My “intention” was to write about heart health awareness month and the awesome Zumba class we are having at the University Fitness Center tonight at 5:30 p.m. You are invited but I’ll talk about it some other day this week.
My “intention” was to NEVER talk about this AGAIN. Ever. Any time I talk about body image, I get all of these messages about how “self-actualized” I should be. Well, I hate to disappoint the masses but as long as days like yesterday occur, I will probably continue to have thoughts like these until I am well in my 40’s. I hear once I get there things will be different. I wish it would start right now, right along with this unexplainable weight gain and night sweats. 🙂
The truth is….I have not gained A LOT of weight. It FEELS that way. I am in the fitness industry and people stare at me all day in spandex believing that I burn 5,000 calories a minute and that I only desire to eat green beans, sauteed tofu and only drink water. The truth is my metabolism is down, I am just as addicted to peanut butter as you are and Starbucks is going to be the death of me if I don’t get a handle on it (but I am doing well with my fast. This is day seven!!) I do have a standard to uphold. It is to provide the best I can to the people I serve, to know my stuff, to show up to work on time, to be ethical, to be entertaining, to be able to do what I ask other people to do.
Bump that. People think my job is to look like I’ve never struggled with my weight and to float in my size negative zeros across the floor like a butterfly. And that is so no true. And it’s unfair to be judged against a standard that was never fair to begin with in the first place. Where is it written that ALL fitness instructors have to be tall? Or a certain size? Or have a six pack? Or only be a certain race? Or follow a certain diet? Or have a certain shape?
All thin people aren’t automatically great teachers and all full figured people aren’t automatic failures.
And this back and forth has had me, again, in the body issue slump.
After teaching a great yoga class yesterday and chatting up with a friend, a girl walked up to me and asked me when was I due. Now,we’ve had the discussion about the deep arch in my back and how I stand and, from an angle, on certain days, I can look like that. But again (remember the day I had on the two jackets and the guy at the gym had something to say about my weight? Read it here.) And but I didn’t feel like that yesterday. So, without even reacting, I answered,
“I’m not pregnant.” I lifted up my multiple shirts to show her and kept on with my conversation. She had another question. “Well, did you just have another baby?”
I answered her with a smile but I promise you, ever since she left the room, I have been staring at myself from ALL angles, poking my stomach out, lifting one shirt, lifting the other shirt, arching my back, turning around, bending over, asking myself if I “really” looked pregnant. And I didn’t see it. And neither did anyone else. And even though that was one person’s opinion, the philosophical part started wondering if I, in my thickness, had just broken another stereotype, by being up there, in the front of the class. Teaching.
Yes, I could have let it go. But I couldn’t. It hit me in the SAME spot. The one I keep getting hit in OVER and OVER again. The spot is tender. I didn’t realize how tender it was until someone I trust with my life paid me a compliment this morning and I asked them if they meant to type it. Like I didn’t believe it was for me. I didn’t believe they would be physically complementing me on the VERY THING this girl just called me out on.
And that’s when I sat down to write this. Because that’s perspective. It’s all perspective. Because they are ALL opinions.
And now that I have typed this, here is my opinion. I am going to teach a GREAT class tonight and continue to be an awesome force in the fitness industry. I am human. I have feelings. I have go down. But I don’t stay down. And that’s something that comes from INSIDE the GUT….not a six pack.
Let’s get it poppin’ tonight, all bodies, body types, instructors, beginners, young, seasoned, black, white, latino, salsa dancers, club dancers. If you’re in the game, you’re winning.
Our winner for the Under Armour Speed Apollos is Jennifer R.! Please email me at hiphealthychick@gmail with your information. Thank you to everyone who entered.