Kickboxing and Body Image

by Mermaid Nixie July 29, 2017 18218 Comments

I went to my first kickboxing class last night.

It was something I'd planned to do for a few months. There's a martial arts studio that does all female kickboxing, so I had paid for my daughter and I to give it a try. She's 14 and has teenage rage.

That's not the point. Why am I talking about doing kickboxing on a body-posi blog?

At some point I plan to write a blog about the difference between being thin and being fit.

I am neither.

So, we went to this class and the members walk in. This is a group of women who take this class together, and my first thought was,

"I am so fat."

 Like, they were between 50-100 lbs lighter than me, and seriously, there was a woman there who was returning after giving birth 5 weeks ago. When I was 5 weeks postpartum, I ate raw cookie dough.

I almost left. I was so embarrassed about how fat I was, but my daughter was there, and we needed to work out that aforementioned rage.

So, we start the class. We weren't even 2 minutes in and I heard it. The woman next to me whispers, "Why are my thighs so weak?"

Another few minutes went by, and I hear someone else, "Why can't I be as good as Cindy*?"

And it just kept happening!

"My tummy's in the way."

"I hate my arms."

"I'm so fat."

"Why can't my kick be as high as Sarah's*."

 And I suddenly realized it. Every woman I had looked at and said, "I wish I looked more like her," was looking at another woman and saying, "I wish I looked more like her," who was also looking at another woman and saying the same thing.

Y'all, we have to stop this! This comparative analysis of one body to the next isn't doing us any good.

I mean, seriously, me feeling bad about my body wasn't encouraging me to do better. It made me want to leave. And I feel like that's the crux of the body-posi movement. The idea that my oompa-loompa shaped body is as good as Selma Hayek's is something that's really hard to wrap my mind around. But it is so important.

And that's the whole point. That we all need to learn to embrace our bodies as they are without deciding that we'd rather look like Sally* or Violet* or whomever you're thinking about right now. Because, I guarantee that Sally* or Violet* has wished she looked like someone else. And somewhere, someone has wished they look like you.

So, the next time, you're wishing you looked like someone else, stop and be glad that you look like you. Because you're pretty awesome.


* Not her real name



Mermaid Nixie

Author



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