Written By: Danielle James
Diet culture has become so toxically ingrained in our everyday lives that we believe visiting the gym five times a week and eating only green leaves will fix all the brokenness inside of us. We believe that our self-worth rests upon our BMI and calories in, calories out.
Health does not have a singular size or shape. You can have rolls and stretch marks and cellulite and still be healthy. You can be thin and still have a score of health problems. The outside world doesn’t know what’s happening inside your body and they aren’t entitled to know. It’s your body, your health, and your happiness.
Going to the gym, especially if you’re not straight sized, can be uncomfortable, to say the least. The body positive and self-love movements have helped reduce the stigma around fatness, but it can still be hard to get on an elliptical when you feel the judging eyes of gym rats around you. Most of your life, you’re taught that your body doesn’t deserve to be seen in public.
For most fat or plus-sized people, gym freedom seems completely unattainable. Years of fad diets and new waves of fitness classes keep continue to convince us that we will never be whole until we become another “success story.”
Gym freedom is powerful. It means going to the gym not to fix yourself, but to strengthen yourself. To enhance what you already have. To do what makes you happy and feel good about it. For most fat and plus-sized people, they may never find the freedom that comes from working out because they enjoy it.
Exercise is personal. Health is personal. Nobody gets to have an opinion on your health or wellness but you. Feeling free to do what feels right for your body is a liberating and crucial moment for every single person, regardless of their body type. Health comes in all shapes and sizes and gym and food freedom is all a part of that journey. So go forth and find your freedom. On your terms.