Burn Bright

If you’ve been following SweatItOut on Facebook, you may already be aware of my newfound passion for yoga and my quest for positive energy on all fronts.  I even meditate now.  (Who could have imagined, right?)  To that end, I’ve been more conscious of posting affirming images and messages of encouragement.  So when I started my search this morning for new material, I was all love and light and whatnot.

Well…you know what just gets right under my relatively thick skin and strikes a normally calm nerve?  Today, I’ve got a little list.

First up? The fitness “inspiration” photos of women holding up their breasts so we can better view their abs or pulling duckface as they take over-the-shoulder shots of their butts in cutoffs shoved so far between their cheeks, I have to pick my own non-existent wedgie.  I love a great shot of a strong woman, be she clothed, nearly naked, or completely bare.  So long as it’s a celebration of her strength.  When it’s dumbed down to cookie-cutter skankville shots, I begin to get hot under the collar.

See? Strong and sexy despite the absence of duckface.
See? Strong and sexy despite the absence of duckface.

For the record, I also celebrate sexuality.  But there’s a pretty thick line between sexy and look-at-me-and-my-daddy-issues.  Let’s not demean our entire gender, okay?  It’s not flattering to any of us.

Next on my list – all the posts about weight loss.  Surprised?  Listen, I’m not about pounds lost.  I am about strength gained.  I will cheer you on when your endurance increases, when you take responsibility for your health, when you see progress in myriad ways.  But can we stop the focus on pounds?  They’re so beside the point and they fluctuate so very much in the course of a day.  Ditch the scale.  Toss it out the window.  Decide to never place another foot on it.  It is unnecessary. 

Does this mean I don’t understand the desire to be attractive?  Nu-uh.  I’m a girl who loves red lipstick, a pair of jeans that fit my thighs and butt just right, and a good hair day.  I have a faithful relationship with mascara and undereye concealer.  But it doesn’t determine how I feel about myself on a particular day.  Just as an increase or decrease in poundage shouldn’t dictate your self-worth.  You’re so much more than weight.

And once again, I am irritated by the “my-exercise-is-better-than-your-exercise” mentality.  We all like different stuff.  It’s what makes the universe so incredibly cool and awesome.  I am totally into yoga and running (I think I may have talked about that before…).  But I can get down with lifting and Insanity and Zumba and Pilates.  You SweatItOut with Just Dance?  That totally rocks.  You’re training in a CrossFit box?  Kick ass, my friend.  Wanna know a secret?  You can completely love and enjoy your chosen fitness regimen without bashing anyone else’s.  I know it sounds cray-cray, but it’s legit.  Trust me on this one.

It all comes down to this: find your light and keep it lit.  Burn that fucker bright, as bright as you can.  Burn it so brightly that you start lighting others’ fires.




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