We look at these pictures on Pinterest and feel like we’re not falling into the same trap as everyone else – that we’re not trying to reach the unhealthy skinny of models, but instead striving for health. Yet, so much of our inspiration comes in the form of models. We look at these images and steel our determination to one day look like that. We say that our abs will be that tight and our arms will be that toned.
We fall for the cultural lie of beauty all over again. Except, this is one that the fitness world tells us, not mainstream media. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying we shouldn’t have something to aim for. We do, however, need to stop looking at people to piece together our ideal bodies and start looking for something better – something stronger.
During Warrior Dash this year, my friend had a migraine and struggled to get through parts of the course. She kept going when there were chances to opt out, and she asked for help when she needed it. She got across that finish line. That’s strength of character.
During city2surf, I was huffing and puffing my way up Hell Hill, and not far behind me was a woman with her face beet red and her earphones up loud. She must have weighed 130kg. She kept going up that hill and never looked back. That’s determination.
Through Tough Mudder, people always stopped to help others. It was a constant thing. Sometimes it was shown in a hand to help you out of a ditch, others a pat on the back to tell you to keep going, and even still, sitting on top of a wall to help pull people up and over. That’s camaraderie.
All these things cannot be shown easily in photos, but I’m sick of seeing people place photos as their ideals… can we start looking for the things that matter? The things that exist no matter what size we are? It’s those very things that help us lose weight and gain life. But they are an achievement in and of themselves.
Stop striving for the impossible.
Be more than the media asks of you..