How To Get The Best Body Image? Easier Said Than Done.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the controversial topic of body image and how we as a society are starting to become more sensitive about exploiting skinny models as the “ideal” and beginning to idolize “normal” women- it’s becoming more and more evident in various clothing/underwear advertisements such as Aerie and Dove campaigns. My stance was quite obvious; I didn’t think that praising these larger figures was right or healthy, especially in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Now, while I stand by my original statement, I’d like to discuss an important aspect of the topic that wasn’t initially touched on: the difficulty that comes with actually obtaining a “healthy body.”
Easier Said Than Done
It’s not easy, and I know that. I used to work in a gym who’s patrons primarily consisted of overweight women that were terrified to join a gym filled with muscular figures. Day after day, I would speak with women that made it clear that they were aware of their size and had also made countless attempts to better themselves. They were eager but didn’t know what to do, and it was my job to help teach them.
It was depressing at times. I had to weigh people who pushed the limit of the scale, measure people who were too large for one strip of measuring tape, and had to conduct body fat measurements with skin folds instead of a hand-held bioelectrical impedance because they had too much body fat. And even though I would never tell them that being that size was okay, I would never put them down for letting themselves get to that point.
The most important thing I felt that needed to be said to every single client of mine was that this wasn’t a permanent sentence- if they worked for what they wanted, it was possible to reach their goal, after all, just being in the gym was one of the biggest steps.
I also knew that very few would follow through to meet their goals. The journey to lose weight and become healthier isn’t just about changing your eating habits and getting to the gym. It’s a psychological battle. It’s breaking a lifestyle that one has found comfort in, and for some, that is the biggest challenge. For those that didn’t succeed, it may have not been their “time to shine” yet, or they simply weren’t ready. And as long as their health wasn’t in jeopardy, that’s okay.
I will admit, my first approach to this topic was a tad insensitive but I guess that’s just the hard-ass in me. Sometimes when you feel so passionately about something, no matter how good the intentions are, you forget that your perspective is different then that of the public.
We need to start recognizing the difference between our perceptions on what is acceptable and what is healthy and that HEALTH comes in all shapes and sizes. Skinny does not mean “healthy,” and a bit of booty doesn’t mean you need to lose all that beloved jiggle.
So, to those that are not built like a rod or feel as if they aren’t where they should be, know that nothing about you is set in stone. You have the power to change how you look, and you are not doomed to feel stuck in what you find unsatisfactory, as long as you take a step to change it.