Please note I write these posts on the tube, on the bus, on the loo. They are not essays for the spelling police. If you hate bad grammar and spelling, I'd advise you to walk away. I'm sorry. But this is just mind farts blurted out as I think on paper. If you don't mind bad spelling, read away :)
A topic of conversation the other day with a friend got onto the fact that she had begun to eat organic eggs (for health reasons) despite her being "vegan" for a good while. She talked of how she was slightly embarrassed or knew that some people in the "vegan world" would ridicule her/shame her. Which led us on to talking about how some people on social media (in real life too) lie, mainly because they give themselves a label and then feel guilty of faltering from it.
I think the same is said for people in the fitness industry. When I entered this world of fitness, which ultimately meant, training consistently and mindfully eating nutricious foods consistently, I remember thinking that was it. There was no way back. If I was making this decision I couldn't faulter or back track because that would be like giving up on the diet. And I was so bored of that, I didn't wanna be that person anymore. So now I was committed to being a "real" fitness person. One that ate clean, never binged, trained at 110% all the time. This was magnified greatly when I got a fitness IG account. You start by posting smoothie bowls or nutribulleted green veg. You bird's eye view your dinner to hold yourself accountable and also to share your way of life. You take transformation pics to share your progress, to encourage others, to boost your own motivation, to be your own competition. And it's all fab. You keep making that progression, you are "fitness" in all its glory and this.is.your.life!
And then, real life comes in, hits you im the face and reminds you that nope, you must sometimes get ill, you need to ease off all that training, you need to eat some 'soul food' cos you've been getting rathe grumpy on just "clean, whole foods" Your friends are going for drinks, why don't you join them?
"Well I said that I was ya know, a fitness person and like, fitness people don't do that stuff. They have the will power of an Ox and they have fun without drinking, drinking is for loosers and I have to be in the gym anyways, cos... I can't miss a workout, if I do, I'll let the whole team down"
The idea when smothering yourself in a world that is not a world your familiar with, is to immerse yourself so deep that it becomes your world. I get it. I needed it. I needed to be at the forefront of it all. I wanted to be *insert any IG fitspo account here. Not for their millions of followers or their free #womensbest protein but because they were "fitness" personified. They were what it was all about. They were lean all yr round. They had got to a position where they had done the hard work, managed to achieve the body they desired and then they managed to stay there, maintaining there fitspirational Physique day in day out, if not, bettering it as time went on. You'd read things in their posts about how they just don't crave chocolate, and they eat with no restrictions so they never binge. They love getting up at 5am to workout because... endorphin's. They have a burger and they don't bloat the next day because, well, because they are angels from the fitcamp, and then I started to question, would I ever be that? Hold on... did I want to be... wait a second, were they even all they said they were?
Here's what I want to share with you.
The number of followers someone has does not determine how immersed in the fitness world they are. Some people have 10 million followers, aren't PT certified, and they may have not ever even deadlifted (shock horror) that's OK. That's not to say they are not worthy of their fitspo status. They may still be fit.
The amount of abs on show, 2/12/0 does not determine how healthy you are, or if you really are working out 7 days a week.
If you eat burgers and bloat, that doesn't mean you're not living a fitness led lifestyle. Jeez just cos you ate the burger at all, it doesn't mean your not allowed into the "fitness community"
If you do cardio even though people are shaming such an exercise etc, that doesn't mean your doing it wrong. If your not doing #bbg or your not squatting double your weight or you avoid hiit, or you have never seen glute muscles, biceps, or a V line... that's ok. You are still allowed to say your into fitness.
If you haven't got a big bottom, it doesn't mean you should go suddenly start hip thrusting your way to Khloe Kardashian but bum cheeks... I mean, because I'm telling you, kick backs, and resistence bands won't get you that butt anyways, surgery might help but kick backs, those alone won't cut it...
Because this is my point. You might read that these people lead this life, or see that these things make you 'fit' You might feel like your failing just because you can't get it all right or do it all week, or avoid all the foods. You might feel shamed into lying about the eggs you ate or the pizza you scoffed or the workout you didn't do. You may even post throw backs to the time when you were leaner, because you don't want to disappoint the lean bean fitness gods.
For a good while after comp I felt like a fraud.
I felt like I was failing my followers because I wanted to show them that you could stay lean (not comp lean) but fit and tight and muscly and whatever ideologies I had attached myself to, I wanted to be proof that I was what I was proclaiming to be, what I had wanted to be. A fitness person, a PT. Someone who coaches others and can get you on your journey because I was on mine.
So when the abs started to hide and the fluff began to show up, I had a panic that I was not deserving of being in this world.
It took a second, but not too long to remember why I started my account. Why I started my journey even. To share, relate, be motivated and also to motivate. And to be comfy in my skin. Leading a real life. I didn't want to become someone that was so into fitness that I forgot to have a life.
So here we are, 3 years into changing my life. Not avoiding the gym. 3 years since i promised myself id just try not to binge, no diet, but no binging/starve routine. This is me... and this is the reality of a life that includes some (a lot of) fitness, rather than fitness that includes "some" life.
I train 6 days per week, I count macros, I haven't eaten a mac d's in exactly 3 yrs. I lift weights, I do some cardio, I eat protein and I avoid putting myself in vulnerable situations that may lead to triggers for binging... but...
I have relapsed. I do eat processed food sometimes, I'm addicted to sugar. I don't buy chocolate bars but I will eat dessert, everyday and I don't stick to my macros, always. My will power slips often. I go out to eat a lot. I do have French fries with mayo and I also love at least one rest day.
I am still leading a fit, healthy, life. And this is what it looks like (for me)
Stop comparing your fitness journey, your fit body, your lifestyle... to anyone else's. You are living it your way, for you. And however you look, I hope that whatever stage it's in, you know you are worthy and you are enough. Yes you can work on yourself, your body and progress and change and still have self love. That doesn't mean you cheated on the whole #loveyoself movement. But nor does eating cheese on toast mean that you cheated on your fitness lifestyle. Allow yourself to be human whilst achieving your fitness goals. There is no exclusivity club we are all included in this journey. All of us learning from each of us. From the one with abs to the girl that doesn't lift, to the one that does all the spinning and to the vegan girl who eats eggs.
We are all doing the best we can. Together. A real fitness person doesnt just look like *insert IG fitspo here. They look like you. Like me. Like all of us!