Our culture has a very narrow definition of what fitness *should* look like—able-bodied, lean with muscle (less in women, more in men). In reality, fitness is a condition that bodies of all shapes, sizes and abilities have access to and it is unique to each individual.
Your strength, power, flexibility, endurance, cardiorespiratory fitness, agility and/or balance cannot be determined by simply looking at you. When I work with a client, I use movement screenings, assessments and interviews to learn what their level of fitness and ability are. I don’t make assumptions based on what their bodies look like.
The same goes for health status. Without the appropriate lab workups, vital sign measurements and/or medical history, no one can tell your health status by just looking at you. (Sidenote: BMI is not a good indicator of health. Also, you can decline to have your weight taken at the doctor’s office or ask that they not tell you if they must take it for medication dosing.)
You can move better, feel better, improve your health and increase performance in your daily and recreational activities without focusing on your appearance. Free yourself from the latter and get on with the important business of living and enjoying your life.
I'm Emiko Jaffe, a weight-neutral fitness coach. If you found this piece helpful, I invite you to subscribe to Sunday Coffee, my newsletter about fitness, culture, being more of who you are and doing more of what you love (all through a weight-neutral, non-diet lens, of course).