Everyone has a body part that makes them feel a tad sensitive. For some people it’s their upper arms, for others it’s their chest, for some it’s their feet. We all have these little spots that prompt us to feel critical of ourselves and bemoan how, if we could just change one little thing, we’d be well on our way to perfection.
In reality, striving for “perfection” is like falling into a bottomless pit — it never ends, and it’s just as frightening.
That’s why fitness blogger Fenella Scarlett felt compelled to show her Instagram followers a photo of her stomach, in a pose that highlights some of the “extra” pudge around her midsection.
Her Instagram caption reads:
I read a comment this morning that said ‘haha you were fat’ about a photo I took last week and I actually just giggled. Huh? What is a comment like that even meant to achieve? Why is it that we as a society belittle someone who isn’t ‘up to a certain standard’. When did we stop focusing on health and start focusing on weight and appearance for what’s important? Believe me- I feel the pressure. I’ve felt it since I was a little girl when I refused to eat and cried when I’d become so strict that having to sit down for a meal scared the shit out of me. I felt the pressure when I looked up to models and actresses as the ‘norm’ and thought in order to be attractive and ‘successful at life’ I need to be tiny. But at what cost? The expense of my mental health? So right now- I may have a bit of extra weight around the tummy, but I’m the HAPPIEST and HEALTHIEST I’ve ever been- physically and mentally. My time isn’t taken up by ruminating on ‘what I look like or what I SHOULD be’.. It’s more concerned with making the right choice for me as a whole- mentally, physically and emotionally- which I down right know, has nothing to do with looking a certain way.
Scarlett’s words may sound cliché, but they’re important to remember. Looking to fit into another person’s idea of “perfect” is only asking for heartache.
“Mentally, I’m the most at ease I’ve ever been with my body, yet it’s so far from what I used to think I ‘needed to look like,'” she writes in another Instagram post. “I chased visible abs and as little as possible ‘fat’ for so long. I thought that in order to prove to you guys that I workout and am ‘fit’ I needed to visibly look like it- which meant muscles and abs and being tiny … The problem was that the more I worked on my exterior, the more I jeopardised my interior. My inner world. Cause I started to sacrifice things in my life and say no when I really meant yes. I became more critical of myself and chased perfection, never quite shaping up.”
She adds that the mental fitness is equally as important as physical fitness — if not more so.
“Anyway, I’m really happy at the moment. I feel at ease and accepting of my body and I just want to share that as being mentally fit is just as important as being physically fit. You gotta find YOUR balance- and it may be different for all of us … One is not more important than the other.”