Fitness Is Not A Number
I have always been a huge advocate about the fact that fitness is not about your WEIGHT.
Fitness is NOT primarily about aesthetics. Fitness is about your HEALTH — mental, emotional and physical, NOT a number you see on a scale. The scale describes your relationship with gravity, and is not alone indicative of your health.
This belief has been at the center of my fitness journey and is at the core of everything I stand for.
Screw the scales
If you’ve followed my fitness journey over the years, you’ll know that a few years back, I documented and shared my weight from the start of my fitness journey and the months that followed.
When I first began my fitness journey, I was eight weeks’ postpartum and weighed 145lb.
Before falling pregnant I weighed 130lb, so based on nothing besides my own warped perception, I decided my “goal weight” should be 122lb. I also decided I wanted to fit into my skinniest jeans that I had worn in college.
Well, after months of exercise and breastfeeding, I hit my “goal weight”.
Over the coming months, I began GAINING weight, and actually went UP two pant sizes. The old me, with my flawed standards and expectations, thought I was failing miserably.
I just wasn’t VALUING the right things. I finally learned to start measuring my progress by things that ACTUALLY matter — strength, ability, endurance, health, and HAPPINESS.
I had never been healthier. I had never been more comfortable in my own skin.
And with that, I said SCREW the scales.
On that note, I think YOU should probably say the same to your scales, too.
This was one of the most IMPORTANT lessons I have ever learned — and one that will stick with me forever. Don’t measure your feelings of worth, happiness, health and success based on a number!
It was also the lesson that motivated me to dedicate my career to empowering EVERY woman through weight training.
Human bodies are not statues
Time for a reality check: our bodies are not statues.
Our bodies are designed to move, wrinkle, digest and expand: they’re not supposed to sit still! Every single one of us has a body that breathes and fluctuates — and so it should! YOUR BODY IS PERFECT JUST AS IT IS.
Personally, I love the way my belly expands after a meal, how my looser, lower stomach skin wrinkles when I twist, or how cellulite appears if I sit a certain way in a certain light. These things make me, me.
These things also remind me that my body is STRONG, CAPABLE and always EVOLVING!
Your body is meant to shift, change and grow just as YOU are. The constant? It’s ALWAYS beautiful and ALWAYS worthy.
There are SO many misconceptions about fitness and, specifically, why you should work out.
For many women, the thought that they should weigh a particular amount, look a certain way, or fit a certain size of clothing is the reason behind them wanting to, or feeling as though they need to, exercise.
Honestly, this could not be further from the truth. Fitness is NOT about aesthetics.
Feeling good and liking your appearance doesn’t start when you hit a certain weight or drop to a smaller dress size. Confidence comes from WITHIN, and taking care of our health, helps us build and unleash that confidence.
Focus on how you FEEL, not how you LOOK.
Why you should really be working out
Many women begin to exercise because they’re not happy with their bodies and appearance.
I understand how disheartening it can be to find yourself in this position. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s heartbreaking and you can find yourself feeling utterly helpless. The problem is NOT how you look, but how you are looking at yourself with negativity.
While physical changes may come about as a result of exercise, your base drive should be to take care of yourself and your health. To show your body GRATITUDE.
When you begin to take care of yourself, you begin to realize you are (and always have been!) worth caring for. You start to truly appreciate how AMAZING your body is. To simply have a body is an incredible gift. Our bodies are capable of SO much and when we are TRULY grateful for this, we are healthier and richer for it.
Workout because you want to FEEL better, not just LOOK better.
This can be a hard concept to grasp initially, but it’s SO important to shift your mindset from obsessing over EXTERNAL appearances to valuing INTERNAL feelings and your HEALTH.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts
I’ve made no secret of the fact that the NON-PHYSICAL benefits of exercise have meant far more to me than any PHYSICAL changes I’ve seen.
When I discuss non-physical benefits, I’m talking about improved mental and emotional health. Things like:
- Improved mental clarity
- Better sleep
- Lower stress levels
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- More self-confidence
- Improved concentration
- Better memory
- Improved cognitive function
- Reduced feelings of anxiety
- SELF EMPOWERMENT
These non-physical benefits have been the ultimate reward and have shifted me to a place of such APPRECIATION and GRATITUDE for my body and for this life.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of the muscle I have gradually built over the years, however I’m MORE proud of the positive mindset shift that I have worked equally as hard to cultivate and maintain.
I want to reiterate that it’s these changes that have had the MOST impact on my life, much more than any external or physical changes.
I really hope sharing this has helped you realize that YOU are worthy of feeling the best you can, and that fitness can and SHOULD be used as a tool for self-empowerment. You DON’T need to change the way you look or reach your goal weight to be happy. You are worthy JUST AS YOU ARE.
When you realize fitness is not about numbers, you EMPOWER yourself to focus on the things that matter.
I PROMISE you, it’s one of the best and most empowering lessons you will ever learn.
Work out to care for your HEALTH. Work out to celebrate your body, not because you need to change or punish it.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.