Finding your Balance: Why You Shouldn’t be Obsessed with Having a Swimsuit Body

I was at the gym today and had a pretty good convo with a friend of mine while getting my cardio on on the Precor machine. We talked about our moms and why they were on a constant weight loss battle and why everyone cares so much about having Victoria Secret model abs and an inner thigh gap. It’s become an obsession for a lot of young women especially. For some reason, we all think we need to be swimsuit ready at all times. We get frustrated when we don’t get results quick enough and begin to let our physical appearance dictate our self worth.

Why? I think media is a part of the blame.

We are bombarded with magazine covers of women with perfect bodies and sculpted abs year round. Our Tumblr feeds are strewn with images of fake boobs and six packs. We hear the praise for models and actresses who have lost weight so quickly after pregnancy. We read the condescending stories in the tabloids that make fun of women who have added pounds onto their frame.

Everywhere I go nearly every female I talk to is overly concerned with her weight and physical appearance. And it’s obvious why! Our society has become crazily OBSESSED with looking young and thin. We place women who can achieve this look on the front of covers, in movies, on shows, and we push them more and more into the public eye. Ultimately, the more often we see something, the more we begin to idolize it. We begin to think that yes, we too must look like that. We think that if we don’t look like that, then we should at least strive for it.

Here’s the problem. Not everyone should strive for that perfect bikini model look.

Think about it like this. If you were meant to be with someone then you shouldn’t have to put so much effort into the relationship to make it work and be in love. If you were meant to be a good doctor then going to med school should be enjoyable and you shouldn’t have to struggle tremendously to get through it. Does this make sense?If you were meant to do something, you should be good at it. If your body was meant to be at a certain place, then let it be there, work out and eat clean to maintain healthiness and longevity, but don’t work against yourself to a point of frustration and exhaustion.

Not everyone was meant to have a bikini body. And you need to realize that and be okay with it and focus your energy and talent elsewhere where you can thrive! We’re all born with different body types. We are also born with different talents! Maybe instead of spending 3 hours in the gym daily just to keep a certain body fat %, you could be spending 1 hour at the gym, looking healthy, and spending the other 2 inventing the next best app or writing the next best cookbook. You know what I mean? Just because all the mags tell you that we have to be 5’10”, 110 lbs, and have 36-24-36 measurements, it doesn’t mean that that is YOUR personal goal.

Now don’t get me wrong. Anything is possible. I encourage you to push the envelope and drive yourself to success even in the face of adversity. However there is a point of diminishing returns. Once your decision to lose weight and “look better in a bikini” starts to interfere with your character and your quality of life, it is TOO MUCH.

I think that we need to step back, allow our natural capabilities to shine, and instead of focusing on our flaws, we need to focus on enhancing our talents.

I wrote this post today because I want you to redefine your goals. Don’t let the definition of your abs dictate your feelings of self worth. Instead, look deeper. Enjoy the journey to your fitter self, embrace the strength your acquire, and if weight begins to come off, then fabulous – you got more out of this than just pounds lost. You’ve got skill, you’ve got technique, and you’ve mastered the power of molding your own destiny. Try to find what you want in sculpting a happier YOU. Not just sculpting a more toned bod. Develop your talents to minimize what you see as “flaws” and I can assure you that you’ll be glowing from the inside out. Your smile and vibrance will be magazine cover ready.

Have a Fabulous Friday everyone!

<3 Cassey

Comments

  1. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Hi, just wanted to mention, I liked this blog post.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  3. I really appreciate this. BMI gets way overused in the media and even by the first lady in her fit kids campaign. I was born a fat baby, my dad was born a fat baby, and my mom has always been really thin. Guess whose genes by body is expressing? Also, my proportions (wide shoulders, wide hips, long torso, short legs) and my musculature (think football player leg muscles rather than dancer leg muscles) mean that my mass will naturally distribute differently, and too many people don’t understand that. But at the same time, I know I CAN look better than I do now, and I know that when I have less weight (to a certain point) I FEEL better too, so thank you for setting me on my journey =)

  4. As a girl struggling with an eating disorder, your posts about self acceptance, weight gain, and body diversity are really helping me. I struggle constantly with thoughts that I need to look a certain way and only eat a certain amount, and your blog posts really help me when I’m having negative thoughts. They remind me that the things I tell myself aren’t always right, and I hope that by continuing to read these when my thoughts get bad, I will learn to love myself. Cassie, thank you for loving everyone’s bodies and accepting them all even when I can’t accept my own yet :) I just want you to know how much I appreciate your posts like these. xoxo

  5. What a positive post, I love it! you are so right, we are all too obsessed about what everyone else thinks about us in a swimsuit when we should just make the most of what we have. Also dressing to your shape is the best move as you there are so many styles out there that will flatter you.

  6. Its amazing how many people have eating disorders. i tried to cut down on food once in my life (i dint have an ed or anything. i just cut 200 calories i think) and became slim … but gained it all back in a year… i swear im not trying that again. never. i rather excercise and eat clean. and i eat whatever i feel like (but not in huge quantities) and i feel good. when ever i get confused between two extremes my mom always says we should always choose the middle path. thats the most important teaching of lord buddha. You shouldnt became crazily obsessed with your waist line nor should you let your self go and eat everything your hands come across. middle path is always the right path. eat right and excercise but dont worry yourself. dont let yourself go but dont be hard on your self either.

  7. Im finding it hard to manage pilates with you and not loosing weight. I am 5,8 and 125lbs, I don’t want to loose any weight as it would be unhealthy on the bmi scale, I just want to tone up and feel strong in myself. I have been eating as I always have, which is healthy anyway, but lbs keep dropping off, I am having to hold back on your videos and eat more then I would usually. I feel as though this whole struggle is getting me down and damaging my self esteem, do you have any ideas on how to change this?

    xx

    • Hey there Kathryn,
      I may not be Cassey, but I am trying to help you with your problem. The reason why you’re so skinny is because of your high metabolism and genes! But, just like everyone else, you still have fat on your body. Pilates targets fat with cardio burning and muscle toning, so your body is dropping fat. I can understand why this must be scary for you, but stay positive. There is a silver lining :) The best advice I can give to you is try to drink more water and eat small meals throughout the day. That way, your metabolism is still working just as fast, but it has some food to work on. If you’re already eating a lot, I suggest adding more PROTEIN! If you want to avoid protein in food, try it in powder and add it to a shake or water. Protein is what fills you up, and what helps you get the most out of your work-out. Plus, you’ll feel super energized. :) You can get through this, I promise.

  8. Ilene Shen says:

    Thank you so much Cassey for writing this post. It’s actually very powerful and influential, and serves as a positive reminder to me. I totally agree with you on this point, and it makes me think about what I have, and that I should stop comparing myself to other people. The media does really warp a lot of things for everyone. Being healthy is the most important. Again, thanks so much, love you!!!!!!
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo <3
    Ilene

  9. Claudia Rose says:

    I absolutely LOVE this post Cassey!
    I had to go through nearly a year of anorexia with bulimic and anorexia athletica tendencies – gym 2 hours every day, consuming a max. of 300 calories a day, thinking about nothing but food and exercise – to realize that what I was doing wasn’t normal, sustainable or healthy. I got help and started to recover, going from 46kgs to 56kgs in about 3 weeks. I’ve had days where I hated my body and relapsed, not wanting to eat at all that day. But I’m better now. I feel stronger than ever before and most of all, at 57kgs, 5″5, I’m happy with my body. I’m not toned. I have fat. But I can see hip bones and ribs and collarbones still and I’m skinny. I’m not thin, I’m not underweight, I’m not fat. I’m normal. And I’m happy with my body. I just wasn’t meant to be one of those 5″10, 110pound girls. I’m okay with that.
    So thank you for this post. Really, thank you :)

  10. <3 <3 Cassey

  11. i just recently started reading your blog and i love it! i was a little scared when i first came across it because i am in recovery from an eating disorder and an exercise addiction. Unlike drugs and alcohol addictions i can’t completely cut out my “drug” of choice and still remain healthy so im always looking for healthy places to find new things and positive support. Thank you so much for breathing reality into your blog!! Too much of the world today supports an unrealistic perfection its nice to find something that supports an attainable happiness!

  12. AbbyRose says:

    I just found this site- I don’t even remember what internet rabbit trail I was following, but it probably had something to do with being too hard on my body- and I’m really glad that Blogilates exists. It’s not that being concerned with how you look is in and of itself a bad thing- I just want to respect myself & keep things in perspective. I have a very diverse group of friends & I love them all. They are all gorgeous to me, & not one of them is so similar to any of the others (or me) that I can say that we should be “the same”. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for me to accept that I can’t look like an airbrushed model in an ad?

  13. Great words Cassey!

  14. Hey Cassey,
    I have NO idea whether you’ll even see this, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write this post! I’m in high school, and lately I’ve been crazy obsessed with “perfecting” my body image; so much so that I developed an eating disorder. Obviously, once I realized that my binging fit the checkpoints of having a serious problem, I’ve tried to stop and heal myself from the inside out. You have no idea how much it means to me to have someone like yourself telling me that it’s okay not to push myself to extremes to reach that “perfect body”. Thanks so much!

  15. Kate Swafford says:

    I am almost (gasp) 35yrs old. I have never been one for exercise, nor did I ever really need to….that is until good ‘ol mother nature and father time came into play. I have had a lot of medical issues that have caused me to really HATE exercising. I have suffered from severe Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 8yrs old, and it’s caused tons of damage and major crippling in my wrists and fingers. I also had a c-section w/my son, who’s now 7. Then, last summer (almost a year ago exactly), I had a tubal pregnancy & it burst. I had to have another c-section & an emergency blood transfusion to save my life. I was 4mths preg when it happened. Then, to top it off, this past Feb., I lost twins, so needless to say, my body was pretty shot.

    I discovered your youtube video’s and began doing them sometimes twice a day (I prefer the 30min pilates vids). Fast forward two months and I look and feel like you 25yr old girls who don’t know what a stretch mark or cellulite is! LOL
    I fit into clothes that I NEVER thought I would wear again (can you say string bikini??), and my arthritis has actually never felt better!! I have the energy to keep up w/my son (who loves doing the cardio routines w/me), my mental health is soooo much more improved and my love life, well, I bet you can guess how happy my husband is with the new-found flexibility!
    Thank you for giving so many girls and women a confidence in themselves, for who they are and not what they look like! You’re such a Peach!

  16. I just wanna thank you Cassey for an amazing post as always!
    I’m used to working out, been doing it my whole life, but after I started doing your workouts about 7-8 months ago, I’m actually more in love with working out than ever.

    For me it’s always been some kind of an obsession to be thin, meanwhile that I really loved working out. I just took it to the extremes mostly. I went nuts if I hadn’t worked out for the day and felt like all my “invisible” fat was dumped on me just because of one missed workout.
    But now, I’ve gotten rid of that obession, almost completely. More on a healthy level to push myself to work out to feel good. Now it’s not: I HAVE to work out today. More of a: oh, I’d like to go for a run. Be nice to move a bit in the fresh air. + some cassey workouts.
    And it’s for fun. And I’ve found that it’s so much easier to stay in shape and get rid of some extra pounds (although i dont keep track) when you enjoy it.
    My goal is not loosing a certain amount of kg, I’m already thin. Now, that I have you as my inspiration, it’s about having a lean, beautiful muscular body to replace a thin body (but built? on fat) and I feel stronger this way too!

    I hope it made sense! And I may have my binging days but I dont beat myself up about them anymore. I have confidence, think positively and know that I have the strength to work out more due to one of those less great days, and get right back in the saddle again.
    There really is a difference of saying: I give up, and: I’ll keep on trying and fighting!

    And I got my first ever comment that I was fit, today!! My friend actually checked me out and said that he noticed that I’d been working out! And I’m so thrilled and happy!! :DDD

    Thank you Cassey!

    Love from Tess (and my mom who’s also a crazy, loving fan of yours! )
    Hugs and kisses from Sweden!

  17. Hey Cassey,I wanna ask u something. How old were u when u started eating clean? I’m from Serbia an I love ur workouts. U r gr8!

  18. runnerrn says:

    This is an absolutely fantastic post, Cassey. You have a lot of influence on those who follow your blog and do your workouts. Thanks for making that influence count!!! Keep it up :-) :-) PS- You are an exceptional writer!!!

  19. I decided to lose weight because I was obese back then, but I definitely wouldn’t lose weight because I think I’m fat, as long as I have normal physique and within a normal range on my BMI I’m good. I lost weight because I worked hard for it, I eat right, I exercise and I use Roca Labs to aid me while losing weight. I successfully lost my excess weight, now I’m maintaining it. I’m very happy of what I look now and would never dare lose weight so I would look good in a bikini.

  20. Ruo lin says:

    Being a young, active American girl, living in Asia has been really difficult for my self image. Everyday I’m surrounded by girls who are skinnier than is physically possible for me and their mothers are calling them fat. I know I’m not thin, I don’t have a bikini body, but the kids here call me fat. Fat, something I’ve never been called. Things like that really tear me up. Societal pressure for perfection is everywhere.

    • AbbyRose says:

      I knew a girl from China who was an exchange student to my high school in Texas. She had always been told that her (American size 7) feet were huge, couldn’t find shoes to fit her, & was teased mercilessly. She had serious insecurities about every little thing that she ate & even scolded her host family for eating so much at dinners (they were very sporty & not overly concerned about calories) & it was amazing to me how hard on herself she always was. You should love yourself, always, & not take it to heart when you are teased, but when it gets really tough, talk to someone from a different place, because we are all battling insecurities, but everything is beautiful somewhere :)

  21. Thank you for writing this. It’s right on!

  22. This is really what I needed to read right now and be reminded of, thank you so much and know you are making a difference!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I understand the tone of this post is probably intended to be a positive one, but it doesn’t sit well with me at all. Everyone already HAS a “swimsuit body”, and that’s a good thing! I apologize if I simply misinterpreted what the author was trying to convey, it’s just something about the tone of this post seems “off” to me.

  24. I read your blog because you teach me to be healthy and positive. I was neither healthy nor positive before I found you. I love the balance you give us, and the challenges you share. I’ll admit I’m not happy with my physical body but your attitude taught me that all I need is to believe and keep trying and I’ll get there. That makes me love myself in a way I could not before.

    Hugs,
    Lisa

  25. Great message! I think its really important to have a healthy body than a skinny body. Some people are just not meant to be really tiny, it will make them lose their menstrual cycle, develop osteoporosis, and all that ugly stuff. Its great to have fitness goals, but not put too much focus on them and realize if you start alienating friends and family its probably time to look at your food and fitness routine and see if you are pushing too hard.

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