It takes a gym girl to know one, and lately I’ve been noticing a good friend of mine looking fierce on Instagram. Yes, even more fierce than the side pony I rocked last week at Crunch, but because of a common gym girl issue, she is completely blind to the change.
Recently, this friend and I finally caught up, and as I suspected, she has been kicking ass on a brand new fitness and healthy living regimen. But while she’s gone through so much positive change, she was saying that she looks in the mirror and still sees zero results. She doesn’t see that she looks incredible, has lost a considerable amount of weight, and has so much to be proud of.
This reminded me of a moment that went down a couple weeks ago at the gym. I was doing Tabura, a combination of kickboxing and African dance, which means lots of shimmying, shaking, and seeing my thighs jiggle in the mirror. As the class went on, I was getting more and more disgusted. Why are they so big? Why do they touch? Why is there enough of them to feed a whole dinner service at Hill Country BBQ?
It was bad.
Then I noticed one of my gym friends (who you can read more about here) eyeing me in the mirror. Without knowing about the bashing session I had been giving myself all class long, she said, “Your legs are so strong. Looking good, girl.”
That’s all it took. I looked in the mirror again and saw that she was right. I saw that my legs ARE strong, and while I’ll never be 5’10” like Cindy Crawford, I got pretty lucky, as a friend once put it “South of the Mason Dixon Line.”
I had been so busy projecting my stress from work, dating drama, and who knows what else onto my reflection, that I clouded the reality of what was actually there. I would never treat anyone with the hate and negativity I was subjecting myself to that night, and I know that I’m not the only person who does this.
We all tear ourselves down so hard, and it’s just not okay.
So going back to what my friend was saying last night, I think we could all benefit from taking a second to treat ourselves with the same respect we give others.
Don’t deny your progress, don’t look at yourself through the lens of whatever is going wrong at the time, and don’t compare your thighs to an absurd amount of meat. Because you are beautiful and you are strong, and you can show up to a bar post-workout sweaty in your gym clothes (guilty), and that beauty will still shine through.
This is the cheesiest I’ll ever get, but beauty has very little to do with outward appearance and being 5’10” like Cindy Crawford. Beauty comes from within, and that’s what people are ultimately attracted to. But more importantly, when you’re happy and healthy and practicing self-care, you’ll be able to see (and feel) that beauty also.
- My thighs will always touch ¯\_(ツ)_/¯