I know I made a post last night, but in gathering feedback for that topic I was led directly to this one and I write when I’m inspired, so read up. One of the guys who wrote me described feeling uncomfortable taking off his shirt at the beach and not because he’s out of shape, but because he’s in such good shape. Huh? That shocked me because I figured it was only us squishy ones who felt weird showing our bodies. WRONG! What he was describing to me is what’s referred to as “fit shaming”.
After reading his comments I posted on Instagram asking for stories of fit shaming and several people responded that judgments are often made based on a fit physique and oftentimes fitness enthusiasts are ridiculed or put down for pursuing physical goals. Interesting, eh? In a society where we push this idea that we need to be thin and toned and attractive to be worthy, we judge those who actually attain (or approach) those standards! What the hell?!? I did a Pinterest search for fit shaming quotes and it corrected me to fat shaming…even the Internet wants to ignore that there’s an issue.
Bodybuilding is not my thing, but I admire the hard work and dedication that goes into it. Running is my thing and I’m becoming ever more serious about it, but I don’t expect all of my friends to join in. I love yoga but you won’t catch me doing naked hot yoga any day soon, but cheers to you sweaty naked yogis! Why can’t we just live and let live? If you want to bench press a Mack truck: go for it!
What are your experiences with fit shaming? I was excluded from a group of friends and I cannot figure out why…the only conclusion I can come to is that I make fitness a central part of my life and this group of ladies doesn’t. Did I lose friends because I workout? I can also recall a guy I dated a long time ago who was less than thrilled I could hold a plank longer than he could.(Needless to say he’s not the man I’m married to.) Ever go to participate in an event like a marathon or Tough Mudder and have those around you say you’re crazy? See, it happens more often than we think.
I do believe that EVERYONE should pursue a healthy and active lifestyle but I respect that it will look different for each of you. I aim to inspire inactive folks to get up a move however that works for them. In this journey to explore the fitness and wellness industry on a deeper level has me angry with what is floating around out there but it’s also forcing me to check my own judgements and preconceptions. I hope to break down some of these obstacles and make it easier for people to feel comfortable being healthy in their own skin. I hope anyone reading this takes a moment to check their own judgements of others, and remember we’re all just trying to love ourselves.