I have a problem with the way people view their bodies.

As a society, we’re not really fixated on being healthy. We’re fixated on looking healthy. There’s a big difference between the two. Many people, women especially, are obsessed with notion that unless you look a certain way you’re not healthy. We’ve all seen the ads of the beautiful slender model holding a protein shake with the smile that says “If you drink this you could look like ME!”

To be thin or to “look” healthy is to be loved and accepted.

If you look thin that means you’re healthy, right?

As a young Hispanic girl with big hips, I fell for that completely. I drank the cool-aid and did all the things like dieting, detox teas, cleanses, and the occasional no-carb diet (which I’ll never do again because that was horrible). Appearance has such a HUGE hold on our confidence level. Unless we look a certain way, ripped abs or slender waists, we’re ugly or unhealthy.

Well my darling I’m so happy to tell you – it’s a load of bullshit. Yepp, we’ve been fed bullshit.

Being thin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy.

Yes I repeat: being skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Regardless of what you’ve been told, it’s not your total weight that matters. It’s how much fat you have in your body and where it’s deposited. What’s the difference?

Dr. Arthur Agatson, an American cardiologist, wrote an article detailing a study done by the Mayo Clinic of individuals weight and body mass index. In their research, they found that more than half of adults in their test group with “normal” weights and BMI’s actually had “high body-fat percentages as well as heart and metabolic disturbances.” Which means the seemingly thin people had the same risks of coronary disease, diabetes, and other chronic illness as people who weighed more.

Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.

It doesn’t matter how your exterior looks but what is going on inside your body. Which begs the question why do we combine being thin to being healthy? Well a lot of things can contribute to that: TV, media outlets, movies, commercials, advertisement, the list goes on. We always see the same type of person on the big screen or billboards which is the slim and slender human. There really isn’t a lot of diversity being shown when it comes to body size.

However, we also have to take responsibility when it comes to our appearance. A recent study indicates that women are much more concerned about their appearance than men and “the key reason for this is that their appearance is central to how they are evaluated by others.” We’re so focused on looking a certain way for other people that we’ll do anything to be within the status quo. Here’s the truth that no one likes to say:

We’re not meant to look the same.

We have to take into account for our genetics, medical history, and understand that we’re NOT all built the same. Remember that there’s so much to healthy living then being thin. Society has made us take food and exercise and turn it into a very bad toxic relationship. In reality, all we need to do is make sure we’re healthy on the inside: physically and mentally.

Does this mean going out and eating like crap all the time? Of course not! The main purpose of exercise and being healthy is to be KIND to yourself. To not beat yourself up if you don’t look a certain way. Please remember that as long as you’re active and eating nutritious foods that’s all that matters.

Having said that, I know there’s a lot of people reading this saying “So does that mean you hate skinny people?” Since there’s stupidity wandering around I will address this. No, I don’t hate skinny people. And no I’m not advocating for obesity. I’m advocating to live a healthy lifestyle regardless of how you look.

Our bodies are always changing!

We’re not going to look the same forever. As we evolve into better humans, our bodies evolve with us. We’re always beating ourselves up and beating our bodies for not looking the same as when we were in our teens. Instead of focusing on the past, just stay in the present and love your body. If you want to lose weight, then by all means go for it!

However if that’s your path, I implore you to do it for the right reasons.

If you’re trying to change your body to gain love and acceptance from outside forces you’ll never really be happy with the result. You might think it will but it won’t because you’re depending your happiness on other people and that’s just a dark hole to fall into. Don’t do this for other people, do it for you. In the words of the amazing women of Beauty Redefined:

“You body is an instrument. Not an ornament.”

You can run a 5k, eat tacos, rock that cellulite, and still be a healthy human. Whatever decision you make darling, please know that you’re body is here to get shit done. It is built for you, not for anyone else.

Do you agree that your fitness is more then your look? Leave a comment below and let me know. Also if you like this post, make sure you share it with friends and family.

Til next time homies,

Photo by Gesina Kunkel from HappyVeganFit