“Stop reading beauty magazines…”

“They will only make you feel ugly.”

My brother Jesse’s class played Wear Sunscreen during his graduation. Super cheesy, yes but he was Class of 99, and it fit. Whatever. Gingers wear sunscreen all the time any way and there were like FIVE GINGERS in a class of like twenty kids.

Anyway…I digress…

I grabbed an unnamed women’s fitness mag a week ago. Figured it would have some useful information in it, maybe a meal or something I could suggest to someone, something I could pick up that would be a useful coaching cue, something that would be a great visual of what NOT to do, maybe a discount on some fitness gear, some anatomical information…
SOMETHING. ANYTHING. SOMETHING I could read and translate to use in CrossFit North Arlington.

Seriously. Anything.

I found articles on Looking Slimmer Instantly!.
I discovered which pair of running tights to buy to tone my ass while I work.
I got makeup tips.
I read reviews on ear buds.
I found out how to go from the gym to the grocery store without looking like an overworked wet rat.
I found out how to accessorize my sports bra to my leggings without looking schlumpy.
I found out how to deal with friends who don’t exercise and how to address their criticism of my healthy ways.
I found out how to love the imperfections exercise doesn’t seem to fix.
I got advice on dressing for my body, and which yoga pants offer the most slimming lines.
I even learned how to work out in such a way as to not threaten my partner.
I got some learnin’ on the best way to fix my hair during my workout, so as to avoid flyaways.
I learned how to downplay my flaws.

But I didn’t learn a damn thing about working out. Or self empowerment. Or moving weight. Or loving myself. Or loving the people around me.

Maybe it’s just me…but I’m NOT doing this so you can look at my ass and say “Damn. I just wanna bite it.”, that’s just a lovely byproduct. I’m doing this so *I* can look at my ass in the mirror and say “Damn right.” before I walk out the door. I’m not going to accept being ‘bootylicious’ (Dear GOD I hate that word.) when in reality I’m chunky and not fit. I’m not going to accept that I should work out in a way so as not to threaten my man. There’s a reason he and I don’t work out together. It’s not because either of us feel threatened, it’s because we start trying to coach one another and all hell breaks loose. I’m not threatened by his WOD and he’s certainly not threatened by mine.

And, flyaways are the last damn thing on my mind when I’m swinging a kettlebell. I want my hair out of my eyes yes, but I generally accept that for the duration of my time I’m going to be a hot sweaty mess. I admit I wear makeup most days even when I work out, but I wear MAC ProLongwear. That mess ain’t BUDGIN’.

The only fitness advice I DID find was related to a Tracy Anderson giveaway, and then some weight lifting advice on how to not look bulky. Resistance bands, check. Balance ball, check. 3/4 squats, check. No barbells. No bumpers. No anything heavy. Lots of stretchy looking yoga poses. Lots of talk about LOW CALORIES! and LOW FAT! meals.

Nothing in that magazine said, “Hey. You wanna move that? Guess what! You can!” or “Ladies…work out for yourself…don’t give a tinker’s damn about anything else.” There wasn’t a single “Yes you can!” message in that periodical. Just a bunch of subliminal “you’re not quite good enough so use these tools to cover it up” crap.

Stop it.

If you’re using this type of mass media as your yardstick for fitness and coaching…stop it. Get thee to an affiliate or a trainer stat. Talk to someone who can and will assess your goals then surround yourself with people who will enthusiastically become your personal cheerleaders with every single milestone you reach.


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