This week’s Friend Friday is all about fitness! To be honest, in the past, I would have had very little to say about this as I hated working out. A year ago, however, I joined a gym and while I still don’t love working out, I like the feeling of finishing up a workout. Combined with my desire to improve my body image, this Friend Friday poses some great and apropos questions that I’m no longer afraid of:

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?  I do! I joined Snap Fitness a year ago and have really enjoyed going to the gym on a (somewhat) regular basis – although I haven’t gone much this year due to an overwhelmingly busy schedule and now illness, but I’ll get back soon. As mentioned above, I used to hate working out, but I really struggled with body image (still do) and wanted to want to work out. I would try during college to go work out at the school’s gym, but never maintained a schedule. It didn’t help that I didn’t know that lifting weights helps my body type exponentially more than cardio workouts do. Now, I go in a few times a week to lift weights and/or do interval training cardio exercises (trying to build up to going in almost every day, alternating intervals and weight lifting). Have I lost weight? No. But do I feel stronger and healthier? Absolutely. In fact, I think the reason I haven’t been sick in over a year – until now – was because I worked out regularly and take daily vitamin supplements.

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image? In a way, it has. I feel better about myself when I work out knowing that I’m trying to do something to improve my body. I actually feel guilty when I have time to work out and don’t. At the same time, the fact that my body shape hasn’t changed at all is difficult to deal with. I have to remind myself that I changed birth control recently and that I’ve been overwhelmed with stress and depression much of this year, both of which can be attributed to weight gain. Other than ensuring that I pair proteins and carbs, I also don’t watch what I eat. Bottom line, I feel better about myself when I work out because I’m making an effort to be healthier. 

3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion? Haha it’s totally about functionality! I used to care about what I looked like at all times, including doing a light cover-up to go to the gym. To be fair, St. Olaf was filled with young women who had to look perfect at all times. Now I realize how ridiculous it is to look good when you go to the gym. That’s not what the gym is about. The gym is about putting your body through positive stress, and like it or not, that stress is not going to make you look good.

4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness? Oh, absolutely. There’s an overwhelming aversion/dislike/hatred of fat people. People who aren’t fat have this fierce belief that those people are just lazy pigs and that’s absolutely not true. Yes, obviously many people eat what they shouldn’t and don’t exercise as much as they should, but bodies have a set, natural, predestined shape. I could eat celery for the rest of my life and still wouldn’t be a size zero. I could diet forever and never weigh what a skinny person who eats nothing but ice cream and cheeseburgers weighs. It’s not at all fair and I struggle with that fairness every day. 

5.  Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal. Honestly, it would be to lose weight and feel comfortable in my own skin. I still struggle with my body image on a daily issue, so I really wish that I felt more confident. I hate society and its demands, but I still subscribe to them – how can you not? If you know, please teach me.

Check out what other fantastic FBFF bloggers wrote here!

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