Fitness, Punishment, and Carrie Hope Fletcher | #FitLife

Part of the reason I wanted to do this #FitLife series on this blog was in response to Carrie Hope Fletcher's posts about fitness on her Instagram and Youtube channel in January. She talked about how fitness shouldn't be about punishing yourself and it truly resonated with me because I thought about fitness in that way for many years.

If you don't know Carrie, she is a West End actress, author of several books, and popular vlogger. She's always been someone I've looked up to for years both as a content creator and as a young woman making her way in the world without losing her principles.

Here is the image she shared on Instagram along with her caption and the YouTube video she followed up with:

"I've been going to the gym recently. I had a very unhealthy 2017, in which I drank more alcohol in the space of six months than I have ever drunk in my entire life, I ate all the good food the UK had to offer and I did zero exercise to balance it all out. Basically, Addams Family was the university experience I never had as a young adult! So now, I’m making up for it and exercising properly to balance out the vanilla lattes I drink and the Gu pots I eat. BUT I am going to the gym because I LOVE my body and the more I love it, the more it’ll love me back. 

And sooo...BECAUSE my reason for going to the gym is that I love my body, I need to talk about this poster that I saw today because it’s made me quite angry and uncomfortable. 

I’m not a small girl. I haven’t been since the age of 14. I’ve always been buxom. But no matter what size or shape I am, I should NEVER be made to feel like I have to “punish” myself into being something different. Being bigger or less “buff” than those around me isn’t a punishable offense. It’s not an offense, FULL STOP. Exercising regularly should be something you do because you LOVE your body and you want to care for and nurture it. It should be about self care. Not punishment. 

I do have moments when I look at my body and don’t feel satisfied by it’s appearance but I have to remind myself that...I am not just my body. I am not just my appearance and anyone who judges other people purely based on how they look isn’t worth your time or tears. I am not just my body. I am my brain, my voice, my talent. I am my kindness, my creativity, my big heart. I am my passion, my courage and my determination. I am not just my body. And so my worries are often short lived because I know that I am long loved. By those I choose to keep close who love ALL of me but most importantly, I am loved by me."

I wanted to take the time to share Carrie's statements and thoughts because I agree with them so intensely and because I think it's important to hear these kind of ideas from someone who has a platform that she's using for good. 

I plan on sharing more about my ideas and personal fitness journey in a later post, but I spent years thinking fitness was about 'fixing' my body or 'punishing' myself for over-indulging - and it's a common ideology in popular culture. 

My ideas about fitness changed completely when I started seeing it as an extension of health care and simply a way to take care of - and maybe even celebrate - my body. What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with Carrie (and me)? x
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