To work out or not work out…
You might be reading this and not quite grasping what this is all about.
Or you might totally get it.
Either way I want to adress the following, as I strongly believe that it is something many of us who are on the curvy/larger/fat side have thought of, and ironically enough the only thing which has has had me thinking differently is working out in an environment where I felt safe, welcomed and motivated.
I am not proud of the following thought that has crossed my mind over the years – but here we go.
”Do I, as a curvy/larger/fat person deserve to work out, or am I just too out of shape to even bother giving it a go? Do I need to already be slim, fit to be welcomed into a gym/studio etc.”
As ashamed as I am of it, I honestly felt that in order for me to go to the gym to work out, be healthy and happy I would first have to go on a diet to then, once I had lost weight, resort to the gym to get physically fit and toned.
In the past, when seeing heavier people out running I used to think of them as incredibly brave and strong for even bothering going for a run. That the hurdle of getting to the point of seeing results and ultimately becoming slim and fit was just way too immense, so then – why bother.
Back then I thought of exercise as something you did only to get results such as loosing weight or looking fit. Never did I look at heavier people out running thinking that the result they were looking for could possibly simply be that of getting to the point of enjoying it.
12 months ago I got to a place where I just felt my body craving movement. I wanted to move my body, feel more energetic, show up for myself, but without resorting to spinning or any other type of exercise I used to do excessively during the time of my life where I developed orthorexia in my late teenage years.
But there was a massive problem keeping me from getting my arse off the sofa…
I felt way too uncomfortable to put myself in a typical workout environment whilst being unfit, having to start from point A and slowly build up my strength, flexibility and stamina. I felt bigger and as though I would stand out too much in my lack of fitness be clumsy and take up too much space. I did not feel welcome at gyms as I told myself they were for people who were like I used to be : fit, strong, slim and well not out of breath and red as a tomato from doing exercise.
But you know what is interesting? Thanks to accidentally showing up for a BJJ class through Swiftr, that was supposed to be for beginners but really really wasn’t – my reason for working out shifted in a matter of 2 hours. It was no longer to look fit or be slimmer – it was to build up enough mobility, strength and stamina to be able to practice BJJ regularly. Although I was extremely unfit and uncomfortable that evening trying out BJJ, I felt so welcome and motivated by the people there.
12 months down the line I am now exercising at least 4 times a week, mixing extremely tiring HIIT-classes, core-strengthening pilates and yoga.
I have not lost tons of weight and I don’t look super fit, but I deserve to be in all the classes I am attending simply because I’ve showed up to them and most importantly because I’ve showed up for myself.