“Lose your Gut”
- Men’s Health Magazine
“Slim and Sexy Now”
“Get Bikini Ready”
- Women’s Fitness Magazine
Society has trained us to believe that healthy looks a certain way. Generally for women, it’s being slender and having “toned” muscles. For so long the expectation was that in order to be healthy we should look like Victoria Secret models. For men, through the inescapable shirtless covers on Men’s Fitness magazines, you were trained to think that you needed to be “ripped right now”! Presently, having curves and dad bods are a bit more embraced, but with social media and Instagram flooding our feeds with body images that seem almost unattainable, lines are definitely blurred between looking healthy and actually being healthy.
I work with many people of all different backgrounds, ages, sizes, and in my personal experience, the happiest and healthiest of them all generally don’t have or really want washboard abs. Being and looking healthy has been heavily misconstrued and defined as looking ONE way, but how is that possible when we’re all so different.
I’ll save you the snore-fest and will skip going into the misleading practices of the health and fitness conglomeration. And I’m also not trying to be preachy about the importance of loving yourself and your body (but really, it’s so important)! Everyone is going to have their preference on how they want to look. There is nothing wrong with being slender or being so muscular you can’t wipe your bottom – if that’s your preference.
What I think is unfair is that we’ve mainly been exposed to just one way. And that one way isn’t even necessarily healthy for us.
There’s a lot to take into consideration when you think of health.
Your personal relationships.
Your relationship with food.
How much do you exercise.
Your family health history.
With all this AND definitely much more, how could we judge what health is solely through aesthetics?
When I think about my most happiest and healthiest clients and what they all have in common. The first thing that comes to my mind is not whether their arms jiggle a little or a lot. Those healthy clients are mostly grateful for life; for the ability to move their bodies in ways they never knew they could. They have loving and respectful relationships with the people in their circle, but most importantly they love and respect themselves. They eat dessert without feeling guilty! And they laugh a lot! You see where I’m going here…
Being healthy takes time and practice. It’s starting a workout routine and nutrition program for the right reasons. It’s continually working on self-love so that you can love others. It’s not quick fixes, detox teas, or starving yourself thin just so you can look good for the summer.
It’s something that even I struggle with. I fear if I don’t look a certain way, that ONE way, people will judge and discredit me… “How can you train people, if you don’t have abs like Jillian Michaels?” Okay, no one has every said that to me, but I look in the mirror and sometimes that pops into my head! It’s crazy. So, let’s try together to be more realistic with the expectations we set for ourselves. Let’s not let mainstream media or even our moms dictate how we recognize true health and happiness.
Take the time to re-think what healthy can truly look like and then go out and spread that enlightenment to your family and friends!
Owner/Head Coach of Blue J. Health and Fitness
Self-proclaimed fun expert!