Friday, June 20, 2014

"Ugh, but YOU Don't NEED to Diet or Workout." (and other ways women put "fit" women down)

We all know that women are often mean-spirited towards other women. The list of reasons could go on for days, and has been written about by a wide array of studied (and not so studied) individuals.
Basically, it comes down to the fact that women are bitches. All of us. Come on, you know it….we all have it in us to be a bit terrible to each other; just some of us are more terrible than others.

 It really is unfortunate and a problem to be overcome.

I bring this up because something has me a bit ruffled:

Just because my body type is naturally thin, I not only get ZERO credit whatsoever for the hard work I put into being fit, healthy, and strong, but I generally get negativity instead.

Yes. You are right, other women who have pointed this out to me; I have never been what could be considered "overweight." Therefore, I do not necessarily understand the struggle of women who are trying to loose 20, 30, or 100 pounds. Although I may not personally have had the same experience, I do heartily applaud anybody, woman or man, who takes charge of their health and is working towards weight loss goals by changing their diet and exercise habits.

BUT, just because I am not overweight, doesn't mean that I wouldn't be overweight if I didn't live the way that I do. The reason that I am not overweight is not JUST because I was born thin. Although I was genetically lucky enough to not need to fight off weight as a child or adolescent, I, like any other human, have seen the effects of growing older on my metabolism and body shape.

 And so….

I work my ass off!  Doing workouts that a few years ago I never dreamed would be possible (or enjoyable) for me to accomplish. I put myself through mental and physical strain four to five (sometimes six) days a week, because I love feeling strong and being comfortable in my own body. And heck, I would love to look sexy-as-hell naked, so instead of wishing for it, I work for it! I won't claim to have a perfect diet (I know many people more dedicated than myself at following even stricter diets than my own) but I will say that I pay attention to what I eat in a daily, conscientious effort to stay healthy and happy.

When I go into a normal gym, there is the occasional woman who is excited for me and wants to know "What are you training for!? You look great!" and I can't explain how wonderful that feels.
Okay. Let me be honest- there has been ONE woman who has said that to me outside of the Crossfit box. But it did actually happen, so I can't leave it out!
I don't feel like I deserve a cheerleading squad every time I lift a heavy weight, gain an inch in my booty, or lean out in my midsection (although I often have one at Crossfit Ansbach- thanks guys!), but I would appreciate if all my hard work wasn't often negated by other women.
Generally, when I go into a normal gym and do a workout, I get sideways glances and sometimes outright glares. How dare I, a woman who is already considered somewhat fit and "skinny", go bust my ass in the gym!
Ironically, these same women would hate me even more if I was one of the few who naturally stays around a size two without going to the gym a day in their lives.

When I workout at my box, there is nothing but encouragement all around. We have women of every shape who sweat, struggle, and sometimes cry, together; all of us working towards being the best version of ourselves that we can be. No woman in the box looks disparagingly at any other (or at all like one another). When I see a woman who has that six-pack I would love, I am in awe of them, and cheer them on. This is the magic of community at Crossfit Ansbach. This is a magic that sadly goes "poof" as soon as I walk outside the doors of the box.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't forget to give fit women credit where credit is due! If I started out 50 pounds heavier than where I am now, I would get praise up and down the block for my hard work (and well-earned praise!). But just because I didn't have to loose weight to get where I am, doesn't mean I have muscles on accident. And it doesn't mean that if I sat at home, worked out once a week, and ate Ho-Hos and Cheetos all day that I wouldn't be overweight. Because, believe me, I would!

I pushed (and pulled) to get every single one of my muscles. I have figured out how to eat to keep my body at the weight I want and like. I have goals to be fitter, stronger, and more lean, too!

Just as we are all bitches, we are all guilty of getting pangs of jealousy or anger when we see a woman with a perfectly toned stomach, or long lean legs, or whatever attribute we would love to have for ourselves. But, we shouldn't let this initial reaction get the best of us (or our mouths)!

Don't hate that girl that looks great in a bikini, or who is tall and lean and jogging circles around your block.  That woman most-likely works at looking and feeling a certain way- it doesn't matter her reasons or where she came from. All that matters is that she puts effort into looking how she wants. REAL effort. AND Every women can do the same thing if they truly want. It is hard and it takes time. But maybe, instead of glaring at and disregarding these women for looking fit, you could ask them what work they did to get that way, give them the pat-on-the-back they could be needing, tuck their advice away, and start working towards whatever goals you have for yourself!

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