EveryBODY Has a Story

jl-18As of late, there’s been a new movement in the health and wellness industry, and as a personal trainer, and advocate for everybody having a story, I’m all for it. In my industry I deal with all shapes and sizes, and I teach and preach to women that no matter what skin they’re in they should embrace it and accept themselves for everything they not only love, but issues they seemingly hate.

We’ve turned body shaming into something more powerful; body love, self acceptance, and vulnerability.

Finally.

Yet I don’t think the playing field is all that fair. Personally, I’ve fully embraced the new movement, until now…

As women begin to feel more uplifted and encouraged by others that they are accepted in all their glory, skin, rolls, pudginess, excess booty, and a less than flat midsection I can’t help but to feel we’re heading in the right direction of how we view beauty, sex appeal, and the new norm. Yet, as my social media feeds become inundated with images of women in their underwear that may not be a size two, who are clearly willing to bare it all (mind, body, message) I can’t help but feel as though other women in various categories are being short changed.

For some of us with physiques that are viewed as perfect, having it all, not having to put in much work, or choose to show off the work we have put in; it’s too much. Often times being proud of your body (myself included) can automatically mean being over sexual, or sending out the wrong message to some. This is where I call bullshit. If we’re going to teach plus sized women (whatever that definition actually is), to love their bodies and strut their stuff, then a woman with a six pack, tight ass, and well trained physique should be able to do the same without feeling less than.

Through years of learning to accept myself (this is an ongoing process), I’ve learned that no matter what-my body is mine, all 130-ish pounds of it. My body is one that I worked damn hard to get to where it is. Often times it’s a daily struggle to accept myself, flaws and all because sometimes I’m not accepted because my body appears to be the perfect figure for some. My body, just like any body has been through hell and back, it’s endured heartache, divorce, rebuilding, building a business (soon to be two), injuries, surgeries, and everything else in between that we’ve all suffered through at some point on another.

Rewind to 20 some odd years ago when my body was one I wasn’t proud of. I never struggled with weight in the sense that I had too much, but rather too little. I struggled because I was too skinny. For no reason other than not being able to keep weight on due to food allergies and not hitting puberty until later in life, yet I was made fun of on a consistent basis. I was called a tomboy and not because I was always into sports, but because my physique resembled a boy more than a 10 year old girl.

It wasn’t until I started really getting into sports and weight lifting that my body began to change. I put on a very little bit of muscle and worked hard at it year after year because I wanted to see what my body was capable of transforming into. I’m now at a point in my life where I’ve come to accept my body for what it is, and I’ve learned to do that because I realized no matter what, no one was ever going to accept me for all of me the way that I knew I deserved.

Just as we accept, and at times are now flaunting everybody overweight or not, let’s remember that every shape, and every size needs to be celebrated. I will never apologize for the skin I’m in- even if that’s too skinny or too muscular for some. And you shouldn’t either. So lets give credit to everyone and not just some for their boldness and courageous efforts because truth be told everybody has a story, and everybody has fought a few battles we know nothing about.

Jayel_Sig