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What is your fit?
Written By: Corey Belden
As a person who has been plus size all my adult life and most of my childhood, I have dealt with my fair share of being singled out because of my weight. I’m proud there is such a strong movement for body acceptance today. However, in this new and progressive age where we preach that ‘everyone should love themselves’, regardless of their size, how do you find the happy medium between acceptance of yourself and bettering yourself? How do you find your fit?
Society has long pounded into us that thinness equals both happiness and healthiness. Believe me, I am the first to say that I have struggled with that concept. But today, I not only believe this idea to be unequivocally false, but feel that obsession over weight loss can actually inhibit an individual’s progress towards true health. Despite this, the notion of body acceptance can quickly become body complacency, which can be equally prohibitive toward achieving the kind of lifestyle we desire.
So… the burning question is, what should being ‘fit’ really mean to you? Spoiler alert: the answer has nothing to do with numbers on a scale, the calories in your lunch, or precisely following the latest fad diet or exercise plan. The real winning formula is about focusing on positive active life goals, (the ones that really matter), and then striving to achieve them in a way that not only betters yourself, but makes you feel good in the process.
This also means your ‘fit’ will likely be different from others, which is exactly as it should be; it’s a personal journey. Some of you may have bucket-list goals like running a marathon, hiking Machu Picchu, or climbing Mt. Everest. For others, the endgame is more personal, such as being more active with your children, feeling less winded going up stairs, or learning yoga. Life goals come in all shapes and sizes, just like we do, which is why instead of focusing on calories and scale numbers, we should instead set a pace to reach those goals in an uplifting manner rather than causing anxiety and tearing us down.
Ultimately, we must embrace the idea of body acceptance without allowing it to get in the way of our life goals. Anyone can be happy with who they are and still want to strive to become greater. People set these kinds of benchmarks all the time to improve on education or work status without letting stigmas get in the way. The same logic applies in moving past the stigmas surrounding weight loss and body image while striking a balance between your fitness goals, what your doctors tell you, and what you feel is right. Don’t use the idea of body acceptance as an excuse to give up on the things you really want. Instead, use it as a starting point to take your power back, define your fit, and strive for greatness.