This summer, I have an arrangement with my brother.
The two of us are trying to get in shape this summer, because weeks and weeks of sitting on our asses and drinking beer, shockingly, doesn’t make for the healthiest of young adults.
So we are going to the gym as much as we can, and by the time our family goes on vacation in the middle of July, we are going to have reached our fitness goals.
And, because everything has to be a competition, the person that goes to the gym least this summer has to buy the first 30-rack of beer at the beach Food Lion.
And, as much as I rag on my brothers about having brains that are solely competition-oriented, a little part of me is trying to win. But sometimes, I feel like I have to stop and remind myself that this is about more than numbers and beer.
My fitness goals are simple: to improve the way I feel about how I look. I’m not trying to raise the amount of weight I can lift like my brother is. I’m not trying to increase how long I can run like my brother is. I’m not looking to magically develop six-pack abs in the span of a couple months like my brother is.
But I do want to feel beautiful.
I think it’s important, when we make the decision to better ourselves, to not forget the base rules about “improvement.” You know, the rules like “beauty starts on the inside” and “you’re beautiful just the way you are.”
It’s easy to get discouraged on your journey if your goal is to “change” yourself. If that’s your goal, then of course you’ll look in the mirror and wonder why your bum still jiggles, or why you still have cellulite on your legs, or why your stomach isn’t taut yet. Of course you’ll be discouraged!
Something that my entry into the “fit life” world has taught me is that you can’t have the goal to become something you’re not. You have to accept yourself for who you are, and you have to accept that you aren’t going to look like all the gym buffs that you might see while working out. The key is to have positive, realistic goals, and developing those goals starts with self-acceptance and honesty.
And who knows! That journey might end somewhere on a beach with a 30-rack of beer. But who cares who bought it?