…because oh YES, I do. And for reasons far more important than weight loss, clothing sizes, or physical appearance.
I think we all say it to each other from time to time, with good intentions:
“Why do you work out so much? You’re not overweight.” “Girl you don’t need to work out!” “Are you trying to lose weight? I wish I was your size!”
No no no no no. NO!
We’re sending the wrong message when we say these things, and we are missing the point when we think that it’s all about outer appearance.
First of all, we need to stop comparing. The comparison happens in an instant, right before the words fly out of our mouths. I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me I don’t need to work out, it immediately makes me uncomfortable. I start to feel the need to tell them about my cellulite and imperfections that they might not be able to notice. I start to pick myself apart, and that is an unhealthy thing to do. If someone makes a comment about being heavier than me, I feel guilty for the whole conversation (that I didn’t even start) because I don’t want them to compare themselves to anyone else.
Regardless of whether you’re overweight, underweight, at your ideal weight, or have the genes of a bikini goddess, we can ALL benefit from working out. Because it’s not about the weight.
People tend to have this mentality that working out is strictly for weight loss and physical appearance. But why? There are SO many more reasons to exercise, reasons we should all be aware of in this day and age, and appearance is at the bottom of the list. Weight loss is a byproduct of getting healthier, and we need to start treating it that way.
And for those who have an opinion about others who they think should work out…
Maybe, JUST maybe, that “overweight” woman you’re so quick to judge… maybe she does work out. Maybe she has a problem with her thyroid. Maybe she has some other disorder you don’t know about. Maybe she is battling a food addiction. Or maybe she has other inner struggles like depression or anxiety that cause her to overeat.
There is never an appropriate time to judge another woman for her struggles. But it is always an appropriate time to lift each other up and show compassion.
What if… instead of judging, we all cheered each other on.
What if… we all started encouraging each other, no matter what size or shape we are, to be the best we can be.
What if… instead of asking, “Why do you work out so much?” we just said, “That’s great! Keep it up!”
What if… instead of thinking, “Geez that girl could afford to eat a few less cupcakes,” we stopped looking at outer appearance and started looking a little deeper. Because inside of that woman you might find a heart that hurts, and she just might be trying to mask her pain with cupcakes. Or she might just be a beautiful and happy soul who truly enjoys cupcakes, and you might be missing out on a good friend (who may just share her cupcakes with you).
Fitness looks different on all of us. I would encourage each of you to find your healthy place, your own best version of you, and to not apologize for it. You only have one life to live… so why not live it to your fullest potential? I sure intend to, with my muscles and my cellulite, and everything in between. Because I can only be the best me, not anyone else. No more, no less. Just me. And that’s enough.