Just like I don’t read magazines, I don’t really read newspapers anymore either. I say “really” because I do flip through The Times every Saturday and Sunday but mostly just to read Caitlin Moran’s and Melanie Reid’s columns (sometimes Giles Coren, he’s pretty good as well).
Caitlin, because she’s funny as heck and she points out all the bullsh*t in today’s society, especially when it’s got something to do with women.
Melanie, because her column, “Spinal Column”, is my weekly reality check.
Let me explain. I am in good shape, I hang out with a lot of people who are in great shape, I blog about fitness, I read blogs about fitness, I see more and more people in the real world and in the blog world who no longer exercise to just be fit and ready to take on old age, but are analysing every inch of their body every 2 seconds and trying to “fix” their (perfectly functioning) bodies to make sure every inch is smooth and firm and without blemish.
If it’s fun and if it doesn’t eliminate all other fun activities, like having dinner with friends, from your life, fine. Everyone needs a hobby. BUT – if it’s an eternal quest to “fix” every single thing that isn’t “perfect looking” about your body, if you feel like you cannot rest and relax until you look a certain way, it’s not fine.
Because – because most of us have healthy bodies that function well and so many of us forget that from time to time, me included.
Melanie Reid fell off her horse in 2010 and broke her back. She is tetraplegic. She writes incredibly well about what life is like for her. Of course she’s trying to make the best of her situation, but her life is tough. Reading her column every week brings me back to earth each time and I find that I am less and less often wanting to pinch my muffin top in disgust.
Most bodies do not need to be “fixed” until they have achieved some arbitrary level of “perfection” (that reminds me of an article I read recently that said your body type is “lean & HOT” only if your body fat is less than 19%. How the &^%$* can someone say that “hot” is defined by a number? Human beings are a bit more complex – and therefore wonderful – than that.)
If you have health issues (including carrying too much weight), there are some things you can “fix” when it comes to your lifestyle. In general though, most human bodies just need to be nourished with good food, sleep, movement, laughter and acceptance.
Note “good food” – that means healthy/real food, not cake on a daily basis, even if you think cake is good for the soul (which, sometimes it is, but keyword being “sometimes”).
Also note “sleep” – don’t sacrifice sleep in order to work out at all hours. Your body needs sleep just as much as it needs to move.
And note “movement and laughter and acceptance” – move your body often and in ways that makes you laugh and makes you happy and makes you love yourself and the skin you’re in.
Cherish your health and your mobility above all. What the society / media / social media / fitspos / etc. consider “hot” or “sexy” or “fit” does not matter an iota.
It really doesn’t.
I wish I had known that when I was 25.