I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It has given me some great ideas for my wedding and even inspired a few decor choices in my house, but I’m pretty sure I have never actually cooked a Pinterest recipe and the thought of painting tiny American flags on my nails seems ridiculous. And I never, ever go to the “Health & Fitness” section.
This might surprise you, since I am what most would consider a “Health & Fitness” blogger. In fact, about 95% of my blog traffic comes from that one Before & After photo of me from when I did the Zone Diet in January. And that is where my frustration begins. That one little photo somehow got hooked up to a post I wrote with some at-home workout ideas, and to this day over 1 million people have viewed that post in the hopes that doing some air squats and some tricep dips will allow them to drop 3% body fat in 30 days (when in fact those photos were the result of 30 days of weighing and measuring everything I ate). Sorry folks, that’s not how it works.
In fact, that’s not how any of that stuff works. And it kind of came to a head for me last night when I saw a picture of a woman surfing, having the time of her life, clearly doing what she loves, and someone had written the caption, “I need to take up surfing if it will make my butt look like this!”
Not, “I need to take up surfing if it will help me enjoy life as much as this person!” Not, “I need to find something like surfing to keep me active!”
In the current culture of “Strong is the New Skinny,” you would think that a shift is happening. But take one look at Pinterest, magazine covers, and whatever other media outlet you choose to get your fitness info from, and there is still one ginormous problem. We have seemed to forgotten that, when it comes to your body, form follows function. Maybe we have stopped focusing on getting “thin” and are now more ok with being “toned” or even “muscular”… but what about just working on being HEALTHY and STRONG instead of tightened or sculpted?
I would be lying if I said that I don’t care what my body looks like. But I can also definitely say that when I stopped focusing on what my arms/belly/core LOOKED like and started focusing on what they could DO, that was when I finally started to look in the mirror and like what I saw.
It drives me insane and also makes me kinda sad to see all of the people (let’s be honest, mostly if not exclusively women) out there who are so focused on GETTING a tiny butt, tiny arms, toned legs, toned abs, whatever, that they pay no attention to BEING strong, healthy, or confident. If you spend your days whirling 3-pound weights above your head and doing calf raises while playing Candy Crush, then be prepared to have a body that looks like that’s all you do. And sure, sometimes people can see results from that kind of thing. But I can assure you that your arms will get a lot more “toned” and your butt will be a lot more “sculpted” if you stop focusing on toning and sculpting and start focusing on getting better at push-ups or getting faster at sprints.