marks, or even an outty belly button. Oh yeah, and you need to get this body by eating as little as possible and by not lifting anything heavier than five pound dumbbells. And you can get this perfectly sculpted body through yoga and celery juice.
But all that is a big lie. It’s a lie that you don’t have to believe anymore. Each of us has a certain body frame and a certain build. You can have a small frame and you can have a larger frame and both can be strong. That doesn’t mean that we can’t change our body composition. Lifestyle changes can certainly have the after effect of changes in body composition. If that’s your goal and you can do it in a way that is healthy physically and mentally, go for it. My advice is first and foremost to be thorough in your research. Talk to a health coach who takes a holistic approach. Find a registered dietitian who can take your specific goals into account when helping you with your nutrition. You might even need a mindset coach, counselor or therapist to help you through any challenges that come up. All of these people can help you improve your health.
But here’s the most important thing that you need to know. Your body is the least of the things that you bring to the table. Who you are as a person and the love that you share is what is great about you. Those are the more valuable qualities you bring into the world. You’re awesome in whatever body you show up in. And don’t let any one tell you otherwise.