I don’t work out for the glory of it. I don’t even really work out to have awesome quads, or a six-pack, or killer arms. I don’t work out so guys will check me out. I don’t work out to win swimsuit in a scholarship pageant. I don’t work out so that I can eat more. I don’t even work out so I can post pictures of how hard I’m working and how great I look as a result, though sometimes you’ll catch me doing this, it isn’t the point of my workouts.
I work out because one day I might not be able to, (it’s unlikely this will happen, but it was also unlikely for a 24 year old female to be diagnosed with both chronic illnesses that I have). I work out because it makes me feel a little better even if it’s just for a few minutes. I work out because the doctor says it’s good for me to workout. I work out because movement is good for both my fibromyalgia and my UCTD. I work out because it makes me feel like I’m doing what I can while I can. And this may be crazy, but I ENJOY working out. Eating more, appreciating what I see in the mirror, and getting to do social physical activity (i.e. hiking with somebody that I love) are just bonuses to working out.
Working out can be an adventure. I didn’t work out in high school. I danced and cheered, that was more than enough. I’m now four years into my fitness journey, and I’m still learning. I’m still learning that I can eat a lot and still be fit because my body uses those calories when I’m lifting weights. I’m still learning what workouts feel right for my body, that I also enjoy. I’m still learning that it’s okay not to love the workout that everyone else swears by. I have learned that I don’t have to work out for hours on end, and every little bit counts. I’m still learning what my body can and cannot handle. I have learned that I love to do ballet, cardio kickboxing, free weights, yoga, weighted yoga, hiking, bodyweight exercises, and walking. I have learned that I hate running, most forms of cardio, crossfit, and HIIT- they don’t make me feel better and (to me) they are not fun. I’m still deciding on barre and pilates.
The Point: I’ve seen a lot of fit shaming lately. Is that a phrase (?), “fit shaming,” if not I’m making it one right now. I’ve seen girls making fun of other girls for working out. I’ve seen girls making fun of the workout that someone else chooses. I’ve seen girls making fun of the progress (or lack thereof) that other girls have made. So here’s what I want to say:
If it’s for you, you go girl. If it’s not, you go girl. But leave other women alone. If you are comfy in the gym (I’m personally not and choose to work out at home), get it girl! If you love working out at home, work it! If you love being active outdoors, go for it, but get a coat to take with you so you don’t get sick in this cold weather :). If you love the workout I hate, or we love the same workout, or you hate working out and refuse to, as long as you’re happy, that’s what matters to me. So, please, have the same respect for me. You don’t know why I work out. You don’t know how my body feels. You don’t understand my emotions. Just as I don’t know your inmost being. Namaste. The light in my respects the light in you.
I leave you today with a Rupi Kaur quote:
“I said to my body. softly. ‘I want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath. and replied, ‘i have been waiting my whole life for this.'”
Love yourself, but also love others, please.