This topic has been harped on, but I’m going to harp on it a little more because I do not feel like it is a dead horse yet. I don’t know any hard stats, but for every one woman who is happy/proud/satisfied with her body, there are millions who are not. And that’s no way to treat yourself – no matter the circumstances. Women have it rough and I’m not quite powerful enough to go and simply change society’s views, but what I can and WILL do is my hardest to inspire women and maybe, just maybe, a small handful of females will begin to look at themselves in a more positive light. If each person in my position can spread the happiness one or two degrees, maybe we will soon see SELF and/or Women’s Health magazine(s) go out of business… Or change their approach of marketing to us beautiful, bodacious women.
Maybe I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again… When I first started getting into CrossFit, the absolute coolest part of the sport was that it really didn’t matter what you looked like – it was about what you could DO physically. You don’t have a 6-pack but you have a decent Fran time? Who the hell cares about the 6 pack then! Unfortunately, as CrossFit has started to become more mainstream, I have noticed a definite shift in the focus going more toward sexy women who are okaaayyy at CrossFit, rather than average (?) looking women who are strong CrossFitters. At this point, the shift is still subtle, but it is there. However, watching the first weekend of Regionals this weekend reminded me that in the end it doesn’t matter what chicks the CrossFit-associated magazines highlight because the ones that REALLY win are the beasts that do well in the Games season… And those women are all shapes and sizes. But I digress…
The most important piece to this mentally and physically complex puzzle is to be working TOWARD something. Set goals – short term and long term (we all know that right?) – and write them down. On paper. Make ‘soft’ goals (qualitative) but also throw in some numbers: “I want to squat ___ by September 1st” and then decide how you are going to get there! My second piece of advice, that might be more valuable than the generic suggestion of goal setting, is to take each day as it comes, but also keep in mind the medium and long term. Here’s how I look at eating: It’s relatively easy to stay focused on a daily basis. Just eat what you are supposed to eat each day. But you should still let your mind wander to the weekend when you get your weekly cheat meal. Don’t obsess over it, but if you are stuck in a rut on Hump Day and want to throw in the towel, think about how good it will feel to make it to Saturday. And then lastly, the longer term… When you finally get to what you have been working so hard for, it will all be worth it.
The summary of what I am saying is that it makes life much sweeter when you are achieving little goals along the way. To circle this back to body image, I think working towards something can give a feeling of purpose and therefore, appreciation and pride for what the body can do. Just over a week ago, I started working with a nutrition coach who tells me what to eat & when to eat it. This has alleviated a big stressor in my life that is food (it always has been). Now that I have handed that task off to a coach, I can COMPLETELY focus on my training and recovery to get the #gainz. I am comfortable in my skin, happy, and proud of how I look and what my body is capable of, and I yearn for other women to feel this way about themselves. I had never posted a picture of myself flexing on social media until yesterday. No, I don’t have a 6-pack, nor is my 180-pound body perfectly chiseled, but I am proud of what I can do and I want to inspire other women to feel the same about themselves.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you’ve got to live.” – Jim Rohn
“You are imperfect permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” – Amy Bloom