Why do you workout?
Everyone has a reason. For some, it’s to get stronger. Others, want to get smaller. There are people who want to get bigger. Sometimes it’s a mental health coping mechanism. That workout releases stress, or boosts someone’s mood. Parents want to be able to be active with their children. Younger people want to try to stay ahead of the aging game.
There’s probably hundreds of different reasons why we lace up our shoes and get moving.
For myself, it’s always been the ultimate act of self-care. It re-centers an anxiety filled day. Helps me organize and work through my thoughts on the days those dark clouds of depression start to creep in. That’s how it all started for me.
I needed a coping mechanism because as I got older, graduated high school, and moved on to college, what I was doing to get by on shoe strings – was no longer working.
The absolutely terrible relationship I was in was of no help either. But that’s a different story.
In those early years, before a life changing incident happened that made me want to become stronger to protect myself, I heard from a lot of people around me that I didn’t need to go to the gym. I was a slim young woman, why did I want to lose weight? Did I have a body image issue?
“She doesn’t look like she needs to work out.”
The words came out of my husband’s mouth this past weekend when he saw someone we both had gone to school with and I had mentioned she worked out at a gym in our town.
It goes the opposite way too. Seeing someone deemed a larger size at the gym, they get back pats and high fives for wanting to lose weight. Do you know if that person wants to lose weight? Maybe they’re just in there to improve their health, no matter what their size is.
Society, despite our efforts to change the song, will always be this way. Fitness is first and foremost, associated with the desire to get smaller.
And you confuse the song writers when you change the words.
As the trend of health and fitness keep moving on the upswing and more people are becoming active, they’re also becoming more verbal about their reasons why.
If you want to get smaller, then do it. But do it smart, do it healthy, and do it sustainably (healthy habits).
I’m not anti-diet, I’m not anti-weight loss. I’m all about doing what you feel is best for you (but in a healthy way. See the trend I’m trying to create here?).
Marketing people from companies all over are the dictators of the fitness song. They want us, the consumer, to feel that we have to be a certain way to be lovable. That a smaller person shouldn’t want to be muscular, take up more space. That all people who weigh more than is “acceptable by standards” should need to be smaller.
It helps them sell what they’re singing about.
Keeps that outdated song spinning on the record track.
There are companies out there that are working to get that song and dance changed, but they’re only a few among the many. Their new lyrics are drown out by the screaming ones of the companies that don’t want to change the song – because it sells.
Sells magazines. Sells clothes. Sells this new fad drink. Sells this new must have pill.
Promotes the endless cycle of children growing up to think they’re not good enough, that they don’t deserve love, because of how they look.
Shut those companies off. Turn their song down. Lift the needle off the track.
Turn up that other song.
Get your body moving to feel good. To be happy.
Get stronger. Grow muscles.
Stay the way you are, but make those lungs stronger so you can run around the park for what seems like endless hours with your kids.
Unplug from the world, empty your mind, and reconnect with yourself as you pedal away on a bike, run down the street, or wrestle with some weights.
Whatever your body shape or size is, you do you.
Whatever it is you want to do, stronger, faster, healthier, self-care, sanity saving, mental health renewing, etc… you do you.
Let’s all sing along now to this new song. You can even clap your hands and shake that booty if you want (movement is movement)…