"I am not a fitness model.... but I am fit." This was the internal conversation I had with myself this week when I logged into instagram to post (aka debate and then decide not to) the above picture.
There was just so much that I felt like needed to be said along with them- far too much to fit into a social media caption and so here we are- you, me and my picture right up there.
I received some amazing outfits from Marika last weekend, one of them (pictured) being from their yoga line that is so amazingly soft and comfortable it feels like it should be illegal. And the detail in the back of the sports bra that matches the detail on the back of the leggings! I thought- this isn't just some outfit you wear to the gym, sweat your ass off in and then throw in the hamper. No sir- this was the kind of outfit that is instagram worthy! So I did what any young woman would do, I called on my sister to fulfill her sisterly duty of getting just the right picture- you know, not too risqué, makes your legs look longer than they really are, gets the 'good' side of your face and all that other good stuff.
*let's all take a sec to call our sisters and thank them for this*
And what do you know, she delivered! I quickly found one of the front and back that I liked! Now all I had to do was post! But wait a second I thought, I don't have a six pack like all those fitness models I follow. Hell, I don't even have a four pack! What business do I have posting something like this? My hips are 40" around for goodness sake!
This was my alter-ego Negative Nancy talking. Luckily, she doesn't talk long before my alter-ego Positive Paula comes in and puts Nancy's 40" ass in her place.
I had to shake myself out of it. Why the hell can't I post this? Yes, I am a size 8. Yes, my hips are wide. Yes, my thighs touch. Why do all of these things have to have a negative connotation though? I go to the gym all the time and constantly do things that I didn't think my body could do just the day before. There was a time where I couldn't run a quarter mile- now I can get out and do 5 easily! Positive Paula had to remind me "you are a bad ass". It was kind of like the scene from the movie Cool Runnings when Yul had to make Junior look in the mirror and say "I see a bad-ass mother who don't take no crap off of nobody!".
I think that people, women especially, are too hard on themselves nowadays. Striving for perfection, but perfection is not real. I repeat- PERFECTION IS NOT REAL! There is no such thing! So can we all please agree collectively to just throw perfect out the window? Believe me, I've had the "if I dropped 10 pounds it would be perfect and I'd be happy and content" conversation with myself plenty of times. You know what the problem with that convo is? I HAD been 10 pounds lighter on multiple occasions. Was I "happy and content" then? Nope- because even when I was at my 'goal weight' I always wanted something more from myself. Now, I take things a day at a time. I have a best friend who holds me accountable in the gym and doesn't care about making me skinnier- she just wants to make me stronger and I love her for it. I'm proud of my body and all of the things it can and has accomplished these last few years that I would never have even dreamed of doing in my teens or early twenties. I feel stronger than ever, both physically and emotionally. And even though Negative Nancy tries to pull a Kanye and grab the mic every now and then, Positive Paula is here to stay and put her crazy behind back in her seat.
Every once in a while, and even more than that at times, we need to remind ourselves how amazing and capable our bodies truly are. Regardless of social norms, size and other's opinions. I urge everyone to take some advice from my own Positive Paula and Yul and "don't take no crap off of nobody" - not even yourself.