18 Again

Recently I was encouraged to write a post about what advice I could give to my college-aged self from where I am today.  It took me a long time to finally get here but here I am and here’s what I would tell myself.

First of all, at 18, 19, 20 I had no idea who I really was or what exactly it was that I wanted out of life.  I was a student and I was out to have fun and, to be honest, to just get through each day.

I spent a lot time laying awake at night thinking “My God, what am I going to do when I graduate?”…and then I’d panic.  I had no direction for my life.  So, if I could time-travel back to my 18th year, one thing I would definitely myself is take care of yourself now!  Embrace fitness! Love your body and embrace it.  Treat it like the temple it is because when you’re older, it’s not as easy as it once was to fit in exercise, work those muscles, and lose (or gain!) weight.  Try not to struggle with the things you can’t change about yourself and work on the things you can.  Stay active.  And be sure to have fun!  What’s the point of living if there’s no fun?  Keep your heart healthy and young.

And know that it’s never too late – or too early – to start doing something you love (or you loathe) if it will make you feel better and keep you healthy.  I wish I had embraced fitness at a younger age.  I wish I could turn back the clocks and jump on the bandwagon as a kid.  Especially knowing now that it’s attainable and not necessary to fork over a ton of money in order to stay fit and active.  All you need is  a good attitude and some motivation.  And a good pair of sneakers!

And eating clean doesn’t have to be expensive – although, direction for eating clean is likely a lot simpler when you’re not a young, partying college kid.  Just stay away form the junk!!

Most importantly, have fun.  Take advantage of all the world has to offer.  Get out an literally smell the roses and get a breath of fresh air.  Don’t stress yourself out over the unknown of your future, like how you’re going to pay back your student loans. (P.S. there are people out there who want to help you, like the Happiness Team from Earnest.  They can help you pay back your loans quicker with their refinancing options.)  Get out and literally smell the roses and get a breath of fresh air

~FB

Positivity

Positivity

I saw this little quote today and instantly loved it.  And it’s very fitting tonight.

I taught my boot camp class tonight.  It was a small class, however, I had a newbie.  A first-timer.  She did great!  She kept the sarcasm coming (which I adored), she modified when she needed to, and she kicked butt!

At first, though, she made a few small comments about how she shouldn’t be standing by this person and shouldn’t be looking at that person because she felt she was way behind.  Maybe it was the self-consciousness talking, maybe it was fear of feeling inadequate, maybe she was just being an arse.  But I had to stop her.  I told her not to let herself take away from what she was accomplishing, she was there and she was doing a great job and she should own it.

From then on she accepted it.  She was positive and she we all had a great workout.  She hung onto that positivity and I expect to see her again at the next class.

When I got home and was getting ready to jump in the shower, I caught a glimpse of myself in the hall mirror, half clothed.  I don’t normally admire myself but tonight I was caught off-guard and what I saw was “Damn, I look pretty good!”  It felt good to own that moment and see the positive in my appearance instead of gagging over my arm skin or thighs or tummy.  I’m liking the positivity today.

I try to have a positive outlook as often as possible.  Sometimes I can be a nagging Nelly or a freakish bitch, but honestly, these days I can see what matters and what doesn’t.  I’m finding the positive in each encounter.  I’m embracing it all.  I’m owing it.  You should too.

Stay light, stay positive.

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encourage Each Other

Encourage

Every day someone you know will start an exercise program.  Be supportive of him or her.  Regardless of whether you think the person will succeed or stick with it.

Frankly, it’s none of your business.  That person is trying.  And whether he/she is setting him/herself of for failure is not a significant factor.  What is significant is that he/she is trying.

Give this person your support.  Give this person some encouragement.  A lot of the time that’s all that is needed for success.

So often we are more than happy to discourage other people.  We are too quick to jump on a person’s aspirations and beat them down.  I’ve had my fair share of beat downs – plenty of people back in the day who told me my weight loss journey was going to fail.  Pffft!  Look at me now!

We are about to enter a new year.  Let’s all make a resolution to be a little nice and encouraging and lend some admiration to those who are just beginning their journeys.  A kind word and a pat on the back is, perhaps, all it will take to keep them going.

~Fit Bitch

 

I LIKE MY BUTT!

When I was younger my aunt used to always tell me I had a big bum.  I would get really irritated with her because A) I was young  B) I already had self-esteem issues C) She was a big woman and who was she to tell me I had a big butt?

When I was in college I realized “Eff me!  I have a booty!”

I have loved my booty and I have lost my booty (it’s always the first thing to go when I lose weight – the boobs quickly follow).  Since I started running again this last year – like, really running again, like, nearly every day – I have watched my bum disappear a little.  But, for the most part, it’s still there.  And you know what?  I love my butt!

I do!  I love it.  It’s round and it’s grab-worthy (yes, I’m tooting my own horn), and it holds my pants up.  What more could I asked for?

The other night I was changing out of my gym clothes and caught a glimpse of my arse in the mirror.  I took a long, hard gander at it – studying it from different angles.  And I was in awe.  I have mucho respect for my behind.

BODY LOVE

I’ve also realized over the years that A) My aunt loved me and meant no harm  B) Although she was a big woman she had a terribly flat ass!

I’ve fought my body image demons for many years.  I have always fought them and I will continue to fight them.  And in my fight I am going to love myself and appreciate myself and respect myself.  I am going to wrap myself in a big hug whenever I can and be thankful for the legs that carry me, for the butt I sit on, for the arms that reach out and touch.

Hug yourself.  Love yourself.  Appreciate who you are.  Respect your body.

~Fit Bitch

 

 

Mantras

I’ve been seeing and hearing the phrase “Strong is the New Skinny” a lot lately.  A lot!  And normally, in text, the phrase is accompanied by a photo of a young woman who looks like this:

Skinny

Um…sorry…this woman doesn’t look strong at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she’s a lovely person but strong?  I’m not feeling it.  She’s definitely skinny.  And long.  I’m 5’6 with short legs, muscular calves and I have a huge ribcage – I’m built like a linebacker.

I think the mantra of “Strong is the New Skinny” is a little insulting to everyone.  First, skinny people – it’s okay to be skinny.  Most thin people can’t help being thin anymore than I can help having blue eyes…it’s just the way it goes; the way they were made.  Second, for strong people: Athletes, weight lifters, arm wrestlers, etc.  These people work hard and their feats are being downplayed.  To say that being strong has taken the place of being skinny makes it sound like working hard at taking care of your body is a fad and that it will be replaced by something else sooner or later. It’s insulting.  It takes a lot of discipline to get to the level of fitness these people get to and they should be respected and commended for it; certainly not compared to a fad diet or regime.  Third, for people who are like me, who are NEVER going to look like that chick above…it can be devastating.  Some of us work our asses off at the gym and with our healthy eating and whatnot and our bodies are still going to be our bodies.  No matter how much I exercise I am not going to wake up tomorrow and be 5’11 and lean and slender.  I am still going to wake up tomorrow and have muscular calves and a huge ribcage and that’s just the way life goes.   This is my body.  This is my temple.  And what’s really unfortunate, is that many young girls are going to strive for that long, slight look, not realizing that, for most of them, it’s unattainable and they will end up doing harm to their bodies.  I speak from experience.  As a mid-teen, growing up in a world of supermodels, I was driven to be uber skinny and to do whatever it took to reach my (unrealistic) goal of thinness.  I succumbed to eating disorders and did damage to my body, my mind and to the people who loved me.

If ad companies want to promote healthy, strong, fit bodies why not post a photo of this girl:

strong-fit-girls-women-27or this girl:

LifterThese women are badass and should be praised for these accomplishments.  I would LOVE to see a real strong woman like this in an advertising campaign promoting strong bodies.  But, unfortunately, that probably won’t be happening because what it still boils down to, after all these years, is the same old: Sex Sells.  The ads are usually super thin models with long flowing hair, full makeup, teensy, tiny outfits with tons of cleavage.  Are they strong women?  They could be.  Are they gorgeous women?  Absolutely.   Do the ads make us feel guilty?  Likely.  They used to make me feel guilty for not getting to that physique.  Now I just laugh.  I have my own demons to deal with.  I don’t need to fight with the ad demons too.

Yeah, this is exactly how I look when I hit the gym...PFFFFFT!!!!!

Yeah, this is exactly how I look when I hit the gym…PFFFFFT!!!!!

And we (women and men both) should not be made to feel guilty by advertising companies to look a certain way.  That can be a path to living a very unhealthy lifestyle.

Years ago The Body Shop came out with the greatest advertising campaign:

Courtesy of The Body Shop

Courtesy of The Body Shop

I loved it.  It helped get rid of the stigma that followed women around that we should all be tall and thin.  (This ain’t Hitler’s world.)  Obviously we need to exercise and follow a healthy diet – those are just given – but we also need to respect, accept and embrace our bodies.  No matter what.  Embrace all of it – thin or heavy, tall or short.  Loving and respecting yourself is the first step too good health.  Once you do that you can accomplish anything.

~Fit Bitch