I remember walking up the stairs of high school between classes as a freshman and hearing some bully (Who shall not be named. No, I really can't even remember his name.) call out, "Hey! You have a big butt!" So clever, those freshmen.
I knew I had a big butt. I was pretty skinny until adolescence, when my starchy, processed, midwesterny diet caught up with me. I was 14 years old, 5'6 and probably around 150 pounds. I was never bullied, but (butt???) for that one kid. And it stuck with me.
I steadily gained weight throughout high school. I lost my older sister when I was 15, then my grandparents that same year, and so I ate my feelings. When I started college, I was probably around 180. I had stopped weighing myself, but I remember feeling fat almost all the time.
I dropped the weight when I started running, and really transformed my body when I started weight training.
A couple million squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts later, I can finally say that I've embraced my big, strong butt. It's not perfect, but it gets me where I need to go.
Here's the thing, though...I was bullied by one kid, about one part of my body. What about kids who get bullied EVERY DAY, about multiple body issues? Those words are powerful, and they take a long time to heal. It breaks my heart to think of the possibility that my beautiful little girl could become a victim of bullying about something as ridiculous as the way her body looks.
My heart breaks for clients, and potential clients, who are still reeling from words spoken to them years ago. These are the clients we trainers need to reach, and they are the ones least likely to hire a trainer or join a gym.
I'd like to reverse the negative self-talk about our bodies, by focusing on what they can DO, rather than what they look like.
Yes, I have cellulite. But I can deadlift 185 and I'm getting stronger.
Yes, I have stretch marks. But, today I ran 4.42 miles in 35 minutes.
Yes, I have a big butt. That's how God made me, and if you don't like it, you can just...never mind.
;) Drop me a line if this resonates with you, or if you have a similar story you'd like to share!