This is a picture of me and my two gorgeous best friends. Clearly, we all have very different body types, and you know what? None of us is healthier, prettier or happier than the others because of it.
That’s me on the left. I’m short, super petite, and have about as much muscle mass as a blob of gelatin. Despite being naturally thin, I have always been far from in shape. Not even a month ago, running two minutes at a time was a struggle—now I can run without stopping for more than a half hour.
Felicia, in the center, is probably the most active girl I know. The opposite of me, she’s one of those people that can build muscle just by looking in the direction of a dumbbell. She loves running like I do, and we’ve discussed running a 5k. She’s a big yoga enthusiast and has tried all sorts of different forms that I can’t pronounce, and she’s found free community yoga classes for us to attend together. Also, she has abs of steel, seriously. She’s helping me with my ab workouts. She’s also recently lost over 60 lbs through her active lifestyle and healthy diet.
That’s my friend Maddy on the right. She’s curvy and feminine, but she’s a beast in the gym. Strength training is her thing. She could probably bench press two of me. Not only is she incredibly strong, she’s insanely flexible and an avid pole dancer. We’re taking classes together even though she can spin circles around me on that damn pole, and look gorgeous while she does it.
My friends inspire me so much, and remind me that diversity is lovely. You don’t have to be skinny to be beautiful and confident, nor do you have to look like girls in Nike ads to be strong and fit. You don’t need to weigh a certain number, fit into a certain size, or have a certain appearance to be confident, healthy, or happy. I think that my friends prove that to me.
I’ll never be long and willowy like a supermodel, or well-built like all those fitspo girls. I’ll never look like either of my friends, and they’ll never look like me. And that’s ok, because fitness is about being the best you can be, not comparing yourself to others.
Embrace what you have, and help others embrace what they have. Fitness is funner with friends. Get them involved. Take a class, go for a walk, make a healthy dinner together. You’ll always have support and a fun activity to bond over.