Is it unusual for a young girl to think she looks absolutely fine? To not be in constant search of society’s holy grail low weight and thigh gap? To look in the mirror and be perfectly fine with what she sees?
I worry we know the answer to that question… all too easily in this day and age.
But 20 years ago, for me, it was different.
I was fine with how I looked. I was active and danced on a drill team… known for my skinny legs and ample top. Unfortunately we also all knew the way to the vending machine to get Chili Cheese Frito Lays and Mountain Dews after school, before our two hour long practices. Play hard, eat what we wanted, look fine. That was life. And this was me…
I did have friends and relatives struggle with the way they looked– and at times it was hard to identify with them. My mind wasn’t there. Society would say now that I was crazy– people would dictate that I should have been ultimately concerned every moment as a teenager with how I looked.
Society now tells me that I AM crazy, I should be feeling guilty in my mid-30s about how I look.
But I’m not a person who loves to self-shame… I just want to be real. So, I tend to ignore society most of the time.
It all happens so slowly, you know? The ways our body changes. The preening and prepping in college years. The search for a significant other right after that keeps you in line. But then somehow a few extra beers or glasses of wine and too many Pokey Sticks (Gumby’s for those who aren’t familiar) starts to take its toll.
When you don’t set good habits at that time, you can ultimately struggle with your body. And you might try a dozen types of excercises and create a lot of goals– to find that none of them work for you. I did a mini-triathalon seven years ago. I can say I finished it. I can’t say that I loved it. Sorry folks!
You have a baby. Your body changes. Society tells you it will be easy to get back, look at Heidi Klum. That’s a fallacy.
My body shows a few stretch marks and excess jiggle that comes with with having a kid or two. And because the woman you see on the outside is the same as the one on the inside, I was okay with that. I was a real woman, working in TV and in a community doing a job I loved, being REAL about my body.
But society is less and less likely to let you do what you love in that capacity, without getting a few jabs in. There are a few that don’t understand that it takes time to balance a chaotic schedule with little ones, jumping through hoops to work hard… take care of your house… and take care of yourself. They want you to be that person that existed pre-crazy life. A person who looked pretty good, but probably wasn’t incredibly balanced.
I remember a time in the last year where a viewer sent me something so rude. She called it “The Forecast for Spring.” Her outlook: “no tight clothes” and maybe I should look into the weight-loss group being advertised in the local paper.
I tried to find the note in my box from work, but I seem to have thrown it away 😉
Yes, I cursed her up and down. To myself. Because she didn’t sign her name, nor did she put her address down on the envelope.
Now that I am on my own and have more time to think and process my daily routine– I do know that I want to be healthier and I have more time to commit to feeling good. Granted, my kids are a little older now, but they are still very needy…. so I’ve been fitting in a workout at early or late hours. And I’m always going to fight wanting to sit on my bed and watch the latest marathon of Friends or Vanished with Beth Holloway when they go to bed– when I should be prepping for the next day. For the last couple of weeks I haven’t done much of anything because I’ve been traveling and then coming home to a house and work life that needs detailed and organized!
Your journey may be similar– or it may not be. But here’s the truth and what’s real: being healthy should be our ultimate goal!
Instead, so many people try to feed themselves to become some stick figure that we see on the front of Vogue. That stick figure is an airbrushed advertisement– and in all reality, we will NEVER look like that. Because they don’t even look like that!
I want to be able to share information through posts like this that leaves you more knowledgeable and helps you make better decisions. Based on the misgivings and mistakes, successes and triumphs that we all have.
Recently, there was a great tip I heard from one of my favorite podcasters who happens to also be well-known in the fitness world. Chalene Johnson asked listeners to dive into their memories and find that moment in high school when they were burning calories and energy during something they loved.
So I want to ask you a favor.
Take a minute to go there. What is that for you? What made you feel alive?
Tell me in the Comments area below.
For me it was dancing– I would do a routine over and over again with my drill team, my lungs barely catching up with the moves once the Aerobic Funk piece was over… that’s what we called it. I was panting and running for the water fountain. Thankfully the Fritos had already been digested.
This summer, when Beachbody (of P90X and T25 fame) came out with CIZE– I was ecstatic. A hip-hop routine that burns calories and was strategically put together to tone muscle too? Sign me up. I’ve been in love with Shaun T’s style. Here’s a sample of it from a Beachbody Coaches Summit this summer:
Just so you know, they break down these routines.
What you just saw is what it looks like when you’ve learned it all, during a CIZE session.
Another option that I haven’t hit up lately, but plan to really soon, is Mike Nicholson’s Hip Hop classes. If you have not experienced this, and you love to dance, it’s not like anything else in Central Oho. Street hip-hop at its’ finest, the energy inside his classes is insane. He and his instructors hold them at different gyms at different times throughout the week and weekend. Here’s the link to his website. He shares some tutorials on his website too that will give you a taste.
Be ready to be challenged. After I had my oldest son I went to one of his classes, I loved the moves… but I was so out-of -it that I struggled to not take a water break every minute!
Here’s my next question and favor.
Do you think we could support each other?
Could you share your best tips and newest ideas in our fight to establish willpower, a healthy weight, and just be REAL?
I’m ready to do it if you are!
So here’s my idea: get on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use the hashtag #berealbehealthy so I can find your comments or inspiring pictures and share them in these upcoming entries. We can do this. Together.
I really hope you’ll join me.