I need to come clean.I have something to confess.
I am a fraud.
My name is Sarah Gaines and I am the founder of Fit University, a college students go-to source for all things health & fitness. Wepreach moderation, self-love and enjoyment through fitness and aim to teach college students that fitness is not a certain look. Rather, wehope to make students realize that fitness looks and feels different for everyone. Fitness is not skinny, its not toned, its not muscular, its not ripped. Fitness is different for each person, depending on their body type, their preferred form of fitness and their experience participating in that form of fitness.
As the founder of Fit University, I believe those things I really do. And I think its incredibly important for students (and people of all ages) to believe those things in order to develop a healthy body and mind. But heres thing thing I believe those things to be true for everyoneexcept myself.
Writing that makes me feel a bit narcissistic actually. Why am I so special? Why am I the one exception to the rule?
What Im about to reveal is something that Ive been struggling with for a while now. Ive felt that since I am the founder of Fit University, and for a lack of a better term, the face of Fit University, that I needed to look the part. I needed to look fit. And dont get me wrong, I know that Im fit. I can squat 200 pounds, run the Harvard Stadium and spin for 3-4 hours at a time (not something Im suggesting anyone do on a regular basis, but something Ive had to do while training to be a Cycologist atCyc Fitness). But despite all that, Ive felt that because I have a little extra fat on my body covering whatever six-pack may lie beneath, keeping my arms from looking like those you see on a fitness model that I am not doing my part as the founder of a health & fitness company.
Therein lies where the fraud starts to creep out. How can I, as someone who is constantly pushing to others that fitness is NOT that fitness model you see on the front of magazines, not believe it myself? All this time while Ive been preaching fitness for all, Ive secretly been trying to get my body to a point that I think itlook like as a fitness professional.
And you know what? Ive been there. Ive had that fitness model body before. Ive had those popping shoulders and cut obliques. But you know what else? I love food too much for that shit.
Does the picture on the left make me look like a fitness model?
Left May 2014, Right Today (Feb 2016)
To maintain that sort of figure, you need to do one of a few things:
- Eat a very regimented diet (or count your macros to a T) every day
- Have incredible genetics that make you naturally lean
- Build up muscle and your metabolism over the course of many years
- Eating a very regimented diet has caused me to have unhealthy attitudes towards food in the past. Ive counted macros here and there but I cant seem to get myself to do it consistently.
- I, unfortunately, do not have those genetics.
- Im working on it! This isthe ultimate goal but I recognize that it takes time. And even still, I know that being as leanas I was in May 2014, all year long, is not healthy. Not getting aperiod because your body is so low in fat? Yeah, not healthy.
For me, fitness is much more enjoyable when I am moving and eating in ways that make me feel good. I wont lieId love to have those boulder shoulders. I love the look of a woman with strong, muscular arms. But will looking like I have muscular arms make any bit of a difference in my life? Unless Im competing in a fitness competition (which Im notbeen there, done that), who gives a shit? The answer is NO ONE. No one cares how muscular, or toned, or jacked I look. And if they do Im sorry, but please find a hobby to entertain yourself.
You know what people do care about? Practicing what I preach. Being authentic to my company, to my brand and to the words that come out of my mouth.
And so thats what Im going to continue to do. No, I do not have the look of a fitness model. No, I do not have a six pack. But you know what I do have?
The strength to move furniture in and out of my apartment.
The stamina to run hill sprints.
The endurance to compete in a Spartan Race.
The judgement to know when my body needs to rest.
Fitness looks and feels different for everyone. Its time I start believing that for myself.