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I have scientific evidence that you are absolutely incredible. Yes, you – YOU ARE AWESOME!
Despite where you are on your fitness journey: whether or not you are on your path to losing or gaining weight; whether or not you are satisfied with how your body looks or how much it lifts or how fast it runs or whatever; let’s give your mind a break from contemplating your physical shape, looks, and capabilities.
Because your awesomeness is so much deeper than that: consider what goes on under your skin! Let's dive in!
I cordially invite you to take a second to appreciate the thousands of involuntary processes your brain, heart, blood, and every other cell and organ in your body undergo every second to keep you alive, moving, thinking, and feeling.
There are so many things that are going on at this very moment – you’re breathing; sitting or standing; blood is coursing through your veins; you are visually interpreting symbols on a screen through your eyes and this information is travelling through your optic nerve and into your thalmus & then cerebral cortex so your brain can interpret and understand these symbols as letters and then as words that are part of a story and you go, “Huh, ain’t that interesting” in response! And this happens in seconds! *DEEP BREATH*
That, I say, is pretty fricken incredible!!
Years ago, I went through a Regina Spektor phase. I loved her quirky music. I constantly had one of her albums playing on my wee iPod Nano (the one with the spinning wheel and the teeny tiny screen… remember those?! #throwback).
One song she has is called, Folding Chair. And there’s a line that I think of quite often.
That line has been my personal mantra for a while.
It started when I was on a long bike tour. This song played into my eardrums on a day that I felt tired; on a day I felt like I wasn’t going fast enough; and I was down on myself for not training harder or eating healthier. That day, I had one thought on repeat: "Why the heck I WAS DOING THIS?!"
And then that song burst loud and clear out of my headphones and into my ears, and that line rang out into my brain.
And I tell ya, it was really hard to not smile or feel inspired BY MY SELF.
Wow, I was pedaling my butt off – I had travelled thousands of kilometers – and while I was doing all that work, my beautiful, helpful, diligent, and untiring eyelashes were keeping sweat, dust, debris, microorganisms, and other icky things away from my eyeballs and allowing me to see where I was going the whole time!
Sure, I could've trained harder and eaten better and maybe next time I'll do it different - but HOLY CRAP, THE BLINDINGLY BRIGHT AWESOMENESS OF MY BODY RIGHT NOW CANNOT BE DULLED BY THE SHOULD'VE-S, WOULD'VE-S, AND COULD'VE-S!
Wow! My brain was bursting with gratitude!
I thought, "My body is awesome and I love how different parts of it work together to help me go after things that really really matter to me! My body wants me to succeed and it’s gonna help where it can to allow me to persevere! JUST WOW!"
I remembered this quote while I was at work one day, and it made me think, “Hey, maybe some Synergee Athletes could benefit from feeling inspired by their own bodies, too!” Because even when I am not biking across a country – which I only did for a few months out of my entire existence – this feeling of awe and wonder still stays with me.
This line of thinking has had a profound impact on my fitness journey. It has helped my focus shift from “I need to improve my body to make it look like ____ & do ____” to “My body is already perfect (Regina Spektor said so!) and I really want to celebrate it! I want to treat it right by eating foods it runs well on and doing physical activities that make it feel great!”
I understand that this is my personal experience and it isn’t going to be universally applicable to everyone who reads this post. But, this shift in perspective has really helped me set and strive for fitness goals while practicing Body Acceptance, Body Appreciation, and develop a sense of self-awareness and self-esteem that contributes to my overall wellness.
It has helped me strike a middle ground between being overtly self-critical and pretending my body doesn't exist or impact my life; to find a spot between pushing too hard and too little that allows me to be happy with and proud of myself while remaining ambitious and welcoming growth.
And if it helps you too, that’s AWESOME!
Again, your fitness goals are your own.
My motivation to share my personal anecdote is this:
Self-betterment and self-improvement can happen while you are celebrating who you are NOW. Actively seeking change in your appearance, shape, or capabilities is not necessarily a signal of low self-esteem or lack of self-acceptance.
It’s ok to not want to lose weight. It’s ok to want to lose weight. It’s ok if your largest motivation to workout is to squat 500 lbs or run a marathon. It’s ok if your motivation is to look awesome naked. It’s ok if you train so you can carry your groceries in one trip or pick up your grandkids.
And amid this, I want to help you celebrate just how AWESOME you and your body are RIGHT NOW! You are a really cool assortment of bones and skin and arteries and nerves and muscles and phalanges!
I’m no doctor, but, like, I would definitely diagnose YOU – even without personally knowing you – as an inhabitant of a super cool body. Really! Honestly! Truly!
And without further ado, here are the 17 awesome facts that hopefully really drive this point home. Here they are, the big event I have been building up for the last 1000 words!
If you want to learn more about how awesome your body is, you can check out the websites I took these facts from -- here and here and here and here… and here! (You'll notice I pulled some word-for-word, so I don't claim authorship for all these amazing facts!).
And since I recently saw the latest John Wick movie and I've got Keanu on my mind, let's finish off with one more Gif, shall we?
CATCH YA NEXT WEEK, AWESOME ATHLETES!!
 I read this article by VOX about why the whole Body Positivity movement is quite shallow. Promoting Body Positivity is a fantastic way to reduce stigmatization and judgement towards people who have larger or smaller body types than those that are regularly featured in magazines and movies. But my intention is to not write a Body Positivity post: I’ve got more to say beyond the “Love your curves or lack thereof” rhetoric. I want you to consider YOU beyond your looks.
 Sometimes it is. Body dysmorphia is real. Negative body image and eating disorders are real. Seek help if you need it.