In today’s society, we live with the misconception that us women need to look a certain way to be perceived as beautiful. We stare at models that walk down the runway and we become obsessed with a body image that is almost impossible to obtain. Despite knowing that we all can’t be as thin as most runway models, we still try to be by following unhealthy eating and work out habits in attempt to achieve our goal.
In honor of Women’s History Month, let us take a moment to define what working out should mean to all women. Working out should not be correlated with trying to look like anyone else. Many women have this idea that if they go to the gym all the time, they are going to be skinner and get more attention. Working out should be something done because you love your body and you want to be healthy.
Working out should be done for you.
Every single time you walk into that gym, it should be because you want to be a better version of yourself. It should build your confidence and your drive to succeed in life. Work out to be stronger and faster, not just to look like someone else. Work out so you can be your own hero. Work out so that nothing anyone says about your body bothers you because you are proud of yourself and your body. With that being said, set realistic goals and remember to continuously push your boundaries. Challenge yourself to see a change in yourself.
Working out is a personal journey for every woman.
The reason why we have trouble looking like those stick figures or having a big booty is because our bodies are our own and they have their own goals to obtain. If everyone were able to look like everyone else, we would all look like walking, talking Barbie dolls. We are all unique. We all have different curves and size waists. We are all beautiful. We each have different concerns and “problem areas” that we want to improve, but these areas should only be improved while keeping the mindset that you are challenging your own body’s limitations and not trying to catch up to a picture in a magazine.
Working out means an improved quality of life.
Working out isn’t for everyone, but it is a small change in your life that can create a domino effect with so many positive healthy habits. Drinking more water, sleeping more, and eating right are just some changes that come with adopting the love of working out into your life. Your stress levels go down and your immune system spikes. Energy levels go up and so does your mood. Work out to look good, but you should also work out to feel good!
Having a realistic role model and a positive mindset will lead you to think more confidently about your body.
There are real women out there who acknowledge that you don’t need to be a size 0 to be pretty. Real role models that have adopted fitness into their life for the reasons above and who take pride and joy in their fitness journey. Fitness instructor Nicole Mejia is just one of the many empowering women who are trying to make other women understand that they are beautiful no matter what size they are.
Nicole promotes a Fit and Thick lifestyle. According to the Fit and Thick website, Fit and Think is “a body positive movement that encourages women to accept and become the best version of themselves through health and fitness.”
If you are ever looking for a woman to be your motivation for fighting toward a better you in your fitness journey, then Nicole is a mentor that I highly recommend. She acknowledges her flaws without hesitation and reminds others that these flaws should be built on to become their biggest strengths.
On her Instagram she writes, “I spent most of my life trying to hide my legs out of shame for their size. I was teased and ridiculed because I was wearing a size 14/16 by the age of 10. I’ve spent the last 3 years taking my greatest flaw and turning it into my most defining physical attribute. My legs are large, but they are strong. I may never be able to wear skinny jeans but I sure can rock a pair of leggings. Instead of letting your differences and ‘flaws’ hold you back, let them propel you forward. If you want change then make it.”
More women need to understand that working out shouldn’t be done to impress anyone. Society’s definition of beautiful, whatever it may be, should not affect how you feel about your own body. Dress up for yourself; eat for yourself; and definitely squat, lift, jump, and run for yourself. Loving and embracing your flaws will help guide you to a different mentality where you love your body because it’s yours. Don’t be so harsh on it! If you think you look good and feel good, then that’s all that matters. Work out so one day you can motivate others to love their body just as much as you have learned to love yours on your personal fitness journey.