• Anna

Wellness & Current Fitness Goals (and rant) ( Blogmas Day 3)

I get a lot of questions about what my workout routine is, what I'm training for or what sport I'm in to at the moment because it is always, always changing. I've set milage goals for running, vertical feet for climbing, marathon training, handstand training, I've tried veganism and vegetarian, high meat, and high fat... I'm always switching it up for so many reasons.. 1.) It's fun 2.) Keeps me interested in what I'm doing 3.) I like to do what makes me feel best in that phase of my life 4.) I'm curious and I love learning 5.) I like to prove to myself that I can do all the things if I really work hard at.

... aren't these all pretty good reasons to do anything in life?

My most recent goal has been one of the absolute most controversial out of anything I have ever tried and I honestly can't believe it. Recently, I've hired a coach who is an IFBB Pro (an International Fitness and Bikini Professional) to help me train, coach me in nutrition and my daily workouts. I've always wanted to hire a coach since my mom bought me a subscription to Oxygen Magazine at about 17 years old. I had a great experience with a nutrition consultation that my mom gifted me also at 17 or 18, but now I'm 32! Things have changed a bit - it was time for a professional check-in on my eating and athleticism. I've also thought it would be amazing to one day step on stage in a fitness competition to show off what I've worked hard at (also likely derived from Oxygen Magazine and seeing women prep every year at the gym)! I loved how strong they looked, but also how glamorous they were in their sparkly bikinis, heels, makeup and hair. It seems like the epitome of feminism - strong and confident, beautiful and composed and it takes a grand combination of all the things I love doing. Running, cycling, and hiking for cardio combined with weight training and the nutritional science. It seems like an awesome sport for me.

But honestly, I'm dissapointed in the reactions I've gotten and the questions that I get from people. Here is what I have heard so far:

  1. Why would you want to starve yourself?

  2. You know, a lot of people do those competitions for the wrong reasons

  3. Don't get too skinny.. or too muscular, thats not attractive

  4. Well I think you looked beautiful before

  5. What does Rich think? Are you doing this for him?

All of these responses, no matter how well-intentioned are not supportive. Let me tell you why.

  1. I don't want to starve myself... hence why I hired a coach, so that I do all my training properly, fueling my body with exactly what it needs to perform it's best in whatever sport I'm doing - and I've never eaten more meals my entire life! I am perpetually full.

  2. I'm sure they do... a lot of people do a lot of things for a lot of wrong reasons. If you sit down with me for 5 minutes I think you would learn that this is one of many goals and my reasons behind each one are positive.

  3. My weight and how I look is nobodies business except for me and my doctor. If I am healthy and feel good that is all that matters. Did anybody tell Michael Phelps to stop swimming so much because he might develop a swimmers bod? Everybody only makes these statements about women. Stop it.

  4. Thanks, I do too. I think I look beautiful in all stages of life. Our bodies do amazing things! How about just saying "you look great." Sometimes I want to see how I look in different phases - whether thats a different hair color, bodyweight, or style of clothing.

  5. This is the most hurtful. First of all, Rich would love me the same if I embodied one of those lovely, voluptuous Renaissance woman out of a painting.

Secondly, to assume that I feel unconfident enough in my own skin to alter my look for anybody is a very sad and hurtful assumption. Rich has been my cheerleader in all of my sports goals and this is no different. Here is how the conversation goes with any of my endeavors:

Me: "hey... I'm thinking about doing this thing"

Rich "Cool hun, does it make you happy?"

Me: "yep"

Rich: "Alright, how I can support you? And can we still drink wine sometimes?"

Obviously he has my back and would have a chat with me if I didn't seem happy, but as far as my goals are concerned, and if it is making me happy, and I'm healthy with my relationship with food and exercise, he is right next to me encouraging me (often doing it right along with me... though he doesn't look as good in a bikini).

I challenge you to do something that pushes your limits a little bit - just to see if you can. That could be anything! Can I read 20 books this year? Can I train myself to do one pull up? Can I run for mayor? Do the things that make you happy and uplift one another through encouragement, rather than drawing conclusions.