I never got there, but I learned something important along the way.
I work with a client in her mid-seventies who has been strength training for four years. Her original goal was weight loss, but with hip and knee replacements and some other physical challenges, her new and improved goal is to be healthy and strong. Not only is she super strong, she is dedicated to her workouts and the way it empowers her.
She gets asked frequently, by people who don’t understand her new goal, why she is still strength training.
I work with a client in her late sixties who started strength training nine years ago, because it was becoming a struggle to get up and down off the floor with her grandkids. Now she goes skiing with them! She no longer needs high blood pressure medication and she just glows with health and fitness.
Very few people know how consistently she has worked for that, or how dedicated she is to taking care of herself.
I have a friend who is almost fifty who has a job, husband, children, house and yard to take care of, who absolutely loves working out. It is her stress reliever, her me time, her feel good potion. She eats very clean and is super lean with gorgeous muscles. She encourages other people to get moving, and she looks amazing in a bikini.
She gets crap about being too thin and too enthusiastic, and has been shamed for her passion for fitness.
I have a friend who is a fitness competitor. She lifts weights and exercises with attitude. She gets up on that stage and participates in events that I wouldn’t dare. Her workouts are about dedication and camaraderie with her team as well as meeting her goals. She looks fit, healthy and strong.
Some women would say she has too much muscle, or that competition is superficial.
I have a friend who runs. She loves it. For her it is physical fitness, mental health, friendships, social time, personal goals, and so much more. She is very lean and fit, and she inspires other women to exercise and run. She is the kind of person who naturally inspires others. Running has helped her recover from disordered eating.
Some would say her daily run is too much and her passion is obsessive.
Listen, ideal weight is not some number. It is you, wherever you find your path. It is you, right here and now. And there is plenty of room on the path for all body types and sizes. We have to be careful. We shame people when they carry extra weight, but heaven forbid they lose it all and get lean. We’ll shame them just as much for reaching their goals.
This issue isn’t body weight. The issue is judgment. Isn’t that the message we are sending to our sisters? You will be judged. Too fat. Too thin. Too muscular. Not fit enough. Too fit.
Any time we look at someone and find a judgment about their appearance, good or bad, we are giving the internal judge power in our lives. Try something like this instead, when a thought pops up about someone’s weight or size. “I see your true essence and I see your authentic light.”
It’s miraculous. All the judgment about the physical just falls away.
But what is even more amazing is this judge that projects outward to our sisters, is the same voice that is terrorizing us about our own weight and size and shape. You see, we are all one. What I do to you, I do to me. So as I teach myself to see your true essence and your authentic light, I learn to see mine as well.
And finally, we can all shine on.