I know what you’re thinking. Who does this skinny girl think she is giving fitness advice to a community of fit geeks? The truth is my fitness journey didn’t start with a need to loose weight, I have always had a thin build. I can hear it now from all the curvaceous women, “skinny bitch.” Before you get hostile on me, understand that not everyone’s burden is extra fat. Fitness is not just about working out, eating salads, and seeing the scale drop a couple of pounds. The average person that labels exercise and healthy eating as a mere tool for people to lose weight, well, I wish I could shake them by the shoulders and slap some sense into them. Body fat may be a physical sign that a person is out of touch with their body’s needs, but there are so many other signals that are not visible to others.
For so many out there, including me, fitness is about maintaining a healthy connection between my body and mind. Before I started working out regularly I was always depressed, I was anxious, I was self conscious, I was always tired. I was everything the average overweight person would be mentally and emotionally. Before, my life had no stability, no consistency. I ate what I craved and felt sick and lethargic afterwards. I ignored key signals when my body was telling me to stop eating something or start moving.
I can’t get over how many people came up to me when I first started my fitness journey and asked, “why are you working out? You’re already skinny.” It drove me crazy! Their naive minds actually concluded I was trying to lose more weight. As a double 0 in high school, I can assure you that was not the case. On top of that people often asked me if I had an eating disorder, which didn’t help my self esteem. More often than I should have, I explained my case of having a hard time gaining weight.
Regardless of unyielding comments I continued working out, lifting weights, and listening to how my body reacted to certain foods to customize my diet. My depression flat-lined and I learned to use my anxiety as positive energy-recognizing it as a sign my body was telling me to get up and move. I am still human and now and again the feelings do resurface, but it’s nothing like the mental struggle I was facing before. After years of practice I have learned to hone in on my senses and listen more to the needs of my body. I now have routine, an outlet, a passion for my lifestyle, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
You too can tap into these senses and develop an ideal way of living! You will find that as soon as you start acknowledging the effect certain foods and workouts have on your body and the way you feel, you will more consciously avoid the things that weigh you down in life. It’s a long process but it’s a beautiful one. I am constantly learning more about what foods to eat to feel fresh and alert and avoid what combinations leave me feeling tired and weak.
My ultimate desire is to show others how maintaining a lifestyle based on the signals your body is throwing you can not only allow you to make more health conscious decisions, but open up a whole new world of possibility in feeling connected to your body, and all your surroundings in every aspect of your life. It may start with just one push up, but that’s all you need to get the cycle started.