It’s not what the body looks like, It’s what the body can do for you

It’s not what the body looks like, It’s what the body can do for you

Sometimes I am reminded that, no matter how much I protest, I am now a special brand of crazy called an (faux)athlete. This was one such occasion.

On Tuesday night, the Biggest Loser finale results was on a lot of people’s feed, especially in the fitness social media. A former swimming champion, Rachel won the $250K prize money by losing the most body percentage fat of all the remaining contestants. Yay!

Except, she apparently looked “too thin”. (I say apparently, because I’ve never been thin so anything less than my current size is “thin”!)

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The “Biggest Loser” Transformation

What baffles me is  – why are we wasting our energy on a dubious show that promotes unrealistic weight loss expectations?!

Maybe she went from overeating to undereating. Maybe she played the game to win the $250k. Maybe she was sick. Maybe she got back into swimming full time and that helped her.

But really – why do we  all claim to be armchair experts on “healthy”!

Do we really want to base our opinions of healthy and body weight on a show that places so much emphasis on a scale?

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One of my favorites, Darius George, who ran the Biggest Loser Marathon in 4:02. And got YELLED at for gaining 2 lbs during the training.

4:02 over 26.2 miles. He spoke about how he was determined to do well in this marathon ever since he came on the ranch.
And still it wasn’t good enough because some cattle weighing scale said he gained 2 lbs during the marathon training.

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Another Biggest Loser contestant, Tara Costa – at the BL finale and when she completed Ironman Kona in 13:56. A few pounds heavier for sure, but how can you weigh her accomplishment?

13:56 in one of the toughest Ironman courses – swimming 1.2 miles, biking 112 and then running a marathon.
But a lot of comments were about her weight after the show?

Thin or Fat – it is not what the body looks like, it is what the body can do for you. 

Ever looked around in a race and seen people of various shapes and sizes? The perfect lean mean machine and the person defying all laws of physics, matching pace to pace? All these racers have put in the effort and sweat to get to the start line. All the body types have trained their body to carry them to the finish.

Fat and Fit. Thin and Fit. The common theme is Fit.

Fitness from exercise and nutrition.
Fitness from making your body do what you want it to do – because you have trained it. Not because the body is fat or thin.

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Your body is much more than what the scale and a measuring tape says.

Part of the reason I started on my running journey was to lose weight when everything else failed. But after the first few months of weighing myself obsessively, I stopped looking at the weight. Not because it no longer mattered but because I no longer cared. I was training for a half marathon, a sprint triathlon, more half marathons, thinking about a full marathon soon. The scale and its numbers had no place in my world of training schedules and pace numbers!

And really, why should I (or anyone care)? The body you have is influenced by your actions. But it is only a means for you to achieve what you want it to. Your body is not something to be looked at and judged to a certain size (I do wonder who came up with these numbers anyway. Like a ‘Golden Ratio’ *insert eye roll*).

It does not mean that I don’t struggle with my weight. I do. I get frustrated when the scale does not move (especially knowing that I could do nutrition better, but I digress …).

But I love the body I am in, I admire the body I am in.

That body lets me run and experience the awesomeness of a runner’s high.
That body makes me squeal in delight at completing an open water swim.
That body gives me a huge grin after trying one of the olympic lifts at crossfit.
That body allows me to give piggy back rides to my minions.
That body encourages me to live in today while working towards the dreams of tomorrow.

Any wonder that I choose to be an (faux) athlete? And not let the world of scales and dress sizes pull me in?

Eat. Train. Rinse and Repeat.
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