What a Fitness Coach Wants You to Know About Getting Your Body "Summer-Ready"
Good news: You made it through another brutal winter. The maybe-not-so-good news? It's also that time of year when it feels like every person you know is talking about getting their body "summer-ready."
But fitness coach Chrissy King is here to tell you it's all nonsense. In a powerful Instagram post, she explains that just because warmer days call for less clothing at BBQs, pool parties, and beach trips, it doesn't mean you have to stress out about dieting or losing weight.
"From the bottom of my heart, I want you to know that your body is 'summer ready' right now," she wrote alongside a photo of her and her sister from last summer. "It's almost summer and you have a body. Ta-duh...you're summer body ready."
Rather than focus on something like "summer body" goals, King strives to embrace herself in the present moment. "Wishing for what used to be or what could be in the future, just keeps me dissatisfied and prevents me from experiencing joy in the present," she wrote. (Related: Why This Woman "Forgot Her Bikini" On a Date to the Beach)
She also shared exactly why she posted this particular photo of her and her sister. "What you don't see here is 6 pack abs or super lean bodies," explains King. "What you do see is two black girls unapologetically owning our bodies...We may not look like the women you see on the cover of fitness magazines, but that's not a reflection of us, it's a reflection of the state of the fitness industry–the fatphobia, the diet culture, the ableism, the transphobia, the classism, the racism, and on and on and on."
"We are an example of fitness," she adds. "Fitness is not a size or a shape or a look."
King didn't always feel confident about her body, though. She says there was once a time when she wouldn't dare to work out without a shirt. "I didn't think I was lean enough," she wrote. "But here's the thing, there's no certain point at which you look 'good enough' to take your shirt off."
The fitness coach goes on to say that she's "tired" of her industry's "obsession" with weight loss. "To be clear, there is nothing wrong with having fat loss goals, but fitness is so much more than that and chasing leanness doesn't have to be the thing for you or for anyone," she wrote. "It doesn't have to be *the* goal. It doesn’t have to be *the* reason you exercise." (Related: It's Time to Stop Thinking of Exercise As the Secret to Weight Loss)
King wants you to know that your self-worth isn't contingent on what your body looks like, a number on the scale, or your clothing size. "No one is inherently better for being in a body with less body fat," she wrote. "The smaller version of you is not better simply because it's smaller."
In other words, you don't have to wait until you fit a specific aesthetic before you wear a bikini or train in your sports bra; you can do these things whenever you want. "You are worthy now," says King. (Related: How This Blogger Came to Realize That Body Positivity Isn't Always About the Way You Look)
Bottom line: Just because summer is around the corner, it doesn't mean you have to "get ready."
King says it best herself: "Regardless of what you're feeling about your body or your life, my best advice is to show yourself compassion, kindness and tenderness. You are doing the absolute best you can, and that's more than enough."