Thursday, May 17, 2012

BODY IMAGE & FIT-SPIRATION

Body image isn't something that I have had a problem with in the past. I didn't love every part of my body but I accepted it, I suppose. There are things a person can change about themselves - weight, muscle tone, hair and clothing are a few; but I guess I never saw the point of worry about the things that you can't change (without surgery, at least) - bra size, facial and bone structure, height and so on. In general, I'm not a preachy person about many things so I don't really have a strong opinion about plastic surgery and physical alterations. Do I think you can go too far with it? Yes. Do I think it is up to every person how far is too far for them? Yes.

I hate the word fat, at least when it is used in a derogatory way. I always have. I started to hate it even more after I found out I was having a little girl. I don't ever want her to think she is fat or feel bad about her body, skin, hair, face at all. I've written a little bit about how my body image and clothing choices have changed after having my daughter. Having a child doesn't change everyone's feeling about body image and clothing, but it definitely changed mine.

I've recently read an amazing post about fit-spiration over at Virginia Sole-Smith. I won't summarize the post here because it is far too good for me to do that and everyone should read it in its entirety. The one thing I will say is that these people (celebrities, athletes, trainers) that we look to for inspiration work out for a living or at least in conjunction with what they do for a living. They did not get their body by doing a treadmill workout for 20 minutes a day or lifting weights a few time a week or doing yoga religiously. Do they look amazing? YES! But it is their job to be in amazing shape because it is their job to be able to have the stamina to work insane hours on movies sets, to be able to win gold metals and to help other people get healthy. These people, by and large, spend hours a day working on making their bodies the best that they can possibly be and that is wonderful, for them. However, most people don't have the sheer time to devote to their bodies the way these people do because, well, most people have full time jobs that aren't centered around personal fitness.

I am not saying that these people are not great inspiration because they can be, as long as your realistic about the outcome. Sure ... follow a trainers weight loss regimen, 30 minute workout or diet plan but, do it because working out and eating well is good for you and will make you healthier, not because you want to look like the trainer who developed the weight loss regimen, 30 minutes workout and diet plan. For most people, that is unrealistic but being fit and healthy is rarely unrealistic.

I am not naive enough to say that everyone should be 100% comfortable in their skin, although, that would be the ideal. What I am saying is that if you aren't comfortable in your skin and there is something that you'd like to change about yourself, do it, but do it with realistic expectations. Do it for the right reasons. Don't do it to look like Jennifer Aniston or Jillian Michaels or Carrie Underwood, do it to be as healthy and as fit as you can be. I think it is great to look at these ladies for inspiration but just because you do Jennifer's leg work out and Jillian's 30 day shred or Carrie's ab plan does not mean that you will come out with the other side with Jennifer's legs, Jillian's weight and Carrie's abs. You can change your work out plan, you can't change your DNA and the science that makes up your body.

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