Last night I was browsing Pinterest (yes, I’m addicted) looking for some motivational fitness quotes for my Motivation board. I love to use them on here and sometimes I just read through them to help motivate me before a workout. I ran into a few images that inspired the mild rant you will read below.
The problem I run into with some of the motivational fitness quotes is the images behind that show women’s bodies, many emphasize a thigh gap or a flat stomach. For the most part this is fine but I think if a woman doesn’t know and appreciate her own body these images are damaging.
I’ve found some of the fitness motivation creates a fine line between aspiring for something and aspiring to be someone else.
I know I can change my body, I can lose weight, I can sculpt muscles but I recognize certain things on my body are not going to change. I am short, I have broad shoulders, I have smaller hips, I have big calves. I think it’s important to appreciate your own body instead of aspiring to have someone else’s body.
As often happens on Pinterest I begin a pinning frenzy going through board after board of tips, tricks, and quotes to inspired fitness until I came across the image below (Must lose weight, must not eat) and found myself delving into the dark world of “thinspiration” and pro-ana.
I’ve read about some of the pro-ana sites so I wasn’t completely shocked. I think what surprised me was that some of these were mixed in with some of the fitness quotes I enjoy, which just reminded me that there’s so many mixed messages out there. People, both men and women, are expected to live up to ideals that aren’t possible and more importantly aren’t healthy for everyone.
If the women in these images are healthy and happy that’s great but the messages are terrible. We are making progress but we’re still a society that instead of looking at actual medical factors uses a sight-based assessment to determine health and most equate skinny with healthy. I think if you are healthy and happy with your body, whether you’re a size 2 or 20, then more power to you but I do think healthy is key.
I’ve set off on this journey before with the goal of getting skinny, fitting into that swimsuit, wearing the pants I wore in high school but I failed every time, which is why I had to shift my goals from getting skinny to getting healthy, from changing my body to changing my life.
Do I still want to be skinny? I want to lie and say no but I’m not immune to the pressures of the world. Yes I want to be skinny but part of this transition is working on changing my mindset, finding my healthy body, and learning to love my body at any size.
I hope the women pinning these images realize that being skinny is not all there is to life and as corny as it sounds there’s so much more to all of us than what we see in the mirror.