If you’re reading this, you have agreed to play the game.
The rules are simple:
I give you options, and you pick one.
Here we go.
THIS or THAT
Salad or Hamburger
Pilates or Lifting
Alcohol or Water
Big or Small
Party or Sleep
Size 2 or Size 10
Cardio or Strength
Make-Up or Natural
110 lbs or 150 lbs
Carbs or Veggies
Skinny or Fat
Tan or Pale
If you answered SALAD: You must be trying to lose weight.
If you answered HAMBURGER: You’re probably fat with no self control.
If you answered PILATES: You’re probably girly and weak, wishing for abs.
If you answered LIFTING: You’re probably manly and beastly.
If you answered ALCOHOL: You’re probably a party girl/alcoholic.
If you answered WATER: You’re probably bland and boring.
If you answered BIG: You’re probably an over achiever.
If you answered SMALL: You’re probably annoyingly humble.
If you answered PARTY: You’re probably a slut.
If you answered SLEEP: You’re probably a grandma.
If you answered SIZE 2: You’re probably anorexic.
If you answered SIZE 10: You’re probably fat.
If you answered CARDIO: You’re probably trying to be skinny.
If you answered STRENGTH: You’re probably beefy.
If you answered MAKE-UP: You probably look like a drag queen.
If you answered NATURAL: You probably look boring and sloppy.
If you answered 110 LBS: You probably need to eat.
If you answered 150 LBS: You probably need to stop eating.
If you answered CARBS: You can probably eat whatever you want and stay thin.
If you answered VEGGIES: You’re probably on a diet.
If you answered SKINNY: You probably want to be.
If you answered FAT: You’re probably talking about yourself.
If you answered TAN: You probably look like you get spray tans.
If you answered PALE: You probably look gross and pasty.
That is how easy it was for me to shame you based off one word choices you make. I found something wrong with every move you made. There is no winning. That’s just how the shame game is played.
We are all playing the shame game. NO ONE IS SAFE.
Now, go ahead and disregard all I just told you that you “probably” are. It’s all BULL S***. I was just getting your attention, and now that I have it, I want to talk about SHAMING.
In the fitness industry, when someone uses the word “SHAMING” our first thought used to be “body shaming”, am I right? BUT…now shaming includes so much more than that. We not only face the every day struggle of body shaming, but now we have food shaming, workout shaming, and lifestyle shaming. Like, WHAT!?!?
How is someone going to look at my plate or my choice of workout and judge me for it or look at my Friday night and decide who I am because of it. It’s SICK. It’s REPULSIVE. Yet sadly enough, it’s the world we live in.
One particular shaming trend has my skin crawling. The good old WORKOUT SHAMING.
Let’s zoom in on the good ol’ before and after photo trend…
Before and after photos used to be an innocent way of showing off the pride in your progress. “Before” would be a picture of what I like to call “a lazy body”. A lazy body, as I refer to it, is a body that saw little to no exercise or proper nutrition throughout the years. Then “After” would be a picture of what I like to call “an active body”, or a body that has been progressively taken care of physically and nutritionally for a period of time to then show progress.
However, recently there have been more and more Instagram posts of girls “before and after” photos comparing workout styles. For example, cardio/dieting to lifting/eating more. While I fully support being proud of your progress with a before and after photo, I also don’t think it kind to take a s*** on other people’s style of working out and eating.
While many girls use it to compare their disordered eating and unhealthy exercise days to their recovery days, I think it cuts too dangerously close to cardio and diet shaming. If we don’t lift, we are shamed for it, and this observation is coming from a girl who does minimal cardio and mainly pilates! So let me set the record straight… there is nothing wrong with cardio even though it’s been labeled as the black sheep of the workout family. Also, there is nothing wrong with a diet, because the word diet is simply used to describe the way you eat. It is not a carb and sugar deprived monster of a word like everyone makes it out to be.
Don’t get caught up in the way someone looks because of their methods. Those methods may not even work for you. We are all different!
Just because Sally Six Pack has abs, doesn’t mean you should do whatever she tells you to, and just because someone doesn’t have apparent abs, don’t discredit them! You won’t find happiness pursuing the looks and direction of others. Use the knowledge of others to help educate yourself and discover what you love!
If I had only one sentence to describe fitness to a room full of people, this is what I’d say:
FITNESS IS PERSONAL.
If you want to be successful in your fitness journey, you need to listen to YOUR body and do what works best for YOU. If you enjoy running, RUN! If you enjoy lifting, LIFT! Whatever it is that YOU enjoy, do that.
We are so easily bullied by the shaming of others into doing what we don’t truly enjoy. You may be pressured to go out on a weekend and drink because your friends will shame you if you don’t. You may be pressured to cut carbs if others are shaming you for being overweight. You may be pressured to lift instead of doing pilates because someone shames you for having no abs. It’s all part of the shame game.
Here’s how you win:
DECIDE NOT TO PLAY.
My name is Abbie and I love salad as much as I love burgers. I put ranch on my french fries, and I can devour a whole bowl of oven baked brussel sprouts in one sitting. If my meal doesn’t include veggies in it and chocolate for dessert, I don’t want it. My favorite way to exercise is POP Pilates. It is fun, uplifting, and keeps me strong! Sometimes I work out 5 times a week, and sometimes I go months without! I prefer not to go out drinking with friends, but instead hang out with my cats and watch Friends. I wear a size 8 in dresses and definitely weigh more than 110 lbs. I’m pale with freckles unless I spend all summer going to the pool, then I’m less pale with freckles. I sleep more than I party and eat carbs more than I eat veggies.
If you just read that with shame on the brain, well I only have one thing left to say…
Shame on you for shaming me!
If you enjoyed this post, share it! Remember to spread the love every day! Good vibes are the best medicine. Admire one another for who we are and celebrate what makes us different!