A body whose extraordinary side effect is to look pretty awesome, because it’s healthy. Because it’s capable.
But this is now
Take me back to then and a 22 year old me weighed little over a man’s Olympic Barbell. I was lighter than a Woman’s Fran prescribed weight. At my lowest, 23kg to be precise. I was skin and bone. And all I could see was fat and a body that didn’t live up to the standards society had proclaimed as the desired requirements for beauty. Where others could see the outline of my teeth beneath the nearly lifeless skin that covered my face, I saw fat. Where sores appeared from the ever protruding hip bones that exploded against my skin, I saw fat. Where an ounce of self esteem should have lived, I harboured a misconception of myself so grave it almost got me there. And only in the moment where my body had literally eaten through most of my muscle tissue to feed itself, did I began to see the reality of my predicament.
I was a 22 year old anorexic
I was driven by the insatiable need to win against a scale which provided a scant illusion of victory when its numbers went down. I was dying and I had gotten there all by myself.
And now? No one can see what once was. From the outside, I have rebuilt the muscle tissue, regained my cheeks and those hip bones never found their way back to tear through my skin. On the inside, I’m a work in progress and CrossFit has been my greatest ally in my journey of self-acceptance and recovery. Through CrossFit I have focused on improving what I can do, I have discovered I have it in me to do things I never even dreamed were possible for me and I know that there is more of me to improve.
I’ve worked hard to get where I am. To feel comfortable in my own skin. To accept that no matter how my body looks, the most important thing is to take care of it and make it better every single day. That capacity achieved through hard work and perseverance greatly overrides the physical stereotypes imposed by society.
I became a part of a new archetype for beauty
Beauty created by the media, a new typification for beautiful and it says: “Strong is the New Skinny”.
It dawns on me that although we’re professing people should be healthy through strength, we’ve gotten right back to where we started. Granted having a strong looking body generally implies taking care of it, but the truth is any physical obsession drives us to harm our bodies in detriment of what media culture deems attractive for that precise moment in time. Overtraining, over supplementing, under eating can all lead to the same fate as anorexia.
Being proud of who we are is knowing that what’s right about our bodies isn’t the fact that they look strong. What’s right about our bodies is all they can do. What we should appreciate and value in ourselves is what we can achieve and everything we work to improve.
The new sexy, the new skinny, the new beautiful stems from exactly the same thing it always should have: self confidence.
Society doesn’t make it easy to embrace our bodies and love the way we look. Self confidence is something that eludes most women because we have become so focused on shape that we don’t give capacity it’s true value. We forget that our bodies allow us to live and the better we take care of them, the better they will work for us. Our bodies give us power. Power over our routines, life’s challenges and the extraordinary power to give life. Our focus shouldn’t be on looking strong, it should be on being strong and getting stronger as women every single day.
Our focus as women who believe in themselves is “A Better Beautiful”. A Beauty defined by striving to be better every single day
So here’s to the women who look in the mirror everyday and find a way to feel proud. Who find a way to silence the little vicious voice we all have inside to break our confidence. Here is to the women who look at themselves and see the beauty of what they can do, what they have achieved. Here’s to the women to work towards making there bodies better every single day. Here’´s to the women who won’t compromise their capacity in detriment of some trend that defined the standards by which our bodies are aesthetically pleasing. Here’s to the women who see “a better beautiful” as a statement of capacity and not a norm of measurements by which beauty is defined.
Here’s to the women who lift weights, their kids, their families and above all each other.