As I was leaving the gym with my kids yesterday a woman that I have never met stopped me and surprisingly asked: “how in the world I had 3 kids and looked so skinny.” She then went on to state that she would finally be happy when she was as skinny as I was because I had “the perfect body”. I walked away not feeling uplifted about the compliment that I had just received but instead, I only heard what she had just said about herself. I drove home thinking, what is the perfect body? What does it look like? What are the perfect dimensions and sizes? What size clothing should I fit into if I have the perfect body? Also, if I have the perfect body then why do I still feel so insecure sometimes? I thought about it off and on all night and I figured it out. The perfect body is the one you’re in, today. I am a HUGE advocate of health and fitness so I do believe that every day you should do something to better yourself and your health. As you work you are going to notice changes and differences as a natural consequence of the work that you put in. Then tomorrow, the perfect body will be the one that you are in that day and so on.
The world we live in is full of social media personalities and otherwise. They are there to uplift, challenge and motivate us. They are there to help us become the best version of ourselves and to help feel us like we aren’t alone in the journey that we’re on. They give ideas, tips, and instruction for the things we don’t know how to do and they make it look so easy. Sometimes, however, I believe that we allow what we see in the gym or online to make us feel like less than we are rather than allowing it to be a driving force for good. We look at other peoples bodies and wish they were ours. We see “the perfect body” everywhere. It’s on the TV shows that we watch, the magazines in the doctor’s office, the gym, the neighborhood block party, don’t even get me started on the swimming pool and more. Billboards are full of advertisements enticing us to have liposuction and laser fat removal as well as treatments to remove stretch marks and scars. We allow our idea of what we believe our bodies should look like to interfere with what we currently look like. This mentality is discouraging and harmful to your progress. It doesn’t set the fire inside of you that prompts you to reach your goals but rather extinguishes the flame. Everyone’s body is different. We could all do the same workouts and fuel with the same foods and we still wouldn’t look the same, how beautiful is that? How amazing is it that you were created to be you? Even if you do exactly as someone else, you are still uniquely yourself.
I think that the saddest part of this whole interaction was this phrase, “I will finally be happy when I’m as skinny as you.” I want to let you in on a little secret, no you won’t be. Happiness doesn’t come in sizes, it’s more about who you are. Does losing weight or building muscle inspire confidence? Yes. But should you wait for it to happen before you are happy? No. Why? Because for every skinny waist you see there is a girl wishing she had more muscle. For every person you see squatting double their body weight, there is someone wishing they were thinner. For every girl that you see at the pool who’s butt fills out their swimsuit, there is a girl wishing that all of her swimsuit bottoms weren’t a permanent wedgie because her butt is too big. There is always more to chase. There are always bigger biceps, smaller waistlines, larger quads, wider backs, and rounder glutes. There is always heavier weight, higher reps, and longer runs. If you are waiting until you finally have the perfect body to be happy, stop. If you are setting goals and happiness is the reward for accomplishing them, you’ll never find it.
Happiness is something you choose. Confidence is something you build. Who you really are is something you discover over time. There are going to be huge failures but even bigger wins. There may be hundreds of pounds that you count as reasons for why you are postponing joy, but for every one of those pounds, there are hundreds of reasons that you should enjoy today. Insecurities are a part of being human which is why we fight so hard to fix them and to a certain degree there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight or build muscle. There isn’t anything wrong with spray tans or teeth whiting kits. Makeup, dying your hair, getting your nails done, microblading, pedicures, and waxing, it’s all perfectly fine, as long as your happy with who you are at the core. Don’t wait to be happy. It’s not worth it. Your body is perfect, today. Your body got you out of bed today to take care of those kids or get yourself to work. It let you push yourself to your limits while you exercised. Your body drove all over the map from friends houses to soccer practices to swim lessons before you found yourself at the grocery store. Your body walked through that grocery store with 3 screaming kids when all you really wanted to do today was sleep. Your body made dinner, did the dishes, 6 loads of laundry, mopped the floors, cleaned the toilets, wiped up messy faces and countertops. It slaved away at work and did homework until long after the sun had gone down. It read books and sang bedtime songs. It giggled with little kids that were up way past their bedtime before crashing because it had given you everything that it could today, be thankful for that perfect body.
Chase your goals. Grow those arms, get those washboard abs, run that marathon, sweat it out in spin class, squat 200 pounds. Benchpress, put that swimsuit on, compete in a triathlon and win it all, give up the pizza for a salad this time then have a cheat day. Show the future generation of women what it means to love yourself. Count MACRO’s or don’t. Push yourself harder, lift heavier and run faster, thank your body for what it’s capable of doing and then do it again tomorrow. To the lady who said my body is perfect yes, today it is and yours is too.