Love Yourself and Embrace Fitness.

( Self-image and self esteem are very important to one’s wellness. There does have to be a point whereby a person can look themselves in the mirror and declare, “I am beautiful”. Some can argue that self-love and acceptance is the beginning of a wellness that leads to better health and fitness. This is important because certain groups are shamed for being overweight. This doesn’t just happen at home, work, or in general public…it can also happen in the gym. It is as though one is made to feel poorly about themselves while trying to make an honest effort to help themselves. Toxic gym behavior is real, and very unfortunate. These experiences, along with the social acceptance of only particular body types, have led some of our people to focus on self-love and acceptance over everything.

We see this in the movement of black women loving their full-figured bodies. There are safe spaces being created whereby these individuals can better learn to love on themselves, and each other. They are challenging what is acceptable for their body. Whereas they may have once been conscious about wearing a bathing suit at the beach, or different outfits in public they are finding designers that cater to their body type. These women are loving themselves and their body out loud. It is beautiful, and empowering, to see the pushback against ideals that produce self-hate.


With that being acknowledged and celebrated, it is important to understand two things can exist in the same space and be truth. While we are loving ourselves fully, part of that love involved embracing better health and fitness. Far to often when health is mentioned in this space one might here: “who are you to say he/she is unhealthy”. The problem is…they are, far too often that is just as true as the need for self-acceptance. A part of loving oneself isn’t just being comfortable in one’s own skin, but also improving one’s quality of life. Diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and various organ issues are still health challenges too many of us face within our community. One can love self while being full figured, but the pressure on one’s joints, knees, ankles, and feet still exist physically. It is not an indictment against you to want to improve in the area of health and fitness.

Deciding that you should invest in fitness and health is not turning in your self love card. Acceptance is a part of self-love, but so it is improving and bettering oneself. It might feel like a betrayal, but it far from such. Deciding to make adjustments to one’s diet, drink more water, stretch regularly, and begin a regimen of fitness that gets your body moving is also self-acceptance. When you do this, you are working towards wellness, and treating your body with care. You are then doing what you can to prevent sickness, disease, debt due to medical bills, and emotional hardship on oneself and family. You can love being intelligent, but you still continue to learn and sharpen you mind to maintain said intelligence. The body needs the same maintenance and upkeep.

Just as we have to break the cycle of body shaming, we must also break the cycle of body sacrifice and complacency. One should not replace the other. There is room to love self, accept self, walk in this love out loud, and better our health. Doing simple things like starting with stretches, and walks will not only increase your body movement…but it also helps clear the mind and relax the body. Adding more fruits, vegetables, water, healthy snacks, and balanced meals will help your digestion and energy levels. Improving your health and fitness one step and food choice at a time is also self-love. This is also accepting that you want your body to be in its best shape possible. If we can acknowledge the need for better education, housing, communities, and safety…we must also add better health to this list. All the changes and improvements to life don’t matter much if the body is not in the shape needed to take advantage of all the opportunities available. Choose self-love inside and out…emotionally, image wise, and in the area of one’s physical health.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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