Why Fitness does not Equate Health
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. ~ Audrey Hepburn
What is fitness?
Is it doing miles upon miles of cardio?
Is it lifting pound upon pound of bone crushing weight?
Is it doing hot yoga everyday?
Is it eating not just healthfully, but nitpicking everything you put in your mouth and then eyes bulging out of your eyes, as someone eats something delicious in front of you?
We live in a society where “fitness” is misconstrued with healthy. Where being the overachiever is rewarded, no matter the cost to health.
Believe me. I know. I have been there. Both as an athlete, and as a girl who so hated the body she was given, she would do anything to change it.
Their are still days I struggle, but being fit doesn’t mean you can only be happy by the number on the scale or because you didn’t eat those Girl Scout Cookies.
Fit is being happy with yourself.
Let that sink in for a moment.
As a former figure skater, pro at getting comfy on the tread mill for hours, as well as purging anything and everything (even starbucks had to go after I drank it) I was miserable. I was the skinniest I had ever been and will ever be and I hated life in that moment.
I used fitness as a crutch. If I ran ten miles, I could maybe forget the self loathing I had for my body. I would double up on yoga classes. Throw up everything I ate, all because it was “fitness.”
Still, I couldn’t get it right. Thousands of hours of rehab and therapy I still struggled with the alien concept of food.
I’ll never forget my Nutritionist who speacliizes in eating disorders shaking her head at me and telling me I was STILL starving myself because I refused to touch that food group called grains. I thought because I was finally consuming food, I was fine despite still working out like a fiend.
I wasn’t. Because I had not only been conditioned that my curves were not acceptable, but that carbs weren’t either.
I don’t want to go into a rant, but this is something that is really important. Not just as women and men who struggle, but for our future children.
Social media is great for encouragement, but it can be taken to far. Girls pinching their stomachs. Selfies that don’t count a six pack but instead all of your ribs.
Fitness isn’t and shouldn’t be about deprivation or pushing yourself until you throw up. It isn’t about the latest fitness fad, or diet. It isn’t about Depriving yourself from eating food groups (unless you truly have a dietary reason) or binging on certain foods because it will make you lose weight faster.
It should be about personal HEALTHY goals. It should be about balance and moderation. It should be about what makes you happy as well as healthy. And it should NOT be used as a crutch to hide pain.
Believe me I know how easy it is. One more mile maybe I will forget. Two more miles maybe I will stop feeling. Ten more miles and I did stop feeling. In my body.
The truth is, you can’t hide your problems in exercise or food. Maybe you can for awhile. But in the end it will come back roaring like Katy Perry and it will be even worse when you do decide to feel.
Hiding from pain also means you numb the good, the happiness, the love, the feelings that make you realize their was a crazy reason.
Fitness isn’t just physical, it is emotional well being. It is what you can’t see and that is just as important if not more so.
Muscles, the number on the scale, it is all superficial and yes it helps you reach goals but to be well rounded you need it all.
You need to be doing it for the right reasons.
It has taken me a long time in my health journey to realize why I do yoga, or skate, or run. It isn’t so I can fit into a size zero. It isn’t so I can flash my muscles on Instagram (though I am guilty of the occasional handstand) it makes me happy. It makes me sane. I get the skater high, and yogi mind.
I would be hypocritical to deny I don’t enjoy the chiseled abs, or tight arse.
But it isn’t why I do it.
As I learned last year, I survived when I didn’t work out for a day. Or a week or hell even a year. I didn’t die. The world didn’t end. I don’t need to push myself to the point I am throwing up, because I ran to hard. I can go for a walk, as much as I can run to achieve the same benefits. Their are days I don’t want to work out. And I have finally come to the realization that IT IS OKAY.
It is okay to dial it back and the world won’t stop, and your body might even give a breath of relief and say a silent thank you. We need to turn inwards. we need to start listening to ourselves. to what our bodies say, because all of the rest of it is white noise that will come and go. Our bodies won’t. Respect yourself, love yourself. Know YOU are ENOUGH just as you are.