“Even if we all exercised the same, our bodies would still look different” – The Wellful
Everyday we are surrounded by messaging about the ‘ideal body type’. We hear from one source that we should be eating a certain way, and from another, that they’ve found the ultimate fitness routine and we need to do it too. We see messaging that suggests we can achieve anything, or any body type, as long as we commit. And while I don’t want to shatter your childhood dreams of anything being possible, there are certain things that our body’s are not able to do, no matter how many workouts, supplements, or meal plans we complete.
It’s time we debunk the fitness industry’s language around body ideals, body changes and there being ‘one right way’ to have a body. Health does not have one look. And you do not need to be in a small(er) body in order to be healthy, or to be seen as worthy.
How do you define ‘health’?
Think about this. What is your definition of health? Does it mean carrying groceries easier? Does it mean eating a balanced diet that contains a range of nutrients and foods? Does it involve a certain, ‘ideal body type’? Does it involve moving throughout the week? Does it involve feeling comfortable in your own skin?
There is not ONE definition of health. Health is made up of many components, many of which are unable to be detected by looking at a person.
A person’s body shape or size is not indicative of their health. You cannot judge a person’s health by looking at them.
So think about health again, is your definition truly about health, or is it a pursuit of thinness?
Is it fatphobia in disguise?
Is this your definition, or is this what diet culture has forced you to believe?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or feel as though it is a mix of all three, you aren’t alone.
If 2020 taught us anything, it taught us to change our beliefs when we learn that they are wrong. So if you are still thinking that being in the smallest body possible is the only way to achieve health, it’s time to rethink that.
We can incorporate health-promoting behaviors in all body types.
We are all born into different bodies. We have different genetic makeup and therefore, different blueprints for our bodies and their compositions. No two people are built exactly the same.
The ‘ideal body type’ and the idea that health has a ‘look’
How could health possibly have one look for everyone?
To state that everybody should be able to complete a X minute workout is ableist.
To assume that everybody should want to lose weight is fatphobic.
To encourage people to push themselves past the point of enjoyment and into the painful, exhausted state is not healthy.
To call people lazy for taking a rest day is a lie.
To promise a visual outcome (i.e. defined, toned, slimmed, etc) ignores genetics and creates space for frustration and/or disappointment.
Instead of a visually fixated “ideal body type,” let’s shift to a more goal-oriented result, like:
Less fixation on food
Better understanding of your body’s needs
Participation in enjoyable movement
None of these goals require shrinking your body or harming your mental health. Instead, they focus on improving overall health and wellbeing. They require you to pay attention to your feelings and actions, and to look internally for success, instead of into a mirror.
Not everyone’s genetic blueprint can create picture-perfect abs, shapely arms, or legs without cellulite. Some body’s aren’t meant to lose weight. There is overwhelming evidence that all movement, regardless of the size of the person’s body, has healthful benefits; and, eating a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, chocolate, bread, etc without labels or restriction can improve health and self-esteem.
Let’s ditch the idea that health has a single look. It’s time we explore our own definitions of health to become the best versions of ourselves.
Do you want to feel more peace in your body and stop feeling obsessed and out of control around food? Book a discovery call to learn more about our 1:1 intuitive eating and body image coaching.