There comes a time when you may decide you want to start leading an active lifestyle. We browse social media and check out different gyms to give ourselves that motivation to begin. It is at this time that we may start to develop a sense of routine and envision how we’d like our “fit” selves to look. It is in our nature to want to compare ourselves to other women, but as we change our lifestyle, it is key not to make this a habit.
If you’re anything like me, you follow various Instagram accounts of fitness models and other professionals to gain inspiration and knowledge. Once I had my inspiration and desired body goals in mind, I hired a trainer, started eating right, dieted and exercised daily. I would regularly browse social media and check out other women at the gym, always comparing myself to them. By doing this, it gave me negative body image and unrealistic expectations.
It was my goal to achieve a flat stomach and abs. It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but I managed to drop down to about 15% body fat. I was expecting to see some abs finally, but NEWSFLASH…they were still covered with a thin layer of fat. I was so hard on myself and proceeded to take fitness and diet to an abnormal level. The women I followed on Instagram heavily influenced me. I thought, if they can achieve perfect abs, so can I!
I would work out twice a day, lifting weights in the morning and a spin class or some other form of cardio in the afternoon. Anything unhealthy was off the table, and I would obsessively read nutrition labels while grocery shopping. I was also weighing myself and checking my body fat levels any moment I had the chance to. I regularly critiqued myself in the mirror, and I was never satisfied with what I saw. It wasn’t healthy mentally or physically.
Now, I am not saying transforming yourself to look like a fitness model is a terrible thing. As women, we can find inspiration in these images and each other. What I am saying is simply just to be you. Focus on YOU and What YOU want to do and what kind of results YOU want to achieve but be realistic. Our bodies are all unique, and we distribute body fat differently. If we focus on comparing ourselves to others in real life or on social media, nothing but frustration and discouragement will come from it.
Each of these women here weighs the same. Again, this reiterates that we distribute our body fat differently. Remember, two people may look different and have the same body fat percentage.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
Your body is your body; it doesn’t belong to anyone else. Those who lead an active lifestyle, you’re uniquely fit. Your aesthetics and strengths are different from the next fit chick. Be proud of your body, hard work, and dedication. Remember, your friend, neighbor, fitness instructor or personal trainer all have different body types. It took getting burnt out and taking a break from fitness for me to realize that my body was never going to look like other women. As women, we need to work together to inspire others to have that positive personal body image.