Start a revolution Love your body
No doubt you have seen a load of magazines with jacked men and bikini models splashed on the cover, with some misleading heading yelling something along the lines of ‘Get ripped in 21 days’ or ‘Get a beach body in just 2 weeks’.
The fact is, you will only get toned legs in a week if you had toned legs to start with, and the same goes for a flat belly in x amount days.
For some, an image of a fitness model might just spark the desire to get off the couch and make the lifestyle changes necessary to get that dream body. That is awesome. For others, it may just make them feel worse about themselves and drive them back to disordered eating.
I’m not saying don’t aspire to take up body building, competing or whatever it is that tickles your fancy. What most magazine covers don’t tell you is that getting ‘stage ready’ comes with a lot of sacrifice, restrictive dieting, countless hours of working out and in many cases restricted social lives.
Fitness magazines, and especially women’s magazines, have the potential to ruin your health and body image. They sell carefully crafted covers of Photoshopped models and celebrities. They make us believe that we’re too fat, too skinny, not flat-bellied enough and in general just not enough..
They play mean tricks. They make you believe that if you do their workouts, eat their cabbage soup diet and buy their “miracle weight loss” supplement, you’ll be a happier, fitter, leaner version of yourself. They sell an impossible ideal. And place that dream of a picture perfect you out of your reach.
It’s no surprise that getting fit, and your version of ‘in shape’ will take hard work and dedication. It will mean cleaning up your diet and making lifestyle changes. You will have to fit a few training sessions into your busy schedule. There is no magic pill.
There is no need to chase perfection and achieving someone else’s definition of health, good aesthetics or happiness. Write your own rules. Figure out what fitness means to you. You’re a little overweight, but can run 15km without getting exhausted? Or carry 1,5 times your own body weight? Pick up 50kg and put it down? Fit it into your life, your way.
Value what your body is capable of and ditch that scale. Continue to better your best, in the gym and your everyday life, and love your body. It will love you back.
By Letitia Kleynhans