Just because I’m fat, doesn’t mean I don’t work out.
That may be a shock to some of you. You might think that I got to my size because I sat on my ass and ate cheeseburgers and cake all day. As good as that sounds, that’s not how things work.
When I was at my thinnest—a size 8/10—I only working out in the attempt to lose more weight. But I didn’t just take a class, or hit the gym for 30 minutes. I’d work out until the treadmill said I had burned 1,000 calories. I’d take a 60 minute aerobics class, followed by another hour on machines. I’d hit the gym before work and after work, desperately hoping to carve another inch off my thighs. All while on a juice fast. Or after eating nothing but one piece of fruit and a red bull. Or after vomiting up my food.
As years passed, I continued to gain weight, regardless of how often I worked out, or how I ate, or didn’t eat. I wrecked my metabolism, forever altered my relationship with food, and got to the point where the idea of a strict “diet” is enough to make my eye twitch.
I finally got to a place where I stopped punishing myself. Stopped depriving myself of nourishment—both physically and mentally—and finally allowed myself to eat something without silently berating myself for every calorie consumed. But as I grew to love my growing body, I tried to work out where working out fit into my newfound self love.
See, working out was always work. I took no pleasure in a single second of it, but I forced myself to do it, because I thought I was “fat,” and “fat” was the absolute worst thing I could ever be.
Approaching activity with a body positive mindset was…a bit of a mindfuck. What was the point of working out if not to lose weight?
When my bff Ally introduced me to barre, my feelings about working out completely changed. Here was a work out that I actually enjoyed and could fit into my schedule every day. I found that even doing a 10 minute video made me feel better—I’d stand up straighter, feel stronger, and most importantly, it didn’t aggravate my old knee injury or irritate my swollen Endometriosis-racked ovaries. I did barre because I actually…liked it.
Not every activity is right for every person. Running and spinning triggers my old knee injury and sets me back for days. Yoga is great, but I prefer that as a relaxation technique, not a “work out.” Barre is my perfect sweet spot, that perfect combination of strength activity and cardio that leaves me feeling fantastic every time.
How do you get active in a body positive way?
Crop top: K-Deer