So this is me, Rachael Harris, finally sitting down and putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, I suppose) about a subject that I feel very strongly about and that is an everyday struggle for not only myself, but also almost every single client (male or female) I see walking through our doors here at Scenic City Boot Camp.
My motivation to write was sparked most recently by an ad from a big box gym, that shall remain nameless, that had an image of a pear with the caption “This is no shape for a girl.”
**Sigh…defeated head drop**
Now this is in no way about trying to take down nameless big box gyms, but rather to take down the prevalent idea that anyone else’s opinion of our body or what you do with it matters in any way, shape, or form.
One person’s opinion of your body matters, and that’s yours.
“Enjoy your body, use it every way that you can. Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it, it’s the great instrument you’ll ever own!”
Seriously, you have one life, one body, so why not love it for all of its strengths and resign to work on the weaknesses instead of berating yourself because of them.
Don’t get caught up in what big box gyms and society think our bodies should be, do, or look. Also, much of what our bodies can do and how they look is determined by genetics and is out of our hands.
No matter how much I train or how well I eat, my quads will always stick out further than my breasts.
No matter how much I train or how well I eat, I will always have stretch marks on most of my body that reflect my previous obese life.
No matter how much I train or how well I eat my thighs will always touch due to the ratio of my hip width and femoral head length simply not allowing a thigh gap. Oh wells.
Now, if you’re a client at SCBC you might be aware of my fitness journey, and might have been part of it yourself. I, like most of our clients, walked into SCBC after a lifetime struggle of being obese/overweight and feeling pretty crappy about my body, the way it looked, and my ability to make a permanent lifestyle change.
However, after hitting a point where I realized that feeling dumpy, lethargic, and as if I was missing my life was no longer an option, I was ready to make the change and felt I had finally found the tools to do it. To make a long story of sweat and determination short, here I am two years later fitter than I’ve ever been and helping others reach their fitness goals as a Certified Personal Trainer.
And if I’m being honest, I think that one of my best attributes as a trainer is that I’m completely relatable. I’m strong and I’m fit, but I certainly don’t look like someone you would see in a magazine.
Please don’t misunderstand, I am not belittling you if you happen to be one of the majority who is self-conscious about parts of your body because I certainly wish I could change parts of mine. And today I am going to be sharing those very parts of me that aren’t so ‘pretty’ in the eyes of society.
But instead of focusing on what I can’t change about those not so pretty parts, I’m going to be redirecting that energy towards the amazing things those ‘wobbly bits’ allow me to do.
Do the back of my legs look like they’ve been whacked with a bag of quarters? Maybe, but my hamstrings help me deadlift 250 lbs.
Do I have bat arms and jiggly side boobs popping out of my sports bra? Yep, but those arms and lats allow me to climb a rope to the ceiling.
How about back fat for days, do I have that? Sure do! But how about those 200 lb back squats?
How about my two inner thighs that rub together so much that I can’t wear shorts during a workout without chaffing? Well, those help to allow me to jump 40” no problem.
Anyone hungry, because I’ve got a muffin topped with stretch mark icing that would make The Muffin Man jealous. But guess what, no one is looking at my muffin top when I’m pushing a 500 lb sled.
All of this is not said in an attempt to humble-brag my accomplishments, but rather an attempt to allow abilities to outweigh the insecurities.
Instead of hating your perceived ‘ugly’ body, how about loving your able body?
In the end, all of us are on our individual journeys working towards our own specific goals. Your goal might be tangible with a certain look to your body, or to be strong enough to bench press a Buick, or maybe it’s simply a move towards a longer healthier life.
Whatever it is, just remember that in fitness (just like life) ultimately you’re the one who lives with your choices, so make them your own and not what the world or big box gyms tell you they should be.