There seem to be myths and misunderstanding about almost everything, from myths about beauty and diet, to myths about being fit. The problem with myths, of course, is that they can be hurtful, and some tend to blur the line between myth and stereotype, especially the myths about being fit. As a girl who’s relatively fit, I can relate, and I’m here to run down a few of them for you. Let’s see how many you believe, and how many you already know are junk.
1. You’re Just Lucky
This is likely the most popular of all the myths about being fit – that if you’re fit, well, it’s just your good luck. It’s genetic, and has nothing to do with how hard you work, how healthily you eat, how many miles you run, how many “second” cupcakes you deny yourself. Sure, genetics have a small part to play in fitness, but being fit is about a whole lot more than waiting around for your genes to kick in, especially as you get older. Humbug.
2. You Obsess about Calories
People who are fit may worry about calories a little more than the average person, but that’s more the domain of the dieting or the newly fit. If you’re a fit girl, chances are, you’ve learned what you can eat, and when, and how much, and how much exercise it takes to help you keep fit. Typically, it’s not about counting every calorie – it’s about an overall lifestyle.
3. You Live at the Gym
I have a gym membership for three months of the year – January through March – because it’s just too cold here in Michigan to run outside. I’m there most days, for about an hour. That’s it. I certainly don’t live at the gym, and to be honest, neither do most other fit girls. We’re just as busy as you are, and we don’t have the time, energy, or frankly, the inclination to spend our entire life on the elliptical. Again, like with calories, it’s about balance.
4. You’re a Pushy Zealot
When asked, I’ll tell anyone how I maintain my fitness, but I am most certainly not pushy about it. It’s hard to be a zealot when I’m often found feeding my face with a mini-cupcake, right? And sure, I do know a few “fitness freaks” who are so overjoyed with their lives after becoming fit, they’ll stop strangers on the street and show them their abs. But this wears off after the first eye roll, and we’re just as normal as everyone else, and unwilling to push our lifestyle on unsuspecting friends and family.
5. You’re Self-absorbed/constantly Taking Selfies
If this were true, I’d have at least one good photo of myself from the past year, but I don’t. And I certainly don’t have any photos of myself in a workout bra and short shorts. Most women who are fit aren’t self-absorbed; our motivation to be fit has little to do with appearance – though I admit I do like how my abs look – and a lot more to do with living longer, healthier lives with the people we love.
6. You’re into Fat Shaming
This is wildly untrue, and so hurtful! My goal in being fit has nothing to do with anyone else’s body issues. If anything, I’d hope my fitness would maybe inspire someone else to give it a go, since I’m probably the most unintimidating person out there. I’m not stacked, or ripped, or anything – I’m just fit. I still have cellulite and wrinkles and a slight muffin top – and who am I to judge? Fitness and weight are related, sure, but I’m not a doctor. I can’t judge who’s fit and who’s not, just by looking at them (with a few obvious exceptions).
7. You’re Anorexic or Bulimic
Umm, no. “Fit” and “eating disorder” don’t even belong in the same sentence. I’d like to point out that being severely underweight and sick with an eating disorder is just as unhealthy, maybe even unhealthier, than being obese. So anyone you’d think of as “fit” is likely not suffering from an eating disorder. The end.
So how many of these fit-myths have you believed in the past? And which did you always know were total hooey? Are there any other hurtful fitness myths you’ve heard that you’d like to bust? Please share!