Welcome to this week's edition of Friend Fridays, sponsored by ModlyChic.
1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?
I grew up as a dancer. I basically lived in the dance studio -- hours a day, days a week. I never consciously thought of it as working out, though I know it was. I danced all the way through high school.
When I went to college, I stopped really dancing. Sure, I was still part of a dance club, but it wasn't nearly the same level. And I did a lot of trekking across campus, so I was still pretty fit in college too.
Since college, I have belong to various gyms for various amounts of time. I have had a personal trainer. I have also put on 50+ pounds, lost all my flexibility, and am now winded just walking up a flight of stairs.
I need to get back into a serious fitness routine and stick with it. Not only for the way I look (though, I finally admit, that really is my main motivation), but also for my health in general. When I have kids, I don't want to be the mom who sits on the sidelines.
2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image?
When I was a dancer, I was thin and solid muscle. I never really thought much about my body image. I could buy clothes without trying them on because I knew how they would fit my body.
Nowadays, my body image is frighteningly low. Sure, I have days where I love how I look. But even on those days, I wish I were thinner. As much as I want other gals to love and accept themselves for who they are, I have a problem doing so myself.
So I can only imagine that when I get myself back on an exercise regimen, I will feel better about my body.
3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion?
I am 99% about function when I'm getting sweaty. Sure, I might wear a cute tshirt or a colorful bandana, but even those items are more about function. I used to have a few cute workout tops, but they don't fit anymore, and frankly, I was always more comfortable in a tshirt anyway.
4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness?
Of course. As a plus-sized gal, people expect that I should want to be thin, and that I should be eating healthier and working out to achieve that goal. (The fact that I *do* want to be thin doesn't justify society's pressure that I want those things.) I feel pressure from my family and from my husband. As much as they tell me that they love me regardless, I know they want me to be healthier. Only in my own mind, I equate healthier with thinner. So when they talk about me working out, I hear "You should be thinner." It's a vicious cycle.
5. Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal.
If I were to take up tomorrow the same size that I was in high school or college, I think I'd crap myself. But really, to be that size isn't my goal -- I know that's just not realistic (and possibly, not even healthy).
I would love to lose somewhere in the realm of 50 pounds. I would love to be more physically active on a more regular basis -- to play soccer or tennis with my husband. To go swimming (and more than just get in the water and float). To pick up dancing again. I want to not be out of breath from doing the most basic things.
Basically, I want to be active without thinking of it as being active. I want to love my body without even realizing it -- the same way I used to when I was younger.