My ideas for posts frequently come from something I see or read in the media. Finding a More Inclusive Vision of Fitness in Our Feeds, an article in the New York Times made me realize that it was time to talk about our perceptions of what it means to be fit. If a client tells me that they want to become fit, my first question is, “Fit to do what?” Being fit to run a marathon is not the same as being fit to lift boxes at your UPS job, or fit to comfortably get through your daily activities.
There is no one perfect fitness level for everyone. The models we see in commercials, print, and in social media, are either making or trying to make a living from being fit. Getting that lean and muscular (like that of a fitness competitor), is not only difficult to achieve, it’s also extremely difficult to maintain. So, as we look at the images of these individuals, whose job is essentially to look as fit as possible, why is it that we believe that we need to look like them? Well, the simple answer is that marketers try to convince us that we both can and should, through the use of their product or service, look just like them.
While you may desire to look like the models, it’s important to realize that you don’t need to look like them to be fit and healthy. There are some great pictures on internet that (I believe) were published by Sports Illustrated. They show the bodies of top athletes in different sports. Their body types vary widely, illustrating how you can be very fit, elite in your field, and still have a body that doesn’t look like those fitness models.
The idea of being comfortable in a less than Adonis body, means that you are less stressed, less anxiety ridden about your appearance, which should allow you to enjoy life a little more.
The catch is that this doesn’t mean sit around and eat whatever you want. You still have to workout and eat healthfully. That’s what is going to help you get/stay fit (to do whatever it is that you want to do) and healthy by getting all of the nutrients you need for your body to function properly. But, you don’t need to look like a fitness model. Be fit, be healthy, but also be happy in knowing that fitness comes in all shapes and sizes.