Strong not skinny........
I use the hashtag #strongnotskinny on a lot of my posts. Honestly it's a reminder to me that being strong, active, and balanced is more important that being "thin".
There's such a misconception about size. Did you know that a person of a higher BMI, while active is healthier than a person of a lower BMI who is sedentary? Exercise in itself increases health. The thing is, that the more you exercise, the better fuel your body needs. Your metabolism picks up and you start to feed your body the nutrients it needs to perform. Then, the consequence of a healthy lifestyle tends to be a lower BMI.
People say that your physique is built in the kitchen and not the gym, and they would be right for the most part. You can't out work a bad diet, that's for sure. So why did I start with the exercise portion? Because for some of us, we want to feel better, not just in body, but in mind.
For me, the endorphins I get while I exercise help me combat depression and paralyzing anxiety. I was on SSR's (antidepressants) for 10 years, and have been off of them for 12. Part of my "prescription" for my depression/anxiety is exercise.
*I am in no way saying that exercise can cure metal instability or take away you depression or anxiety. In addition medication can be necessary and wonderful, if for a season or for life. But meds or no meds, exercise can definitely help.
For me, a combination of exercise, the tools Ive learned in a lot of years of therapy, courses, seminars and workshops, and a regimen of supplements that help improve the chemicals in my brain and they way they are absorbed, has allowed me to be med free for over a decade.
Im not saying I don't still struggle, but I have the tools to manage what I deal with, and for me, that's a victory.
It's honestly only been recently that my mindset has stared to shift from physique being the goal, to health being the goal. Pregnancy did a number on me mentally and I knew I need to dig deeper and do some more work.
I started writing my book Unfiltered Food (coming early 2019) for that very reason. I knew I couldn't be the only one that dealt with a skewed version of what healthy looks like. Who struggles with comparative thinking and allowing what I look like to become my identity. Who allows social standards ( no matter how crazy) or other's opinions to dictate my own perception of my body and my health.
We live in a difficult age where the opportunity to compare yourself to others is literally in our hands. At every moment you have a celebrity or social influencer who either had a baby 6 weeks ago and is back in her crop top, or is advertising some ridiculous diet fad that in no way embraces health but leaves you wanting to look just like her. And it doesnt stop at our bodies. It's our homes, our cars, our clothes, our food, our relationships, our kids, our parenting, even our faith. Keeping up with the Jones' is old news. We have a whole new crop of people to keep up with. The opportunities for a comparative mindset are limitless.
So how do we stay grounded?
For me, what God says about who I am is how I get back to zero. I have to start at zero to put things in perspective. To remove all the things that the world says about me and build from there.
Am I healthy? Am I treating my body and others around me with respect? Do I seek help when it's needed from people I love and trust?
I mean answering those questions alone puts you back in a pretty good place.
So we take it day by day. Or even better, meal by meal. What can you do today to love yourself and your body?
Im praying you find comfort in knowing that God made you to be you. What we choose to do with that is what matters.
Have a happy, healthy weekend friends!
As always, keep the conversation going in the comments below.