Meg Boggs: Health is for everybody – and each physique
We love Meg Boggs and her inclusive approach to fitness, so we were excited to hear about her new book Fitness For Every Body, which is now available. Here is an excerpt, along with a simple exercise, to help us find our fitness whys
Fitness is for everyone
So, let's get one thing straight now. Fitness is suitable for everyone and looks different on each body. Regardless of your shape, size, background, skills, strength or cardiovascular endurance. (Do you get my point? It has to be repeated.) It is for everyone. Including women who have lived most of their lives without ever seeing themselves represented in the fitness world outside of a “before” photo. Including every woman who has ever felt invisible in a world who refuses to see her because of her body, which unfortunately and most likely every woman is.
I believed that this story was passed down to me by society. The one who yelled "You are not enough" until my ears were bleeding. I imagined a life with symmetrical visible abs and a thigh gap. I longed for the moment when my collarbone would finally stick out and be seen. (It never happened, even in the dark depths of my eating disorder.) I would ignore the little moments that happened. The ones where I did eight reps instead of five. The times when my squat got a little deeper. The times when I felt faster, my breath became less shallow, and my trembling arms were shaking a little less. For years I ignored the little moments that slowly but surely changed my life.
A health-oriented approach
Now I am exercising with no weight loss goals. I don't care if exercising my way leads to weight loss. Maybe sometimes it will and maybe not. In any case, I am proud of my body. And I will continue to thank him every day. For some reason, this seems like a radical concept to some. But it is not. It opens the door for everyone to know that they can step into training without the feeling that they can only continue to emerge if their body is continually shrinking and conforming to an ideal of fitness.
Health doesn't always look like size 2 or 6 or 10 or whatever is socially acceptable. It doesn't always look like a person's body is as low in fat as possible. Often times, health looks like everyone, no matter their size, continues to show themselves how it feels best for their body.
We all fold and bend and roll in places that we are told we shouldn't. Our real bodies are fascinating. Beautiful and constantly changing. You deserve respect. They also deserve clothing, chairs, medical care, and basic human rights.
How to find your why
A question for you: If exercise, sport, or any other term you prefer to refer to the movement of your body hasn't changed the way you look … would you still do it? Think about it for a moment. Because sport should be about more than your physical appearance. The benefits of exercise go well beyond an aesthetic – it can bring self-esteem, self-esteem, self-confidence, and empowerment.
So how do we develop the right intention when it comes to exercise? Before starting or exploring your relationship with exercise and fitness, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I enjoy this type of exercise?
- Do I use exercise as a punishment for what I have eaten or to specifically “earn”?
- Does exercising feel like a chore?
- Can I end the sentence “I want to become healthier because ___” with?
something that doesn't match my appearance?
- Am I distracted by how I look while I work out instead of focusing?
during my training?
- Do I miss and / or deny life experiences so as not to miss any?
- Are there other tools I can use to manage my stress / anxiety?
Exercise Not Available?
- Why do I choose sport and what do I hope for from it?
has nothing to do with my appearance?
- Are the goals that I have set myself financially realistic for me?
logistically and mentally right now?
This is an edited excerpt from Fitness for Every Body (Simon & Schuster, £ 14.99).
You can buy the book here or find Meg here on Instagram.