Alec Sulkin once tweeted: “I hate those unrealistic movies where women are friends.”
Sadly, I think he has a point. I see so much girl-on-girl hatred and judgement, and when you add something like weight loss or fitness into the equation, a lot of ugly competitiveness, jealousy, and self-righteousness enter the picture, as well.
So, in light of that, here are a few facts about me, which may come across as condescending, but I’ll take that risk.
I don’t think there is a “wrong” or a “right” way to achieve fitness. If you believe your healthy eating plan or your exercise regime is somehow superior to mine, that’s fine - I wish you every success in the world with it. As long as we’re each happy with our own progress, who cares how other person achieved theirs? I think, as with most things, there are many paths to the same goal, and the only thing each one of us needs to worry about is ourselves.
If you’re happy with what you’re doing and how it’s turning out, I’m happy for you. Really, I am, I’m not just saying that. Your success gives me confidence that I can be successful, too. If we had a similar starting weight and you end up getting to your goals faster than me, I’m not suddenly going to start secretly hating on you. I think it’s counterproductive to invent some weird competition that doesn’t exist - I’m going to be inspired by your progress, and when you get to your UGW, I’ll be your loudest cheerleader, no matter where I am in my own journey at that point.
If I don’t specifically ask for advice on something, it’s safe to assume that I’m doing okay and I’m not looking for advice. Likewise, I will not give you unsolicited advice, because that’s just annoying. We get enough of that shit from family members, am I right? It’s especially annoying when the unsolicited advice comes from random people on the internet who don’t even know you in real life. I may, however, extend unsolicited support and affirmations (which might also become annoying, but hopefully you’ll get over it).
If you are struggling with something, fitness-related or otherwise, and you just want to talk to someone who won’t judge you, I’m your girl. I promise you won’t shock or disgust me with your tales of how you ate an entire cheesecake in one sitting, or whatever else it is that you need to get off your chest. The fact that we only know each other from the internet and don’t know each other’s true identities can be a great advantage sometimes.
I will not celebrate your setbacks as if they were somehow personal victories for me, and I hope that when I share my setbacks, you’ll be genuinely supportive rather than secretly pleased. I don’t think we need to knock each other down in order to try to raise ourselves up, and if we do… what does that say about us as humans? Getting beautiful on the outside won’t mean a damned thing if our hearts are ugly.
In short, although Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins are fictional, I don’t think it’s unrealistic for real women to be unconditionally good to each other, even though I’m aware it’s uncommon. Of course, I can’t control the world, but I can control the messages I send out into the world. So on that note, I hope every single one of you is as excited and happy about your fitness journey as I am about mine, and even if you feel completely alone sometimes, you can be certain that there’s at least one fellow female out there who is rooting for you.
Please note: Although I do track my weight and have a number in mind of a weight I think I’ll be when I’m as fit as I want to be, weight loss is NOT my primary goal, but rather a side effect of good nutrition and consistent training. In turn, the good nutrition and consistent training have been a side effect of doing the necessary psychological work, i.e. dealing with the emotional and mental issues that led me to obesity in the first place. So If you’re looking for my magic success formula, there it is: sort your head out, the rest will follow.