I've just started to make a point of going to the campus rec center at least twice a week; my legs are aching, my arms are tired, and mentally all I keep thinking about are my other daily tasks that need tending to. Aside from generally learning how to become more independent, keeping a consistent fitness routine has been difficult in college, especially since my class schedule is always changing per semester.
But as I've gotten more into working out, I feel as though all I keep hearing from other people is "why do you do it at all? It's not like you're overweight or anything." And of course that leads me to wonder, why does it always have to be about weight? Perhaps the better question would be, why does it always have to involve a number?
I'm not going to speak for everyone here, because I realize that each of us is on a different journey regarding this kind of thing. There are those that are in serious danger of dying from obeisity and those that struggle with variouses sicknesses involving over-eating or not eating enough. Due to such, it's extremely important, if not vital to keep track of how many pounds are being lost or gained.
I am more or less talking about the obsession our culture has with specific numbers and sizes. It's incredibly sad how those things have come to determine what we do in life and whether or not we're good enough in the eyes of others.
Yet, one may point out that I am not one to talk; I have always grown up being somewhat naturally thin, as well as having a fast metabolism. I have never had to deal with being called nasty names because of my figure. I have never yearned to fit in a particular style of clothing, unless one wants to include shoes (my feet are small enough to still be considered a child's shoe size). So why the hell should I be writing about food, exercise, and everything in between?
Regardless of shape or body type, everybody should be able to live a healthy life. It doesn't have to be, nor should it be squarely about outward appearance.In my case, being physically active has helped me to build flexibility and get around much better.
Personally, I choose to practice certain habits because of how they make me feel. I've said this before and I'll be saying it pretty frequently on here, but you have to do what feels right for you; it is especially true in terms of your own body.
For instance, I view a good exercise as something that kicks me in the ass, such as running a mile (or two), doing a variety of weight lifting machines as well as upper body techniques. And while yoga and zumba have become incredibly popular, I'd prefer to go at my own pace. If you want to get moving, the key thing is to find something where you're not completely focused on the fact that you're sweating and tired. It might be something as simple as walking around the block or throwing a dance party with a group of friends; that way, a work out is less of a chore and more of an enjoyable activity.
Then comes the other aspect: food. I'll be honest, I'm not a food enthusiast, or a "foodie" as some call it. As a baby my parents had a hard time getting me to eat, and I was incredibly picky until I became a teenager. I'm not afraid to eat, but I'm not one to lay on the couch with a bag of chips in hand. When it comes to my eating habits, I like knowing that I'm consistently putting good things into my body as opposed to functioning on grease and salt (heavy amounts of both tend to make me feel like crap, literally).
On the other hand, I'm not going to completely deprive myself of dark chocolate and ice cream, which are two of the only "junk" categories that I consume. One of the best health-related pieces of advice that I have ever been to given is to "focus on what you're putting adding in, not taking out." It's a broader term of everything in moderation; go ahead and have dessert every so often, but don't be quick to leave out the vitamins and protein too.
I'm not one for diets, to say the least; they've always somewhat confused. Sure, you can go on a particular program, and it may yield positive results. But, what happens after you reach your goal? If it involves a specific kind of food, do you eat that for the rest of your life? I would say that if anyone feels it necessary, make an appointment with a doctor or nutritionist to see what plan suits you best. I'm not judging, because I understand that some need a bit more structure and not just "make sure you eat the right stuff." I just don't believe in the idea of picking a particular map to follow and expecting it to automatically lead somewhere.
Then comes perhaps what is the most fundamental, yet frustrating question of physical health: what about people who currently, or have battled eating disorders? On one side there are those who live to eat, and on the other are those that are terrified of eating the smallest of morsels. Is there a balance between the two?
I had a hard time coming up with an answer, initially. Even now, I don't consider it expert or absolute. But from my experiences and observations, hitting them gym and/or wanting to eat healthy doesn't mean that one does or has to hate their body. In fact, doing so should be that he or she loves and accepts their body so that they want to give it the best care possible.
I won't pretend that I don't have my own insecurities; for most of my life, I have feared, and still occasionally become weary of hitting a particular weight number. I choose to avoid the scale as much as possible because I don't want those worries taking over my existence. It will eventually happen someday, but I'm not going to zero in on it.
Every single one of us was each created to be physically different. Acceptance and tolerance is not always easy, considering that we have a so-called society shoving photo-shopped models in our faces and demanding perfection.
However, perfection is just short of impossible. Instead of trying to live up to these so called standards, don't be afraid to create your own. As long as you're healthy and happy, then that is what counts.