“Problem areas”: A big problem in women’s fitness

I’m seeing it over and over again, and I’m sure you are too. The term “problem areas” is used as naturally when talking about women’s fitness as the word “fresh” is used when talking about water.

If you ask me, portraying women’s fitness this way is causing more damage than motivation. Why? Because it makes women look at their bodies, find something they don’t like about them, and try to find a way to “fix” something about themselves that never even bothered them before and does not need to be fixed. It also takes the fun and playfulness out of fitness and movement.

Have you ever read a magazine that included an article telling you how to tighten up your “problem areas” (aka belly, butt and thighs) featuring a clearly photoshopped picture of a model with the type of physique that’s currently regarded as the ideal look for a woman? Did it make you look at your own body and find all the many areas that need tightening, slimming, shrinking or growing so that you can look like the model from the article?

Well, here’s the thing: Your body is unique and there is NOTHING wrong with the way it looks. All that believing that there is something wrong with it does is ruin your mood and your self-esteem.

If we women weren’t so conditioned to believe that there’s generally something wrong with the way we look, we would probably wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, smile, and not worry about a little cellulite or fine lines in our faces. If we weren’t conditioned to believe that there’s something wrong with us, we would be happy with the way we look, not wasting a thought on wanting to look different. Just think about how liberating that would be!

Here’s another thing: Fitness is important for our health. In these technology heavy times, most of our lifestyles are very sedentary. However, our bodies were not made to sit around all day, and it can lead to a bunch of health problems to do so. Fitness, or more broadly movement, is something we NEED to allow us to live long and healthy lives. Because it is so essential to our longterm wellbeing, it should be something we enjoy. Now, portraying fitness as something that we must put ourselves through to fix our looks does not make it something we enjoy spending our time on. It makes it the necessary evil we have to get through in order to come closer to the “ideal” body, harming not only our relationship with our bodies, but also our relationship with movement.

So I say f*** being told what we are supposed look like. Let’s be proud of ourselves just the way we are. Let’s find a type of movement we enjoy and stick with it because it makes us feel good; not because it might get us closer to looking like somebody else’s photoshopped picture.

What do you say?

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