The fitness industry has evolved and grown from what it once was. Fitness is no longer defined by looks, rather by well-being and a healthy lifestyle. It is liberating to see more and more variety in shapes and sizes in the fitness industry.

There’s something very satisfying about accomplishing goals as a team that you do not receive anywhere else. When you win a game and your team huddles around each other in triumph, there’s nothing like it. When you work in the fitness industry, you feel like one big team working towards the same goal; a healthy, fit community. So when you are overweight in the fitness industry, it can feel like you’re the elephant in the room. The unspoken rule of -staying thin no matter the cost- is broken. 

Photo: Julia Larson on pixels

Being thin and being fit are two different things. Staying thin becomes problematic as everybody is different, and fitness goals are very personal. Not everyone will have ab’s or be super thin and some people are trying to gain weight but can’t gain a pound. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what health is, and being thin is not always the answer. The cost of our mental health and physical health gets thrown out when being thin is equated to health. Being overweight can also come with its health issues, but not everyone who is overweight is unhealthy or not fit. 

You can’t judge a book by its cover and that’s the main takeaway from this article. Society cannot judge someone based on how they look and assume their fitness level. Take into account that this doesn’t excuse anyone from exercising, moving your body is important at any size. But, your fitness journey is your own, and the judgment of anyone else is not worth your time. Persevere through the naysayers and the doubters who don’t believe in you; the main thing is to stay consistent with your personal health goals. Health is not synonymous with what you look like on the outside.

Photo: Andres Ayrton on Pexels

The obstacles you face on your journey to health are personal. When we put our self-worth into others and their opinions, we lose sight of our greatest gifts. I see so many new yoga teachers and personal trainers who have similar stories to tell. Each of them is rising to their highest potential, not because it was approved of, but because they have talents and gifts only they can provide. What your body looks like does not determine your value or expertise.

Written by Natalie Olivo
Featured Photo: SHVETS on Pexels
Read Next: How and Why to Build a Healthy Relationship with Food

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