Your Body – Your Way – Taking the Stealth Out of Your Health
Today, quite a few people struggle with body image. Young girls are pre-conditioned to act, dress, and feel a certain way when it comes to their body and young boys have masculinity forced upon them from the moment they are given their first baby blue onesie. In this, health almost becomes an afterthought to identity – but shouldn’t it be the other way around?
My battle with Body Image
Personally – as a child, I struggled with the “girly girl” mentality. I never liked dresses, and flats wouldn’t let me move as fast as I wanted to; so I stuck to sneakers and boy shorts. And why? Because the image I had of myself didn’t fit the image the world had waiting for me.
For a while, I thought guys had it easier – better shoe colors, roomier pants and being a receiver on the playground’s football field wasn’t a question. Being a tomboy was hard – but as my brother grew up and out – and out and up – I realized being a guy wasn’t much easier than being a girl was.
My point? Most of us are secretive about our health – I mean, why else would this writer have dedicated an entire month to giving her readers a way to keep their fitness a secret? But no more. The gym is not just a place for the gym buffs – the track is not only for the Olympics and cardio doesn’t have to cause cardiac arrest.
Knowing the Difference vs. Going the Distance
Being healthy and being attractive are different things. Separated by genetics, societal standards and a slew of media jargon the pursuit of pretty rather than healthy is meant to make us buy into being anyone but ourselves for a day. I mean think about it – a girl or guy who can contour their face is simply a practicing escape artist using masks to blend in. And guys who go to the gym every day aren’t just fighting to push weights – they could also be fighting their past – fighting for a day when they don’t have to be anything other than who they are. But why do we have to act or look a certain way to feel and appreciate who we are?
This month we talked about two levels of health – discussing both the mind and the body. Now I want to talk about taking the stealth out of both of those things so that we don’t have to focus on being stealthy but instead we can just be healthy.
Try This Trend!
In the past two weeks, I’ve started this awesome trend with my coach and teammates; where, every day – and at every meal, we all send images in the group of what we are eating. The point is not to embarrass us. Nor make participants feel a certain way.
What I noticed by focusing on what my plate looks like – I have become more focused on making better choices.
What’s better – nine times out of ten, our coach will “like” what we are sending. And by doing that simple act, we can feel good about what we are putting into our bodies. [while being held accountable as well].
Don’t get me wrong, none of us are perfect. I had a couple unhealthy meals this weekend but this was helpful for me is the turned focus on moderation. I started to consider what I was eating and how it could impact myself as well as my teammates.
Since starting this trend two weeks ago, I have not seen an astronomical change in my eating habits, but the constant images of chicken breasts, hearty greens, and high protein snacks have changed my view on what I eat and when I eat it. So, I guess you could say that by seeing more green veggies I have been more likely to crave green veggies. Even more so, I find myself gaining a sense of confidence.
Be Who You Are Not Who You See
They say you are what you eat. But in our society – we are what we see. Little girls who are raised on dresses and magazines strive to be the women they looked up to. Similarly, little boys – pushed toward masculinity will believe themselves lesser based on what others say. But maybe we have been going about it all wrong. What if we sold food like we sold magazines. Shrinking portion sizes and creating a colorful image of what our plates could look like. What if we stopped hiding what we were eating and who we want to be behind labels and insecurities. What if communities stopped being stealthy and focused on being healthy? Because maybe, when we get rid of the labels – we can focus on who we are.
For more go to The CrossRoads by clicking here ans as an aside - Crossroads magazine is not a real periodical. --This cover was used for the purpose of the piece.