Most of the time I consider myself to be quite wise now that I’m no longer a spring chicken. I don’t do things anymore that don’t make me feel good – I don’t wear ridiculously high heels because they don’t make me feel good, I don’t eat certain foods because they don’t make me feel good, I don’t read women’s magazines (fashion or fitness/health) because they don’t make me feel good, I don’t watch horror movies because they don’t make me feel good… the list could go on and on.
I have written about women’s magazines before and why I don’t like to read them. These days there are so many online equivalents though and because I have a very active social media life (sounds a bit daft but hey ho ;) I stumble upon some of them from time to time and they don’t actually make me feel good – the glossy fitness blogs, Instagram accounts and YouTube channels that are full of shiny hair, perfect make-up, evenly bronzed six-packs and not a drop of sweat (or often even a genuine joyful smile) in sight.
Maybe it’s because of my age or maybe it’s because I’ve never been the ‘hot chick’ but I just do not get fitness JUST for the sake of looking good. I mean I enjoy that because I’m fit, I’m not overweight and that it feels pretty good living in my body right now, but the looking good part doesn’t give me as much joy and self-confidence as the fact that I can DO so many fun things.
I look at images tagged with #fitspo and #abspiration, etc. and realise that most of the time it’s just women standing around – they don’t show what these women can DO, only what they look like. That I don’t find inspiring, that I find messes with my brain and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only woman on the planet who feels that way. All through my teens and 20s I looked at magazines and hated myself for a) not having the willpower to not eat much and be skinny b) not have the skills to get my hair shiny c) not have decent sized boobs d) not have an hourglass figure but a totally non-existent waist. I’m sure most of us have been there…
Now when I stumble upon an online presence that’s similar to the photoshopped magazines, I feel how I automatically start to feel a bit loserish again – why do my photos not come out as well? why can I not keep my make-up on when I exercise? why are my upper arms still so large? why are my teeth not so white? why does my hair get so frizzy when I sweat? etc. etc. etc.
I truly wonder who actually finds inspiration in that… and who is constantly beating themselves up over not matching up to those images… even though they eat exactly what she does and do the workout routines exactly how she does!
I often think why the heck do I blog and here’s why – I do not blog because I want someone to look at my blog and think “Wow. I want to be like MrsB because she’s so HOT!” :)
Instead, I want this blog to be the kind of blog that people read and think “Wow. This looks like fun! I want to try it!”
The ‘this’ can be running, Crossfit, weights, bouldering, swimming, yoga, whatever.
I want people to think what is the thing that is fun for them, I want people to not want to copy anyone else or to be anyone else or to look like anyone else or to eat like anyone else.
And I want women to realise that they can be a badass without being a hot piece of ass. (I stole this line from this great blog post)
I can’t stand it that when it comes to fitness, it’s sex that sells.
I can’t stand it that when it comes to “strong”, it only sells when it’s sexy.
There are strong as heck female weight lifters out there but they do not have shiny six-packs and do we see them on #fitspo images??
And yes, I do have photos of myself in a bikini on my Instagram. I wear a bikini when I’m on the beach and sometimes I exercise in just my sports bra & tiny shorts when I’m with family and it’s hot outside. It’s just more comfortable like that. If I ever start posting photos of me just standing around doing absolutely nothing but sucking in my stomach, please point out the BS-ness to me asap!
Fitness to me, is about the JOY of DOING something FUN. It’s about learning new things and surprising yourself with your physical abilities. It’s about sweating because it gives you a great endorphin rush and makes you feel like one tough mother.
Children run around and throw things and lift things and climb on things just because it’s fun – I want to be like a kid, I want to just have fun and never grow up. I want to lift heavy, HEAVY, weights and not fret about “bulking up”, I want to do what’s fun, I don’t want to sweat day in and day out because I need a bikini body. The one I’ve got is fine, thankyouverymuch.
What do you think? Am I being unfair? Do some people really just love working out for the sake of looking a certain way?
PS. I got a new 10k PB this morning – 45:57! #boom #takethatfitspo