One of my really good friends made me this Fit(ish) tank top. I love it!
I have really been thinking about the “fit(ish)” concept for a while. I think it is more important to love your body and be happy than it is to force yourself to fit into a size 0.
I think it’s healthier to cut yourself some slack every now and then in your diet rather than maintain a strict, 100% adherence to a dietary or lifestyle regimen 100% of the time. This can be socially isolating, not to mention stressful.
What’s Really Important For Health vs. What’s Not
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE green smoothies! I also love eating healthy and I feel amazing when I drink green smoothies and eat a whole foods diet. I spend a good chunk of my day, every day, encouraging people to eat healthier and to become more fit. That’s all really, really important.
But it’s not really, really important to have 6-pack abs, or to squeeze yourself into a size 0, or to never, ever, ever touch another chocolate bar for the rest of your life. Losing double-digit numbers on the scale week after week is not a positive, healthy sign of weight loss.
I’ve never said this publicly before, but I struggle with body image. I always have. I think a LOT of us do (both men and women).
Part of this is stoked by unrealistic standards for beauty promoted by the media. But the diet, fitness, and natural health movements also contribute to the problem. We see physical trainers with 6-pack abs and huge biceps and we instantly feel like we should look exactly like them.
We follow charismatic diet gurus who appear to, or outright claim to, follow their own protocols to the letter 100% of the time (reality check – most of them don’t!)
Healthy & Fit According To Who’s Standards?
Even though I lost 40 pounds and rocked a flat stomach while I created the recipes for, and developed my green smoothie cleanses, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should do more. I had this idea in my head about exactly what number should appear on the scale when I weighed myself (104 pounds based on BMI charts – I know, they aren’t really accurate).
I also went through periods where I followed dietary protocols religiously. I felt that I was a complete failure if I allowed myself just one indulgence.
I had this idea in my mind about exactly how my body should look based more on external expectations, and not on what actually constitutes a fit and healthy person, taking into consideration my own body makeup, genetics, and overall lifestyle.
I had to confront this issue head on during, and after, my pregnancy.
Pregnancy changes your body. Most women will not have the exact same body they had post-pregnancy. You’re not a failure if it feels like your body maintains a few extra pounds postpartum, or if your stomach feels looser than it did before.
Loving Myself As-Is
I have some stretch marks since I wasn’t blessed with lots of collagen in my skin to make it stretchy. Even though I successfully lost the baby weight thanks to green smoothies and my diet and lifestyle, I don’t think my stomach will ever be as firm as it was before I had a kid.
And I’m okay with that because I have an amazing son, and amazing life, and I AM healthy and fit – even though I may not look exactly like a TV fitness guru, or I religiously follow a strict dietary protocol 100% of the time.
I have decided that my body will tell me what size I should be as long as I strive to be as healthy as possible. I don’t fixate on reaching or maintaining a specific number on the scale. Instead, I strive for eating as healthy as I can day to day, and I exercise to stay active and strong, rather than struggle for a 6-pack.
And I hope this doesn’t come as too much of a shock, but I eat birthday cake on my son’s birthday. In fact, I’m the one who bakes it!
I don’t worry if I go to a game night once a month and the host is making something that isn’t very healthy. I eat a small portion and just enjoy the moment with friends. Okay, I may push myself a little harder during my workout the next morning. =)
I’m much happier eating healthy most of the time, but allowing myself some wiggle room here and there. I’m happier working out without berating myself over expectations of how my body should be sculpted according to what I see on TV and in magazines.
I am so much happier being fit(ish), rather than trying to be perfect.
As long as you are taking steps each day to eat healthier (green smoothies and more whole foods!), and to improve your fitness, you should be proud. Focus on what’s really important and don’t get caught up in meeting other people’s expectations of what you should be, or who you should look like.
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