Thursday, January 8, 2015

Body Positivity vs. The Quest For Fitness

I am a supporter of self-love and body positivity.
I am also a Beachbody Coach.
I am also a person who tries their best to work out and eat well, in order to be fitter and stronger. I have been slipping for a while, but I am back on track now. For real.

On occasion, I get the feeling that people in my life feel that those are things that don't go together. That you can't love yourself and at the same time want to change.
But Body Positivity, or even "fat acceptance", doesn't mean that you must accept the status quo if that is not what you want. You can love yourself and demand fair treatment no matter your size, but if YOU don't feel good...you can change, and you shouldn't be made to feel bad about that either.

There is nothing wrong with being fat and happy in your own skin. I personally don't feel that beauty and attractiveness come within a certain range of sizes. I love the body positivity movement because it is showing people - especially women - that you don't have to be ashamed of your size, you can love yourself and wear nice things and enjoy life just the same, even if you are big and you don't fit into the current standard of what beauty is.

But I also feel - at least this is the case for me - that happiness and overall quality of life, is very much tied to how I feel physically. Maybe that is not the case for everyone - that's fine.

When I put on weight and lose muscle tone, I don't feel good. Especially as I get older, I can really feel the difference. I feel heavy, like I am literally being dragged down. Body parts hurt. My feet, my knees, my hands. I grunt when I get out of bed in the morning. I get extremely sleepy in the afternoon. I just don't have the energy to do the things I need to get done on a daily and weekly basis, and that makes me feel stressed. When I get stressed, I eat more and I don't make good choices when it comes to food.
I know that when I work out regularly, and eat healthy, clean food, I feel much better. I sleep better at night, have more energy and more focus during the day. My joints become more flexible again, and I can get out of my car without making obscene noises.

Maybe those things don't happen to you. Maybe you are young and haven't noticed yet. Maybe extra weight simply doesn't bother your joints. That must be awesome and I hope it lasts forever.
But for me, the choice has to be made. Do I want to feel good, or do I want to continue to be slow-moving and tired?

Also (and this is important, and apparently a wee bit offensive to some), I do give a shit about how I look. That's not to say I think I need to be a size two with abs of steel in order to be sexy, but I do like to present myself in a way that conveys that I care about myself and I take care of myself. I am worthy of self-care, I think. I like to look younger, I like to look fit. That doesn't mean I spend all my time judging people who don't. That is not my job.

This is me right now. Not too bad! Could be better...and that is what I'm striving for!

Hope you like my pants!

For me, it's all about how I feel. You can be beautiful at any size, but if you don't feel good, you can change that!