CAC Part 2, W1D5: Fortune Cookie Wisdom

“A wise person cares not for what he cannot have but for what he can.”

I got the above message in a recent cheat meal fortune cookie and immediately thought about how the words truly applied to the endless struggle to meet the media’s ideal of physical beauty.

According to a study commissioned by Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty:

– 90% of all women 15-64 worldwide want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance (with body weight ranking the highest).

– 67% of all women 15 to 64 withdraw from life-engaging activities due to feeling badly about their looks (among them things like giving an opinion, going to school, going to the doctor).

The study also indicated a wider acceptance among young women for plastic surgery to permanently alter their appearances. (Speaking of plastic surgery, am I the only one who is appalled by the calf reduction surgeries being performed in Korea that either involve the physical removal of calf muscle tissue or the severing of a nerve in the calf to cause the muscle to atrophy? I’ll just keep my big Asian calves, thanks.)

It’s a shame that more women don’t share the attitude of our German sisters who equate beauty and confidence with their level of physical fitness. Fitness is something that every woman can improve, regardless of what she’s been dealt genetically. Most of us don’t have the 6′ height or the blank porcelain doll features needed to be fashion models, but ALL of us can feel more energetic, tighten up our physiques, strengthen our muscles, stave off the creeping fluff of fat, improve our medical stats, and face the world fully-confident that we can handle any physical challenge with just a small daily 30 minute investment of time.

How many women who say they don’t have time to exercise spend 30+ minutes every morning trying on five different outfits to figure out which one makes them look thinnest or hides the largest number of perceived flaws?

I’d rather use that time to knock out a quick workout and be pretty darn sure that as a result of my regular efforts over time, everything in my closet just automatically fits properly and looks flattering.

I believe in working with the body I was issued at birth–but taking it to its maximum potential and caring for it properly. Hopefully one day all young women will stop pining for an external ideal and realize just how much they can achieve with what they already have.

7 thoughts on “CAC Part 2, W1D5: Fortune Cookie Wisdom

  1. Horray! It seems like a lot of the female fitness bloggers I read regularly are writing about accepting yourself and your genetic makeup but working for the best possible version of that self. It took a really long time for me to get to this point, but now that I’m here I couldn’t be more happy, more at peace, and more confident. I will never, ever be a size 2 and I am sooooo ok with that. Rocking an hour of intense weight training and eating ice cream if I want it is much more satisfying.

    I miss your blogging! How’s the current challenge coming?

  2. Well said! I’m so sick of watching people idealize and mope over the idealistic hollywood standards instead of realizing how content they could be if they learned to love and accept themselves through healthy lifestyle changes.
    P.S. I love your blog, and your fitness endeavours have been a great source of motivation for me.

  3. Wandered my way to your page, but I’d have to say… I’m a big fan of nice big calves.

  4. gah, thank you for this entry! It came at the perfect time for me since I’m once again questioning my role as healthy lifestyle nut vs. pining for beauty standards. I have never quite figured out how to balance and turn off the media ideals while I exercise and try to physically look better.. it’s hard, and confusing. But I agree that trying to focus on intrinsic goals. Your last paragraph pretty much sums it up.. I need to keep that in mind at ALL times.. thanks.

  5. You should submit this essay to a magazine. More women need to get this through their heads and turn off the media ideal. Strength rocks!

  6. :shocked::shock::shocked: I just read that article about the calf reduction surgeries…that is just plain CRAZY! I can’t imagine doing that to my poor calves! I don’t see anything wrong with having muscular legs, for me it’s my extra thigh fat that I want to see gone. Muscle is firm and shapely and I just have never seen muscular calves, or quads for that matter, as being a bad thing.

    Also, you make some great points in your post. I’ve thought about the having a different body build before but realized what I really want is me but in better shape. That is what would make me happiest. :barbells:

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