My Changing Body Image

fitness
#1

I wrote this for my personal journal, but when I remembered that this is Mountie Fitness Month, I decided to post here. (I know, the timing is rediculously convenient but this did happen just yesterday.) I’ve made some minor changes so people not living in my head can understand it, but this is more or less what I wrote for my future self to reflect on. I think it might be useful for other people, too.
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Today I was binge watching random videos from the channel I get most of my Pilates workouts from (Blogilates) and I found a video where Cassey (the trainer and owner of the channel) discusses her insecurities about her own body. A lot of time was spent focusing on her stomach. No matter what kind of workout or diet she does, her stomach is a little round, and has a handful of fat on the lower part. Her muscles never build in a way that makes her look muscular and she is disappointed by that.

I noticed that my body and hers look quite similar. Slender overall, but soft looking and with a rounded stomach.

She looks like me, and she’s a physical trainer. She exercises for a living. So that prompted me to maybe try to think about my body a little differently.

In another video, she discussed what it was like to do the 100 ab challenge, which I had just resolved to start. She finished the 30 days, and although her waist was a little narrower, her stomach looked exactly like it did before. She said several of the people who had done the challenge alongside her had developed visible, defined, abs over the course of the month. She jokingly said something like

“I don’t look like someone who did an month-long ab challenge. I guess my muscles will be like my hidden superpower. My secret strength is hidden under all the softness.” And she laughed and played with her belly fat. And I thought that was cool, but didn’t connect it to myself, because I felt like I hadn’t made any progress.

Then later today, Midi was teasing me for my total lack of core strength. She was good natured about it, and we were both laughing. She told me to attempt a sit-up so everyone else could see me struggle. Writing this out it seems mean, but I was having fun too. I’m aware of my weaknesses, and willing to laugh at them.

Well she held my feet down, and I prepared to struggle on the floor for a few seconds before giving up like I was used to.

I took a breath, and sat up. Then again, and again. I was shocked, she was shocked, and she congratulated me on my progress.

Until then, I didn’t think I’d made any progress. I’d looked at my body in the mirror, squeezed my belly fat, and measured my waist, but there was no difference. I’d been looking in the wrong places all this time! I look the same as I did before I started, but I’m functionally stronger. And I started to apply what Cassey said in the video to myself. So I’ve resolved to think less like

“My body doesn’t look like a Kpop idol so I’ve failed.” and more like

“My strength is hidden under my softness.”

This is the most abrupt change I’ve ever had about my body image. This whole story happened over the course of a day. And I know it’s an uphill battle, I know some days I’m going to have a hard time believing that anything about me is pretty, that I’m built all wrong because I don’t look a certain way. But I’m starting to shift my perspective away from using someone else’s body as my ideal, and enjoying what I have, and what I can work with.

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#2

:cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart::cjheart:

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#3

That’s a rather Goss sentiment when it comes down to it, eh?

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#4

I think it’s an All-Guild sentiment. :grin:

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#5

Stick to that, seriously!

I’ve seen many weird misconceptions about human physique, even when you get to all these body-positive models (looking at Zach Miko… mostly). Usually it’s like “your body doesn’t matter as long as you’re healthy” but - this is and I can say this from my perspective as well - this completely crashes when it comes to how other people see you.

You are great regardless of how you feel about it and the strength beneath the softness is a good statement.

Again, you don’t need abs. If you’re healthy with your body, all you need to remember is to be healthy with your soul as well - the rest comes on its own.

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#6

It took forever to get what I needed for my response/addition/agreement thing for this thread. stupid expensive Mouse photos

Five weeks ago I did back-to-back races covering 19.3 miles in two days (plus any extra walking from getting around places, I think that added an extra 5 or 6).

There were a lot of people smaller than me.

There were also plenty of people my size and larger.

I missed a fair bit of mid-week training and am definitely more of a fit-ish person than actually fit, so I was concerned.

I still did the thing. :aetherdetermined:

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#7

I’m legitimately beaming with pride and inspiration sparked by your accomplishment. You damned sure did the thing, @Ashburn. I’m one proud Ebenguard. :cjheart:

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#8

I’m really, really proud of you @Ashburn!

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#9

Ash, you have been and continue to be inspiring and motivating to me :blue_heart:

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#10

I really feel this too. I had gotten myself into this weird mental loop of “I want to do this thing to help me get fit” but also “I am not fit enough to do this thing”, and after a year with the dance group I had been too scared to join, and just over a month of regular classes at the university gym that I was nervous about going to, I’m feeling better. I still have bad brain days re: body image, but the community I was so worried would be judgemental has been one of the most positive communities I’ve ever been a part of (right up there with the Mounties)

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