Last winter I got my second tattoo. I would often get the question primarily from people who don’t have tattoos, “What does it represent?”. (Because you know tattoos are suppose to have represent something if they are on your body forever.)
At first, to suffice the inquiring minds, I would come up with something to tell people of what it represented. When this became exhausting to me, I surrendered and just laid it out there as it is:
“I got this tattoo because I like the way it makes me feel. Not because of what it is, what it represents, or for the badge of self inflicted pain. Because I simply like the way it makes me feel about my body.”
This usually results in blank stares. There just isn’t the same level of understanding. And thats ok!
I started thinking about how tattoos, fitness, and weight loss all come together and it boils down to this:
People choose to do things to their body because of the way it makes them feel.
A woman exercises consistently because it makes her feel good about herself.
The woman runs marathons because it makes her feel accomplished.
A woman prepares healthy meals for her and her family because it makes her feel good that she can provide nutritious options and feed her family.
People do things that are perceived both positive and negative to their bodies because of how it makes them feel. When others have an opinion on that instead of looking through eyes of compassion is when the walls come up, defense is on, and feelings get hurt.
Someone says things like:
“Running is terrible for your body.” Which translates to, “Running is terrible for YOUR body.”
“Lifting all that heavy weight is going to age you faster.” Translation: “Lifting all that heavy weight will make YOU age faster.”
“You’re going to eat all that?” Translates to: “You really shouldn’t be eating so much.”
“That’s weird.” Translation: “You’re weird.”
And then all of a sudden you have people second guessingthemselves…
“Maybe I shouldn’t run anymore.”
“Maybe I should try high rep, low weights for awhile.”
“Maybe I should eat a little less…”
“Maybe I should be a little more reserved.”
When some people see you doing something different than they are, they unintentionally say something out of ignorance or some insecurity that can cause you to think twice about what you are doing.
It’s when we are so quick to make statements based on hunches instead of taking the time to educate ourselves is when conflict arises. Instead ask questions and then just listen!
Our bodies are very special and sacred to us. We are only given one. One for us to do whatever we want with. We are also given autonomy. The freedom to make decisions independently.
Since being open-minded is something you see less of today, people start making decisions based on what other people think it the “best/better/right” things to do. Instead of a population of secure, comfortable, and independent thinkers….we have followers.
Instead of people being comfortable with themselves and chasing feelings of personal satisfaction, they are now seeking:
Approval. Acceptance. Belonging. Community. Love. Affection. Worthiness.
They will do whatever it takes get these feelings…
A woman seeks out a nutrition coach to lose weight because she thinks she will feel good enough once those Xlbs are gone but tells everyone it’s for health reasons.
The woman starts working out because she feels that if she could just “tone up” her husband would want to touch her again but tells everyone it’s because she just wanted to try it out.
A woman who is continually cheated on and treated with disrespect in a relationship dyes her hair, whitens her teeth, and starves herself because it makes her feel like she is making a difference in his mind but deep down she still feels worthless tells everyone she’s just trying out a new look.
Know this… you are worthy exactly as you are. When you can accept who you are today and know that you are dearly loved as you are, a weight will be taken off your shoulders. Those last X pounds you think you need to lose won’t be such a pressing matter anymore. A new look for yourself will be for you and only you to accentuate they beauty you already have.
You do not need to explain to anyone why you choose to do the things you do to your body.
If you want to lose weight? Great! Then do it for YOU!
If you want to run a marathon? Great! Then do it for YOU!
If you want to deadlift 3x your bodyweight? Great! Then do it for YOU!
Be strong and rooted in what you believe you want to do and remember this key phrase:
“Good for you, not for me.” – Amy Pohler
This is the beauty of being an individual…. you get to do what you want to do. Some is doing something else? Cool. Keep doing YOU.
Don’t every feel like you need to do something to gain someone else approval because you as you are…is enough. If they can’t get with that, keep moving. Leave the door open to people who will love and appreciate you for you, not for the person you are trying to be.