We've all heard of "fat shaming." It's all over the media nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone should be ridiculed for their weight, but what equally grinds my gears is skinny shaming. I'm not a small girl. Not by any means. At one point in my life, I was fat and unhealthy, for sure. Now, I exercise at least 5 days a week and eat mostly healthy foods (I follow the 80/20 rule!). I have what I would call a thick, athletic frame/ BUT I'd still like to lose another 20 pounds. At my heaviest, I garnered sympathy from people around me, who coddled me by saying that it was hard to lose weight and told me that it was ok because I "carried it well". Looking back, most of the people who sympathized with me were woefully unhealthy and I listened to them because it was what I wanted to hear. Fast forward a few years, and I have changed my eating habits and taken off over 50 pounds. Nowadays, when I tell people that I'd like to lose 20 more pounds, I'm glared at and told "Oh please, you don't have 20 pounds to spare!". I can assure you, that is NOT the case. Unless you are one of my closest friends, you have no idea what I see when I step on the scale. It's true that I have always carried my weight well, and I guess I still do now. I don't let the scale define my progress, but I also know that the less I physically weigh, the less aches and pains I will have as I get older, and the easier my life will be. As someone who has back and knee issues, getting off excess weight is important to me, regardless of the fact that everyday society (not talking about the fashion magazines here) deems me an acceptable size. Honestly, I could lose another 40 pounds and still be told by the BMI chart and many doctors who still follow it that I am within a normal weight range. Sadly though, I take more crap now than I did when I was border lining on morbidly obese. People roll their eyes at me when I opt for a breakfast taco without bacon and say "oh please you can have a few extra calories" (I don't eat pork because I don't believe in eating pigs, not because of the health benefits), or unnecessarily comment "There she goes with her Shakeology every morning". I'd venture a guess that if I said "There she goes with her Burger King bag every morning" to a coworker that it may not go over as well. Listen, I'm not saying it's ok to gang up on overweight people for their food choices, but it's also not ok to comment on thin people's choices either (Obviously I will add a disclaimer here and say that none of this argument can or should be applied to people who are medically underweight or struggling with eating disorders...if that's your case, you should try to get them legitimate medical help). What I'm saying is that we should be sensitive to people's body issues no matter what their size, and more importantly, we should make sure that we look at OURSELVES when we're judging someone for their outward appearance. Often times, people base their opinion of other's weight on where THEY are on the spectrum, and let's face it, much of our country falls on the unhealthy end of things. I'm not saying that fat shaming doesn't exist. It does. There are lots of A-holes out there who ridicule others for any weakness that they can identify, weight being one of them. I think most of us would agree that those people have no right to judge someone based on their size, correct? Perfect! Then let's ALSO agree that the skinny person shouldn't be ridiculed for their choice of "rabbit food" or be called "obsessed" for hitting the gym 4 days a week, shall we? Here's my point. ANY type of body shaming is more about the person doing the shaming than the person being shamed. Our goals for the people around us should be that they are HEALTHY, that is all.
Ever notice how when you are feeling anxious or stressed out, the last thing that you want to do is exercise? I have a lot on my plate right now, and over the past week I have been extremely anxious. At times it's been almost paralyzing. I love to run, but I have been doing T25 and am on week 8 (I like T25 a lot more now that I'm in Beta Phase, btw). I was telling myself that I didn't want to "taint" my results with doing another kind of exercise. Stupid, I know. There was a little tiny voice inside me that was saying, "you really should go for a run, you'll feel better." But my anxiety just held on and said "No, all that you can handle is this T25 workout right now. Running will take too long, besides, you haven't run in weeks and it will suck". Again, stupid. Finally this past Saturday morning I had nothing to do. I vowed to get up and hit the pavement first thing. Luckily, the sun was shining when I woke up, so that made things easier, but I put on my sneakers, programmed my playlist and I was off. Before I knew it I had gone 3 miles. I was working things out in my mind and starting to talk myself down from all of the anxiety I was feeling. My head began to feel clearer and my heart was lighter. At mile 4 I was close to home and ready to stop, but I pushed through just a little bit longer (It didn't hurt that Jay-Z's "Encore" came on my playlist...that one always makes me want to keep going), and just over 4 miles I hit my runner's high. I felt incredible. When I got home and walked in the door to stretch, I could not believe the sense of calm that I had. I've felt better ever since. My point is here, ladies and gentleman, that no matter what is going on in your life, you most likely do have time and energy to get your workout in, but your little voice of doubt, fear, depression, anxiety, whatever it is, is telling you that you don't. That you can't POSSIBLY do it. But you can. You can make time to take care of yourself, even if it's just a half hour, and when you do, your soul will thank you. It's not about being skinny, losing weight, or anything else involving your physical appearance. It's about taking care of yourself mind and your soul too. So if you've been feeling paralyzed by fear, doubt, or depression, and know that exercising will help you, get those shoes on and take a few steps, even if it's just to breath the fresh air. You will be glad that you did...Promise.
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.