CULTURESOCIÉTÉ

Where do you “fit”?

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Our society has been divided in two groups for a while now. We have a group of people who are constantly trying to “fit” in, trying to look like the people they see on magazine covers and a second group trying to convince the first one that beauty is not measured in calories. It’s not only about being thin it’s also about being fit, hitting the gym five days a week and watching what you eat. It’s all about dieting gluten-free, eliminating carbs, drinking green juices, and getting those perfect abs and that round butt. This issue is not only seen in women like many of us assume, men just like women want to be fit and show their muscles to the world. I’m just trying to see where I fit in the middle of all this.

During the summer of 2013, while this “trend” was at its peak, I was also inspired by a few people. I started to read about fitness religiously, went to the gym every other day, started paying more attention to my diet and the lifestyle change felt good. I’ve always been an active person even though I didn’t really watch what I was eating. I’ve always been the type to find something to keep me moving. It could either be taking a step class at the gym or going for a swim at the pool. However, when it came to eating, I had a big appetite and never really paid attention to the percentage of fat I was swallowing.

But, in summer 2013, my views on fitness took a whole other level. I started by eating wheat instead of regular carbs, I replaced rice with more vegetables at diner, I focused on protein and was always making sure what I was putting in my body didn’t have too much fat. What started as a change of lifestyle took in my opinion, a whole other level. I became afraid of consuming too many carbs because I didn’t want my two hours at the gym to disappear under the weight of rice or fries. After all, it takes thousands of burpees to burn a pack of large fries right!? We don’t really know where these numbers come from but we all trust instagram.

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So when my summer vacation in Haiti ended, I went back to Montreal with the same state of mind. “Change your lifestyle for the better, be healthy, watch what you eat, be happy”. However, when I came back to Haiti in december, I had lost more than 10 pounds. I had abs and all but the other parts of my body had lost too much weight. I realized how bad it was when I “fit” in my little sister’s shorts. I had the abs I wanted, but I didn’t have the stature I wanted. So I found myself trying to gain back the weight I had lost in the first place. I regained it but lost my abs in the process. It was a battle between too skinny and too round. Then, I remembered who I was and realized that I didn’t know when I started caring so much about finding the “perfect balance” with my body.

I understood something. It was not about the perfect balance for your body but the perfect balance for your life in general. Before I continue, I want you readers to understand that I am not against having a healthier lifestyle or working out. Not at all! I am all for working these muscles and feeling good in your skin. What I am against is focusing so much on what you are putting in your stomach that your life takes an extreme turn. I know that some people are not as thin as me and are trying to loose over 100 pounds, I am aware of that and I support them in their journey to reach a healthy weight. However, for those of you who are simply trying to feel better, get more energy and lose a little belly, my advice would be to be careful. It is easy to get carried away and forget to live in the process. I am still a ball of fire when it comes to working out. I work my abs regularly now, I work my arms a little and my butt of course (say what you want, everybody wants a nice butt. It doesn’t have to be huge but everybody wants a nice round little peach). I started controlling my carbs again but I simply make sure that I don’t exaggerate. All my Haitian readers know that in Haiti we have carbs all day long. From the morning spaghetti to the rice and bannann at dinner. Carbs actually have some positive effects on your body, just like it has some negative effects. Isn’t this the case for everything in life?

I love looking and feeling good in my body. I want more abs and I want my body to be toned. What I don’t want is for it to become an obsession. Working out makes me feel good but so does eating. I am guessing this is the case for many people. What I suggest is asking yourself what makes you happy. If you feel bad after eating too much, find a way to control what you eat without exaggerating. Find healthy alternatives. Apparently, it is possible to make home-made ice cream with frozen bananas! Try it and see if it can help you cut the excess of ice cream for example. Try eating bread in the morning instead of late afternoon. It is easier to digest it in the morning since you are more active. Overall, don’t compare yourself to others! We all have different body types. A size 2 might be healthy for Suzie but extremely under-weight for Sally. My time working at Herbalife thought me well. Know what is best for YOU. And also please stop these comparison between curvy, thick, skinny. Most of the people complaining about the weight issue in the world (Or should I stick to America) are the ones generating it with ignorant comparison.

What I want for everybody is to feel attractive and sexy without being chained to it. Keep in mind that you might look good but feel horrible because you are too focused on a certain image. As a person who is comfortable in her skin, I realized how I became too focused on my fitness without even realizing it. Now, I know where I “fit”. I will have my guilty pleasures but I dare you to keep up with me at the gym the next day. Like someone once told me, “God created food so we can enjoy it, not make inappropriate use of it (by having too much or not enough of it)”.

Balance your life, not your weight.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile
I am a girl who is passionate about seeing the world, loving people, the beach, rooftops and red lipsticks. I am trying to make the world a little brighter one article at a time.

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