Tonight, as my fingers clack across the keyboard, I prepare for an all-nighter. What does this include? Pinterest. My greatest obsession and inspiration.
Pinterest is where I discover crazy awesome DIY's like wallpapering your fridge, making an indoor tabletop water garden, or making a butterfly feeder!
I also discover super delicious treats to bake, healthy but yummy meals to try, and a multitude of yoga poses I've yet to discover!
This site rocks.
Still, scrolling past pin after pin there is a continuous stream of workouts with titles like "flat belly skinny thighs" or descriptions such as "finally, a workout that actually works!" where a girl who was already very thin is now extremely skinny.
Let me stop here.
Skinny is not bad.
Skinny is not ugly.
Skinny is beautiful.
So is Average.
So is Fat.
Skinny is not bad.
Working out for the sake of being skinny is bad.
For the aesthetic appeal of skinny.
For wanting to be "beautiful" because skinny is beautiful and fat is ugly.
For wanting a flat belly and skinny thighs to love yourself or be loved by others; to feel attractive and good about yourself and appear attractive to others; to be happy.
For so long working out was to compensate for what I ate; to keep my body in check; and to make sure I didn't need to buy new jeans before school started (unless the jeans I was buying were smaller).
It became a battle with my body, not a worshiping of my body.
I am not saying working out is wrong.
I'm saying what so many people do it for and what it's posed as is.
Working out should not be for that "flat belly skinny thighs"; it should be for the energy that roots you to your body and makes you feel invincible.
And you know what? You don't have to work out to get this feeling.
Working out does not make you love yourself.
Can it be an act of loving yourself? Of course.
It can also be an act of hating and punishing yourself.
These posts that flood websites, TV, magazines, or the streets we walk on are declaring that skinny is beautiful and healthy, while fat is ugly and unhealthy. This is not right nor okay.
Working out should not be "to get skinny."
It should be to come together with your body in worship no matter if it's little or big.
Use it to reinforce self-love practices not self-hate rituals!
You don't need a gym membership and you don't need to do "this many" push-ups followed by "this many" planks to feel great, to be healthy, and to love yourself.
You don't need a flat belly or skinny thighs to feel beautiful and wonderful and full of life; to have style and zest; or take stunning pictures you can't wait to post to Instagram or Facebook.
That's all right inside of you already.
Those posts on Pinterest that occasionally make me feel like crap can suck my big toe, because I am thin and soft, full of muscle and also jiggle (I find my jiggle quite fun), vibrant, full of love, and a source of infinite awesome-ness. This doesn't change whether I be fat or skinny or whether I sweat it out in a workout every day.