No, that question mark is not a mistake.
Body Positivity. I feel like I’m betraying everything I believe in, and all the amazing people I follow in Instagram by admitting that I struggle beyond with this phrase. I’ve always contemplated what this phrase means, and it only really came to a head, literally, a few weeks back.
I’m an exercise junkie. I’m also a curvy size 10/12 with boobs, an ass, and hips. I’m not, and will never be, that stick skinny girl in the gym and nor do I ever want to be. I relish when I’m at the gym and I can see the muscles moving in my arms as I do some Arnold Presses, or when I can feel the muscles in my legs supporting me while doing heavy squats at a squat rack. I have no qualms walking into a free weights area, full of males working only their chest (because everyone wants to look like an inverted triangle right?) and not give two shits. But until recently, as much as I’d wanted to, I’ve never ever worked out in my bra and tights.
I’ve always taken it that the girls who have the ability to work out in their bra and tights know that they’re owning the room, they know that they look good. And you know what, all the power to you ladies. When I took mine off- I was genuinely just too hot and goddamn sweaty to give too shits about my jiggly stomach.
Big props 1Rebel for creating not only one of the sweatiest workouts, but also one of the darkest rooms where I felt comfortable enough to do this.
But this also got me thinking- why do I care? What am I so hung up on? Why do I put any type of stock, or waste 2 seconds of brain capacity thinking I'm not enough because I don't fit into the 'box' of conventional beauty that we've all been forced to buy into - thanks advertising.
Exercise has increasingly become more about mental health for me, and the natural endorphin high that I get from exercise than it has been about aesthetics. Yes, I used to proudly say that waking up early to exercise was my bit of insanity that kept me sane. However, I think the overarching reason for me was undoubtedly aesthetics. It was undoubtedly chasing some unattainable goal, some perfect body.
So where am I going with this?
I think the journey to feeling good in one's skin is just that- a journey. We're all bound to have our days where we feel on top of the world, and days where we're really uncomfortable. Days where we'd love to shed our skin and put on the skin of someone else, someone more beautiful/taller/skinnier/confident etc- the list goes on.
For me, I'm constantly evolving. I'm learning to stop chasing aesthetics and to chase what serves my soul, what serves me.
Will I be working out in crop tops? Honestly, who knows. And I'll openly admit that while I exercise for my mental health and genuinely because I love it, there is a part of me that is still keen to work out to improve my body from an aesthetics point of view. Can I drop a dress size? Can I loose some jiggle on my tummy? Can I eliminate the possibility of bingo wings?
I'd like to think that if I finish my gym training and become a Personal Trainer (I'm qualified as a Level 2, Gym Instructor) that I'd be able to pass on some of these ideas to my clients.
As for embracing my body and being body positive? I don't think I'll ever be a Lizzo, or a Beyonce or Kim Kardashian. Someone who exudes confidence, sexiness and the ability to own a room. But who knows, maybe I'll get there. But right now, I'll just have Soulmate on repeat.