I often run across negative sentiment towards exercise and those who promote it – particularly in the nerd community. At first I was a little confused by this, but it wasn’t long before I started to figure out why. A depressingly high percentage of fitness gurus and personal trainers, while they mean well, are sending a very damaging and off-putting message.
The message that they unintentionally (or sometimes intentionally) send is that you NEED to look a certain way in order to be considered conventionally attractive – that if your fitness is lacking, then you are not worth as much as a person.
This is an incredibly damaging message to send, especially when so many people out there already struggle with loving themselves due to their weight. Self-image is very important, both to your mental and physical health. That’s why I want to make The Level Grind a body-positive space, and a place for people to ask honest questions about fitness and get clear information on how to improve and maintain their health.
You are perfect just the way you are.
I don’t promote fitness because I want everybody to fit into some sort of aesthetic ideal, but because I want YOU to live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life with a body that supports you well into old age. Fitness comes in all shapes and sizes, and our personal goals all look different.
Don’t get me wrong – I understand what all the “body transformation” posts and fitness inspiration blogs are trying to accomplish. They want to send the message that, yes, you can take control of your health and change your fitness level. But somewhere along the way, that motivation has become nothing more than another slew of images of attractive people. The message they’re sending is “I was fat, but now I’m pretty” when the message that they need to be sending is “I was pretty, but now I’m pretty and healthy”. Anything less than that only serves to further alienate the people who have yet to start their fitness journeys.
So let’s fight back against this epidemic of body shaming! Celebrate your body, you beautiful goddess and/or herculean stallion! Exercise not because it makes you look good but because it makes you feel good! You’re a beautiful person, with a beautiful body. So take care of it! But do it for you, not for anybody else.
Be proud of who you are, be proud of what you’ve done, and especially be proud of what you’re going to do. Fitness isn’t easy, and we all need all the motivation we can get! One great way to motivate yourself and others – start your own fitness blog, and document your journey! Take pictures, talk about your triumphs and struggles, where you excel and where you need work, and follow others who do the same. It’s a fantastic source of inspiration, and it really helps you to stay motivated. Surrounding yourself with others who are in the same boat is a great way to keep yourself on track, and to remind yourself that you’re not alone.
And as always, I’m also ready and willing to talk! Feel free to send me a message any time if you’re having trouble moving forward or getting started, and I’ll do everything I can to get you the info you need.
Stay positive, and remember – I think you’re beautiful!