Posted on July 28 2016
Sometimes, the numbers that surround us can be overpowering. How much do you weigh? What size are you? How many pounds have you lost in x amount of time? It can be a lot to take in, all day, every day, when you shop for clothes, step on a scale at the doctor’s office, or squeeze into those size 6 jeans when you know damn well you’re more comfortable in a size 10. Though our brains might understand the inconsistency of sizing from brand to brand, our minds do not. Naturally, we take this number at face value and grant it an incredible amount of importance. The external pressures that tell us our beauty and value are determined by such minute details make such a phenomenon inevitable.
When I started Fit and Thick, my main goal was to lose 30 pounds and fight my way back to the size 4 I was in high school. I cared more about these numbers than I did the process, because I didn’t believe in a holistic approach to fitness. At 17 years old, I weighed 190 pounds. My doctor called it “severely overweight” for my 5’3’’ build. Society called it fat.
When I finally decided to shed this weight during my senior year of high school, I did so incorrectly. I ran nearly 6 miles every single day, and skipped meals more often than I ate them. The majority of my “diet” consisted of Special K cereal. That was it. Though I’d lost 45 pounds in less than 5 months, I’d developed a severe eating disorder. I weighed myself compulsively, afraid that I would gain weight the few times I did decide to keep a hot meal down. It was the best and worst year of my life – best because I was finally “good enough,” worst because it came at the cost of my mental health. The number consumed me, and I became a very anxious and irritable person behind closed doors.
Gradually, I ended up gaining a lot of the weight back in just 3 years. That’s when I started Fit and Thick. I planned on shedding pounds just as I had before — working out and skipping meals. Thankfully, this company’s approach to fitness and, more importantly, health leaves no room for eating disorders. It has taught me to respect my body, first and foremost, through nourishment. These instructors stress the importance of counting macros in addition to calories, and motivate members to educate themselves on the specific ratios their bodies demand.
These are lessons that will help me with both physical and mental wellbeing for the rest of my life. Fit and Thick has taught me to embrace the interactive relationship between nutrition and fitness, which will ultimately help me meet and maintain my goals. Through such awareness, this team has redefined the role food plays in my life.
Once I acknowledged the building blocks of my calorie intake, and calculated the daily recommendations based on my body fat percentage, I started to feel a difference in my fitness level. This macro-conscious approach has optimized my diet, and strengthened my body. When I meet my protein (155g), carbs (133g) and fat (43g) requirement, I take full advantage of my Fit and Thick workouts. I lift heavier, sprint faster, and work harder. It’s truly incredible.
Throughout this process, my goal has changed. Now, I want to lose body fat, gain lean body weight, and build muscle—regardless of the number that stares back at me on the scale. I want to feed my body the right amount of macros, because a beautiful body is defined by how well it is taken care of and loved.
If you or anyone you know also struggles with the idea of body image, I urge you to worry less about the numerical value of your jean size, and prioritize your mental well being. Your body is your temple. Treat is as such. Once you do, you will start to feel the difference before you see it. Trust your body and trust the process. It will all be worthwhile. I promise.
Blog written by Francis Elaine