Necessity of Pride

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by: Megan Sandiland

Over the past several years and again more recently, I’ve become aware of the term “fit shaming”. In our society, we are all familiar with “fat shaming” where most commonly the media sets up a negative perspective of overweight people in the sense everyone should see them as “lazy”, which we all know is not always the case. However, on the other edge of the spectrum, it shocks me there is such a thing as “fit shaming”. During my fitness journey, I have been on both sides of the spectrum, and honestly, I’m not sure which one is worse.

Fit shaming comes into play, often times on social media, when women are called “manly” for their muscles, men are belittled for doing workouts like crossfit, or people who hide behind a keyboard critique someone on how much they work out or “obsessed” they are with clean eating. I personally have had this happen on a number of fitness posts where people will comment “we get it”on progress pics or post passive aggressive messages about the fact “no one wants to see gym updates every day”. But much like when I was heavy and was under fire for being overweight, I’ve learned to look past the negative push back I get when it comes to fitness posts, conversation, and lifestyle habits.

We are all at different points of our fitness journey with unique individual goals and achievements we hope to attain over a certain amount of time. That alone should be enough to be proud of what you’re setting out to do and the progress you are making. Knowing you’d like to achieve a goal, planning, then making steps toward the finish line (metaphorically and literally) is one thing many people simply won’t do.

No one should ever make you feel bad about your love for exercise or your passion to be healthy. I live a life where at least weekly someone gives me grief or makes jokes about my time spent in the gym or my willpower to eat healthy. This is where the necessity of pride comes into play the most.

Pride is necessary because if you are not on your health and fitness journey for you- and only you, you’re going to have a difficult time finding success. Motivating yourself to begin a workout routine and make changes to your lifestyle is a BIG deal. Any small step along the way you have to be proud of. Never belittle any of the changes and progress you make as they are helping chip away at the overall goal.

Be proud of yourself and surround yourself with people who are proud of you. The most successful people in life have not gotten where they are without naysayers or those who try to bring them down. I’ve personally found the best motivations are the doubters or people who think you can’t do it. Prove them wrong. Tear into goals and run at them at full speed. Once you’ve decided how badly you want something and how proud you’ll feel once you reach it, or work toward it; nothing can stop you.

Megan Sandiland

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