Thinner isn’t better. Thinner is simply thinner.
Being thin isn’t a life fulfilling goal.
It can be an unhealthy, joy-sucking obsession.
Eating healthier is a fulfilling goal.
Being more active is a fulfilling goal.
Lowering your cholesterol is a fulfilling goal.
Decreasing your over consumption of alcohol is a fulfilling goal.
So is learning a new skill, like running your first 5k, learning to tango, meditate, row, box, or powerlift.
But just focusing on being “thin”?
Waste of living.
Satisfaction comes from achieving, learning, and loving yourself through it all.
I started a second job recently. To help build my training business faster,
I decided to also spend some of my time waiting tables. I’m using the extra money for things like advertising, gym equipment, and furthering my own education. It takes money to make money, right?
But, that’s not really what I’m here to talk about today. I only told you about that so I could tell you about a recent encounter I had with a male coworker who is interested in training with me.
At our restaurant we all wear the same uniform. Black pants, long sleeve black shirts (which must be buttoned up to the neck) and black aprons. We also aren’t allowed to wear fitted shirts. They must be a straight cut so I could only find one that fit the bill in the mens department. Its a size small but it’s still a tad big on me.
So recently I was chatting with this male coworker and I happened to mention I wasn’t able to work dinners during the week because the shift conflicted with my other job. He asked me what my other job was and when I told him I was a trainer, he inquired as to what type of training I do and expressed interest in my program. So I gave him my business info and told him to check out my website.
A couple days later the topic came up again as we were grabbing food in the kitchen. He hadn’t looked at my site yet and asked (a little timidly) if I had any photos. He apologized, saying he knew it might sound a little innapropriate, but he pointed out that my shirt is pretty loose so he couldn’t really tell what I (my physique) looked like.
Now before some of you go getting offended for me, let me say that I was more amused at this inquiry than I was offended.
Because this is exactly how 95% of the population selects a personal trainer. It’s also how about 98% of the population determines if someone is fit or not. (These percentages are my own fabrication so don’t quote me on them but I’d be shocked if I’m off by much).
But this way of thinking is SO misguided it isn’t even funny. And who do we have to blame? Fitness media, Instagram, television, and of course, our own general lack of understanding and knowledge which is further fueled by the other sources I just named.
As a society, we constantly confuse the difference between FIT and THIN.
At 43 years of age, I am 130 pounds, 5’3, with a 26 inch waist. By average standards, I am pretty small. But by fitness model industry standards, for a woman, I’m big. And no, I don’t have body dismorphia. I 100% LOVE my body. I just know what the average media consumer looks at on the regular and what we as a society have predominantly been brainwashed into thinking is the ONLY visual standard for health and fitness.
I used to be one of the people who thought this. Years ago all my self worth was wrapped around a number on the scale, a pant size, a level of thinness that I thought was necessary to be considered attractive as well as legitimate in the fitness industry.
Boy, not only was my quest for thinness unhealthy physically. It was also extremely unhealthy mentally and emotionally. My obsession with being a certain weight not only stunted my potential growth as a fitness professional. It stunted my personal growth as an intelligent, fulfilled woman.
So long as I focused on being less, that is exactly what I got. Less. Less of everything. Less life fulfillment. Less mental energy for things that mattered. Less happiness. Less contentment. Less brain space for information that could take me places. Less joy in being me.
If you want to be thin, know that does not necessarily equate with being fit or being healthy.
And just to clarify, this is not to knock people who do want or truly need to lose weight. Just make sure you really, I mean REALLY, know the reason why you want to. And be down right honest with yourself. Is it really necessary? And is it really going to improve your quality of living?
If the answer is no, then I strongly recommend finding other worthy goals to strive for that are going to add quality to your life.
Since my powerlifting journey began, I have acquired a whole new level of respect for my body. For what it needs to be strong and healthy and for what it can do when I appreciate it’s potential and treat it well.
I am the strongest and most fit today than I have ever been, and now that my head is on straight and I finally “get it”, I am only getting better. I know that we learn from our past, but a part of me cannot help but wonder where I’d be today with my physical progress as well as my professional, had I wised up much earlier in my life.
The good news is that regardless of age, it’s never too late to get started.
Fitness is NOT a number on the scale.
I laugh now when people confuse appearance with fitness. There are people I know who are worlds stonger and way more fit (even though they don’t fit the visual stereotype) than lots of fitness models and trainers who possess “the look” merely because of certain genetics.
Make sure you know the difference.
Jeannine Trimboli, CEO, real [FIT] life
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