There seems to be the illusion that a person who looks a particular way is “fit”. Basically it’s in image. Fit is often defined as having a lean, muscular yet thin body with low body fat, a tight, round butt and 6-pack abs. As a physique competitor, a fitness model and professional in the health and fitness industry, I’ve definitely heard this over and over again.
I’ve come to understand that when people say “she’s so fit” they are often referring to an image, a particular look. Looking fit, in some cases, is temporary. People strive to achieve it for a moment and can’t often sustain it long-term. Looking fit can be accomplished largely by rigid dieting with limited exercise.
Being fit, on the other hand, is a measure of strength, endurance and flexibility. In my observation, I’ve realized that sometimes being fit and looking fit actually compete against each other. I think about my running goals and how as I work toward achieving them my body changes. While I am advocate for strength training and exercise that promotes flexibility, my consistent runs tend to flatten my glutes. In addition, in order to be a strong runner I have to eat a clean diet that involves not depriving myself of nutrients. Being committed to my running goals means I have eat to fuel my workouts. I forgo the perfectly round butt as a result of cardio training. These are things I try to work to balance, but I have accepted them as reality.
So, the bottom line is that you have to decide what your goals are. You have to recognize that simply because someone has six-pack abs or is 10% body fat does not mean they are the fittest person you know. Furthermore, you have to realize that if you don’t have a 6-pack, that doesn’t mean you are not fit.
Fit is living an active well-rounded lifestyle that consistently challenges your skills and eating a healthy balanced diet that promotes both your physical and mental abilities.
As you continue on your quest to health, think carefully about what that means to you and what your goals are. As you look at images of “fit” people make sure to recognize that they are simply that, images. Make being fit not just looking fit a priority. When we strive to BE fit it becomes part of our identity. We live happy productive lives as a result.
Chase The Goal, Not The Image.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013