I was fit-shamed. And I lived to talk about it.
I recently attended an event with some former co-workers, people who knew me as a new mom, trying to figure out the whole work-life balance thing, which BTW, I’m still trying to figure out. One former colleague walked up to me, gave me a big hug, and said,
“Man, you have two babies, and you just bounce right back.”
Now, to many people, this may be perceived as a compliment. In fact, the pre-fitness-journey me would have blushed out of embarrassment at this statement. But the new me, the me who coordinates her workout schedule with her husband, the me who tracks her macros, the me who makes every effort to get to the gym 4 days a week, the me who is doing her damnedest to show her children that hard work pays off, saw this as a low-blow.
It’s not her fault. I don’t think she meant any harm. But statements like this take away from the sacrifices that we make, day-in and day-out, to better ourselves. We are not “lucky” that we have defined biceps. We have defined biceps because we’ve done push ups and bench presses and Murph. We have toned legs because of air squats, and saying, “No,” to dessert, and, of course, more air squats…
And while I don’t think this statement was made to undermine my efforts, it can serve as an excuse to not even try. Just like the self-talk that convinces us that we can’t have what we want because it’s not innate. The talk that lets you think that it takes anything else BUT hard work to achieve a result.
Read any biography on any top athlete, and the one thing they will have in common is a strong work ethic. You can’t get to the top of your game without it. Are some athletic qualities genetic? Sure. But you can’t rise to the top by floating solely on your genetic make-up.
So, put in that effort. Ask those around you who inspire you how they got their results. Learn about the obstacles that stood in their way and how they conquered them. I guarantee you that no one experienced their journey without roadblocks. Share your stories and get a little vulnerable. Realize this is a process. The results you are seeking may not be immediate, but they are coming.