If you spend too long thinking about it, one could end up falling into the cynical trap of believing that we live in rather a superficial world – not least of all if you are a woman.
The media oils its wheels and the beauty/fitness industry greases its cogs by pedalling unrealistic expectations and goals of what women ‘should’ look like – and for those who doubt it, just head to your local newsagent and pick up January’s edition of any magazine. Even the more ‘high-brow’ publications will push diets, ‘healthy eating’ and weight loss as if their life depended on it … which sadly it probably does, their shelf life at least.
The media print what sells – the fact that two-thirds of their pages are dedicated to getting thin is a sad testament to your average woman’s self-esteem.
Heading down to the gym, sweating it out on a run, joining a yoga class or committing to climbing Mount Snowdon for charity shouldn’t be about getting thin it should about getting fit! Exercising for the buzz of the workout will far exceed the happiness a bit of weight lose will give you. It can transform your strength, your balance, your energy, your mood, your sleep, your confidence, your social life and your self-esteem.
I came across a video this morning for Sport England, and considering my thoughts on the misconception of women and exercise in society I almost punched the air with joy (but didn’t – I’m British after all, public exercise is one thing, public displays of extreme emotion, quite another).
If you are a woman, especially a woman who doesn’t really ‘get’ exercise and you do one thing today, watch this video.
Nothing short of fabulous.
Why? Because this is what we, as women, should be aiming for when we think about exercise, not trying to get into a pair of size 8 jeans. Whilst I support women loosing weight when they need to, the constant obsession with being something you are not, constantly comparing yourself to other people, is one of the poisons in our society.
This video for Sport England aims to encourage girls and women across England to participate in exercise – whatever it is. From running outside on your own to joining a netball team at your local health centre, it all counts, and getting active will give you so much more than just a smaller ass (although you’ll undoubtably end up with one of them too.)
2 million more men than women participate in regular exercise in this country and much of that is down to lack of confidence and fear of judgment, yet 75% of women would like to do more – what’s stopping us?
According to Sports England CEO Jennie Price -
“Before we began this campaign, we looked very carefully at what women were saying about why they felt sport and exercise was not for them. Some of the issues, like time and cost, were familiar, but one of the strongest themes was a fear of judgement.
Worries about being judged for being the wrong size, not fit enough and not skilled enough came up time and again. Every single woman I have talked to about this campaign – and that is now hundreds – has identified with this, and it is that fear of not being ‘good enough’ in some way, and the fear that you are the only one who feels like that, that we want to address”
And address it they have. So if you’re beating yourself up about not having stuck to your January gym promise, you’ve been toying with the idea of joining a salsa class or considering jogging to work three times a week instead of getting the bus. Stop thinking and start actioning.
Whatever size you are, shape you’re in, or fitness level you aspire to be at, get up, get out there and you’ll never look back – kicking judgment’s ass while moving yours, fierce.