There are so many reasons I love Crossfit. I love it because it’s fun and hard and challenging and the feeling of being able to pick up more weight or do something that felt impossible at the beginning is priceless. I love it because the people are great and going to the box always feels like going to see friends.
I also love Crossfit because it’s pretty much the only place where I feel that skinny girls don’t feel sorry for me.
Let me explain – in Crossfit it actually helps if you have a good solid body type, you can usually lift heavier to begin with than the really slim girls. And to be honest it kind of feels good to not be a second class citizen to all the skinny girls for a change.
Because, let’s face it, in the world outside of Crossfit, weight lifting, or just a few other sports, skinny still wins, skinny is still bombarded at us as the body type we need to aspire to have. These days you hear slogans like “strong is the new skinny” but the images that accompany these slogans show women who do have visible muscles but who are still very slim. (face. palm).
I have to pep talk to myself as much as I pep talk here on the blog about not being bothered by my size and my strength, not to be bothered by my weight.
I would actually love to live in a world without mirrors or cameras because it’s only when I see myself in photos or in the mirror that too often the first thought that automatically jumps into my head is: “Yikes, you’re a bit wide.” or “Yikes – no waist.”
It frustrates me to no end because when I close my eyes and think about how it feels to live in my body, I can’t help but smile because it feels great.
Yet when I open my eyes and look at myself my brain sends me all kinds of negative signals and they only stop when I’ve bitch slapped my brain around a few times (and I mean it in the nicest possible way, of course).
I think it just shows how messed up this whole thing with body image is. I don’t have any daughters so I don’t know if things are changing, I don’t know if the new generation of girls are growing up with more positive body image, if they’re being encouraged to do sport and to rejoice in what their bodies can DO as supposed to what they look like.
Somehow I have a feeling that we’re not there yet. Somehow I have a feeling that we still have most of the marathon to run until we reach a point where women don’t eat up the stupid, STUPID stuff, that magazines / TV shows / newspapers / websites feed them.
I can’t stand most magazines and I find myself also unsubscribing from more and more health and fitness websites and/or blogs where the authors or models are super slim. They may be very fit, but it’s not great for my brain to be bombarded day in and day out with glossy photos of their six packs.
I’d much rather read about things that people can DO.
I know that most PTs who are active on social media take photos of themselves on a regular basis in minimal clothing and in a way I get it – they are selling their skills to get fit and being fit to the majority of the masses looks like that – skinny but defined. The super slim six pack fitspo images will not stop until the masses say – hey, it’s actually so much more fun to exercise for FUN and to train for events and for challenges rather than just follow a gym routine to then all look exactly the same (you know what I’m talking about).
I totally love seeing accidental six packs though – either when someone’s running a race on a hot day or doing a Crossfit workout on a hot day. That to me is completely different from just posing for the sake of posing.
So my point is – to be body confident you have to tell your brain that you ARE body confident. We get so much BS fed at us from such young age that our brains are wired not to see in the mirror just how amazing we are and what our amazing bodies can do. Every time I see a photo of me and the first thing that pops into my head is how wide my midriff is, I tell my brain to sush it and remind it how many freaking kilos I can back squat, bench press, dead lift, etc. etc. etc.
Don’t believe the mirror, don’t believe fitness magazines, don’t believe most things tagged with #fitspo. Believe in how it feels to live in your body. Close your eyes and think about it. If the body you live in isn’t comfortable, make some changes, but if it feels just fine or better than fine, then hold your head high and don’t let the world of skinny-worship get to you.
I have to tell that to myself almost on a daily basis and sometimes I feel like I’m harping on and on about the same topic but there are so many women, young ones especially, who completely misunderstand fitness due to all the BS I just talked about.
My summer holiday is coming up and it will involve the beach. I will wear a bikini even on days I might not feel like it because someone else who doesn’t have the “correct dimensions” might think seeing me that there isn’t anything wrong with wearing a bikini, no matter your dimensions. Especially once they see me doing pull ups at the kids playground 😉