I struggle with this too, but I try my hardest to live by this rule: Be realistic with your goals.
The number one thing I see on social media websites and in magazines is the image to look like a fitness model or a Victoria’s Secret model. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, I’m just saying that in order to look like a fitness model, you have to be prepared to requires a lot of dedication and commitment. If you want to look like a fitness model for a day; fine, but long term? You’re going to have to be willing to completely transform your kitchen and lifestyle, which begins and continues with eliminating any trace of a potential chemical shit storm waiting to happen. I know you can do it, just don’t sign any legally binding contracts unless you want to get sued.
And none of us are that perfect all of the time. Our bodies are strong, we are strong, but sometimes shit happens. Even if we’ve make the ultimate sacrifice to give up cookies and pizza forever; sometimes our bodies will physically fight us tooth and nail.
I woke up this morning, feeling more bloated than usual, drank a full glass of ice cold water, sat down at the computer with my oats with fruit and egg whites. As I was about to shove a spoonful of oatmeal into my mouth, my eyes focused in on this article. I couldn’t help but feel guilty for the extra spoonful of oats I put in my bowl or the one extra strawberry I tossed in just because.
And while I doubt anyone is going to sue me anytime soon, (in fact, I’m sure of it) or no one is going to sever my head if I happen to gain a few pounds, for “not walking the walk, or talking the talk”, I certainly can empathize with the Biggest Loser contestant who is being sued for gaining weight. I made a commitment to this lifestyle, and I feel very passionately about it, and I hold myself accountable for making sure that I am constantly, “walking the walk” or talking the talk” but I also remember that [insert dramatic pause here] I am only human. Yep. There you have it. I am human. And so is this woman.
I seriously think that they should be more concerned with the fact that she’s human. Oh and the fact that chances are; if you’ve struggled with your weight in the past, no binding contract is going to put an end to that struggle.
Physically or emotionally
Especially, if you’re human. Living this lifestyle isn’t exactly what I call as being “socially accepted”. No, what is widely accepted, with an emphasis on socially, is binge drinking and pummeling food, food and more food into our bodies with ingredients that I don’t even think the manufacturers can pronounce.
It’s not like it’s a secret. It’s a known fact that people aren’t consciously counting calories or paying attention to how the food that they are eating affects their body. And honestly, from where I sit, and I’ve mentioned this in previous blog posts, counting calories can be a full time fucking job. It can kind of seem characteristic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And I’m no fucking doctor, but I know what it feels like to be obsessive. Trust me. In fact, I own my OCD proudly, it kicks my ass at the gym and it keeps me on track with my diet-but- it’s- not- really- a- diet-, it’s- a- lifestyle. So while I agree that she had a duty to maintain the image that gave her that opportunity in the first place, I also understand that she is human. And unless you’re a wizard, you may gain a few pounds here or there. What is important, however, is whether or not she has the will to fight to get back on track. In my nonprofessional opinion, I think she illustrates the struggle of weight loss, not a lack of self control. Besides, don’t most people who struggle with their weight face a lack of control in their life already? I don’t believe people intentionally sabotage themselves to die young or be obese. No there’s an emotional struggle that is attached to their weight; it’s not just physical.
It is easy to lose track of what you’re putting in your mouth in times of stress, or just life in general. Believe me, I don’t wake up everyday weighing the same either. Maybe I had more sodium than usual, or drank too much water the day before. The body is full of surprises and no one person can get it down to an exact science. During competition prep, or when I did that photo shoot, I had to manipulate my carbohydrates and water intake. Newsflash: Each time a figure competitor competes, they are always trying something new, a little tweak here or there, and their body may be harder and tighter than the last show. Yes, I know people who have shows back to back (one week apart) and they don’t do the same thing that led them to the first show. Again, this is all based on other’s experience, personal experience and lots and lots of research. (That’s my disclaimer right there.)
And to ramble on some more about it, all I know is that everyone has a story. It’s not as black or white as everyone paints it out to be. Every ‘body’ is different; when you put stress on your body daily, over time you’re body is going to react to it eventually. I don’t know what kind of diet or workout regimen this woman was on, but maybe the stress finally caught up to her and her body responded by putting on some weight. Maybe no matter what she did to counteract the weight gain, she didn’t know how to fix it. Certainly some people can relate. Have you ever decided you needed to lose weight? And in doing so, you put your body under extreme stress, whether it is through a sudden diet change or you just jumped right into a high intensity bout of exercise 5 days a week? Not to mention, we there are their twisted little things called hormones that make our body go tick and tock. Yea, they have an affect on us daily too. Hormones are responsible for a lot of shit that happens in your body. Some make our muscles grow; lose weight, and some make us cry and crave chocolate and pizza. And…sometimes when they’re fucked with; they can put a screeching halt on any kind of progress that you might have made.
Really, the only contract that I’m going to commit to is the one that reads, “you are taking on the role as a representative to our brand. In signing this contract, you are agreeing to be real, vulnerable, and be willing to make mistakes.You also are agreeing to never mislead the public in any way because by doing so will only tarnish our brand and in doing so, will lead to the promotion of a negative representation, one that we do not want to be a part of. (Feel free to insert legal terminology as you see fit). Imagine, if the scale were tipped the other way, and she got too skinny????
Wow. To be completely honest, I compare myself to others. I mean, who doesn’t? Don’t say you don’t, I don’t know you personally, but I know you do it. Let’s get real, why else do we have a social networking site that has pictures only? Oh and recently videos too. I’m talking about Instagram, but other social networking sites allow it too. And the obvious, why else would this woman be getting sued for not maintaining an image she had at the time she agreed to represent this company?
I scroll through newsfeeds of fitness accounts that I have clicked the like or follow button and I also flip through fitness magazines with envy. I don’t read the articles, I don’t look at the words, I just look at the images that show defined abs, hard earned muscle, and beautifully rounded shoulders and legs that can put any high heeled shoe to shame. It’s my motivation. But sometimes, truthfully, it can be an unhealthy kind of motivation. Sometimes, my body goes to war with my mind. So I have to force myself to log off whatever social media website I’m looking at, close the pages of the magazine and go to the gym. But I go in swinging, busting ass, and challenging my body every single day, and then I go home eat several small meals throughout the day, nothing special, just unprocessed foods, choose only natural sugars as opposed to foods with added sugars, and even then, I keep that kind of sugar to a minimum, I don’t eat an entire jar of peanut butter, even though I’d like to at times, and I drink a lot of water all day long. But I still don’t have a chiseled six pack, although, I don’t really want one, I get frustrated that no matter what I do, I can’t seem to have my stomach look like a six pack. Oh, I have definition in my abs, but you can barely see them if I’m not standing in certain light, or after eating and drinking water all day.
But I still do it because after three years of being on this fitness journey, I feel like I’ve joined a fitness revolution. I love that I can relate to the desire to eat copious amounts of nut butters straight out of the jar, the fact that I, too, saturate my Iphone with endless shots of myself in the mirror; also known as “selfies” and play with filters to see what brings the lines out from my muscles the most. I even get excited when I don’t need a filter at all because I can actually see the lines without a fancy filter, and, I, like many others on Instagram, tag the photo with the hashtag, #nofilter. I am also guilty of carrying chicken around in my purse, owning a ton of Tupperware, which, I might add, honestly frustrates me because I suck at organizing Tupperware. Seriously, I can never find the matching lid. But, I feel like over the past 3 years, while I have lived and breathed the fitness lifestyle, I don’t ever feel that it’s ever enough. I still struggle to find the right balance and I suffer the most when my hormones come to play. I am hard on myself. I’ve always been. Everyday is something different. Not just with my appearance though, with a lot of things. I may take a hundred pictures, but it’s only because I’m searching for the one with the “right lighting” the “perfect lines” and then I tell myself to eat cleaner and train harder. And I do. But then I get mad at myself. I think it’s me. I go back to those images on the social media sites and wonder why I can’t have their abs, or legs or shoulder muscles. I do that and then I usually come to my senses (until the next time) and realize that I have to learn to work with the set of tools God and my entire gene pool gave me. Truth hurts.
What isn’t drilled into our minds is that you can’t want to be somebody else; you have to want to be you. All of the time. And to do that, you have to do what feels right for you. It’s hard, I know, but it certainly isn’t impossible. I know that too. Like I said, I’m guilty of being too hard on myself too. You just have to be prepared to fight, accept that you aren’t perfect, and that there may even be some setbacks. You can’t control life, but you sure could make the best of it. And that goes for your body too. You can certainly make the most of what you’ve been given, and try not to forget that you, I mean, we, are still human. Just look at the woman from the Biggest Loser, Season 2, who is facing a lawsuit.