But What If I Don't Want a 6 Pack?
Okay… I mean, there’s a part of me that wants one. The part of me that is sick of looking in the mirror and seeing an extra layer of adipose tissue softening and filling in the definition I’ve worked pretty hard to attain. The part of me that looks at the other women who have washboard abs and chiseled arms and thinks (or maybe whines) “Why can’t I have that?”.
I mean, let’s be real. I am a certified nutritional therapist. I have been a CrossFit coach for almost 5 years. I have attended weightlifting, mobility and nutrition seminars. I have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours reading books and listening podcasts and watching webinars. I am even certified in plant based sport’s nutrition. In theory- I SHOULD have 12% body fat and a sub 8 minute mile, right?
I used to think that people wouldn’t take me seriously as a coach if the above weren’t true. I used to think my success as a person, my happiness, my progress, my credibility was reliant upon these physical attributes, like what my body looked like, how competitive my fitness was, how much money was I making, or what kind of car I drove.
In fact, there are still a lot of days where I think that.
BUT, none of those thoughts are true. What those thoughts try to tell me, and you, are that the victory, the happiness, the joy- is dependent upon the outcome. And the outcome can only be one thing: Our society’s version of what success SHOULD look like.
So, I’ve been thinking, what if I don’t really WANT a 6 pack?
My life, especially in the last 6 months- has truly evolved into moderation. I train 3-4 days a week, and spend time outside moving in nature every other day. I eat a whole food plant based diet, that allows for indulgences here and there, but rarely could I say that I “binge” on pizzas and cookies and sweets. My “binges” more often refer to me stopping at Whole Foods for a big ass salad and some dried mangoes. I don’t drink anymore at all, and while in the past year I hadn’t been 100% abstinent, it had been a handful of times. I go to bed between 9 and 10 pm when I’m not working and generally get 7-8 hours of GOOD sleep. I drink 1 cup of coffee a day most days, and I drink 60-90 oz of water daily. To me, THIS is something worth applauding, and has taken some serious discipline and work to get to.
And yes- I ENJOY my schedule, my routine, and my life. I love being good to my body through these practices…. AND… I still don’t have a 6 pack.
So, what if what I am doing IS enough. What if I don’t need to tweak my macros, (or hell, even count them) or workout harder, or eat less, or train more hours, or work more hours, or do things that really would take away from my joy JUST to attain something that probably won’t make me all that happy anyway? What if I am okay with not being the fittest girl in the gym and just moving to keep my body healthy and my mind sane? What if I can be “mediocre” in what our society tells us are the markers for success, and STILL be a kick ass nutrition, movement and mindset coach? What if who I am in this moment, is who I WANT to be?
I just said that out loud as I typed it… and damn… it was liberating. Because who I want to be is still striving, she’s still growing and evolving and walking towards her best version of herself- but she isn’t hustling for her self worth. It already belongs to her.
I guess what I am trying to say here, is that the end result doesn’t determine the quality of the journey. Please don’t misunderstand me… there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting 12% body fat. I admire the perseverance, the focus and the discipline it takes to achieve our goals and our visions. I am an athlete, and part of being an athlete is our competitive nature and our ability to push ourselves past limits that we didn’t think were possible. That is beautiful to me. There is nothing wrong with any of that… so long as you are enjoying the process while you get there. What I AM saying,however, is that there might be something wrong with thinking that your happiness lies on the other end of that result.
So…maybe, just maybe, it’s okay to do things JUST because you love to do them. It’s okay to give 100% of your efforts to doing something that makes you happy, and to have that be enough. Your happiness is yours as soon as you decide it is, your achievement is yours as soon as you realize that you doing your best IS the accomplishment. And yes, it’s even okay to strive to have that 6 pack if that’s what you want.
But, it’s also okay to not really want one.