Body You Want vs. Body You Get

27 Apr

Courtesy of Tumblr

I’m getting old. Well, older. My birthday is in a few weeks, but I’m reminded daily of the toll age is taking on me. Mostly, the toll age is taking on my hair. In the past few months, I’ve noticed more and more white hairs popping up to besmirch my luscious black. I had a feeling this would happen. While my mother barely grayed, my father has a head full of white hair. I can’t remember him not having gray hair, albeit not this much.

This constant reminder of days gone by can be a drag. But the good thing is, I can dye it back to black. I can cut it or style it to where the grays are hidden. And if I get it cut in a style that looks like I told my beautician to betray me, I can go somewhere else and get something better. Or I can wear wigs. Or I can get braids. Or I can shave my head and start all over again.

There are numerous options available to me when it comes to getting the hair I want. I may find a style in a book that looks great there, but looks terrible on me. The same can be said for my body.

There is a trap we all get into when it comes to weight loss. We look at Vogue, Elle, InStyle and the rest of them and see the Jourdan Dunns, Joan Smalls, Lara Stones and the like. Or we look at the sports magazines and see the Serena Williamses, Rhonda Rouseys or Alyson Felixes of the world and we paste them up on our vision boards.

“That’s what I want to look like,” we tell ourselves.

Courtesy of Tumblr

Courtesy of Tumblr

The problem with that is we don’t always know what we’re in for. Serena and her sister Venus share the same 100+ mile-an-hour serve, they have the same nose and even their giggles sound alike. But they are shaped very differently. It’s not that one works out more than the other. It’s that they are physically different.

Discovering that the work you’re doing won’t make you look like your idol can feel like a setback. Try to think of it as a step forward. Your weight-loss journey is yours alone. Your idol didn’t take you there. Your idol didn’t prepare your meals or lace up your sneakers. Your idol didn’t wake you up at the butt-crack of dawn to burn calories. That was all you. Your idol was your motivation, don’t let them be your goal.

You did all the work and now is the time to celebrate. Take pride in the muscle you’ve toned on your arms. Take another gander at those gams that have shaped up recently. Rub on that stomach that’s not pooching out as much anymore. It doesn’t look like your idol’s. It looks like you.

not_the_sameWe’ve all heard the lines. “I’d kill for her calves.” “Her arms are my obsession.” “That’s what I want my butt to look like in a dress.” It’s a nice idea, but maybe it’s not for you. Maybe your calves don’t curve that way. Maybe bicep curls and triceps dips will only keep the turkey giggle away and not form tighter muscles. And maybe your butt is just your butt. It doesn’t make your body less than anything you’ve seen in the magazines.

John Mayer had it right: your body is a wonderland. It will move how you want it, but it will shape on its own. Love it anyway.

One Response to “Body You Want vs. Body You Get”


  1. Black Girl Magic | I'm Skinny, Now What? - August 11, 2015

    […] love of Serena is well-documented on this blog. I don’t have to remind you of how her dedication to her sport is awe-inspiring. […]

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