I love this article…really, if you only follow one fitness website, I’d say Greatist is the one to follow. Yeah, I know, I have this blog and Otagenki, but seriously, they have some great writing going on there.
I’d say the only thing I differ with the author here is that I really don’t have the competitive gene. The only competition I’m really interested in is the classic geek “beat your high score” game. Being that I have gotten into Crossfit now, there is a definite player-vs-player competition thing involved at boxes that I just can’t get into. And of course, in the higher echelons of Crossfit, there is real competition involved.
But everything else, I can totally get behind, most importantly kicking the scale to the curb.
Let me introduce you to someone: she’s Sarah Robles. She placed 7th in the London Summer Olympics of 2012 in the super-heavyweight division of Olympic Weightlifting. She’s definitely fit, she’s definitely strong…arguably the strongest woman in the United States. However, she’s also a big person. This has meant that the kind of endorsement deals that go to more conventionally attractive female athletes elude her, and since the US women’s weightlifting program is so small and underfunded, she has had to struggle to survive and be able to train full-time. She has both the Pan American Games and the 2016 Olympiad in her sights, and she’s still getting stronger. One thing that hasn’t happened: she hasn’t lost weight. She’s still big. AND THAT’S OK.
I know I have spoken badly about certain aspects of the Health At Every Size movement. I am not an HAES fundamentalist. I like how I feel at 194 pounds (give or take) better than I liked how I felt at 218. I feel better wearing size 16 and size 18 women’s petite clothes than I did wearing a size 24 women’s petite. I feel stronger and healthier now. But I have no illusions: I will never be skinny. I will never be in the ideal range in the BMI. I will never have that “bikini body” people are chasing after. The fact is, not many women do, and we shouldn’t get down on ourselves for it.
Getting stronger and healthier is the important thing. Everything else is secondary. That’s where I’m at, I’m sticking with it, and nobody can dissuade me. I have found that the people who agree with my stance on fitness tend to be people I’ll hang with and be friends with. People who have a hard time with it…I don’t need ’em. I don’t need someone telling me I’m no good because I can’t wear Abercrombie and Fitch clothing. I don’t need someone telling me that fitness is not ladylike, weightlifting will make me look like a freak, or that distance walking/running is stupid and women who do it are ninnies.
I think I’m getting closer to what will best work to keep my conditioning regimen on track. There’s still much trial and error ahead. But one thing I’m pretty sure about, my attitude about what’s important is right on the nose.