And that’s the problem with progress.
It only accounts for the things we can see and touch.
When I say progress what do you think of?
Before and after bikini photos?
Progress on the scale?
Setting a new PR in the gym?
Getting closer to fitting back into those size 8 jeans hiding in the back of your closet?
You’re not wrong. All of those examples are signs of physical progress many of us would lust after.
But what about other, less visible, forms of progress?
Like, learning how to listen to your body more and “diet” less. If you do that and weigh more…is that still progress?
Like, taking a break from the gym to allow an injury to heal. If you do that and lose your fitness…is that still progress?
Like, moving away from counting calories, measuring macros and obsessing over food choices. If you do that and have to buy a larger size…is that still progress?
If you’re asking me, my answer is HELL freaking, YES!
But the world doesn’t yet have the insight to agree. The world looks at that person (whether it’s you or it’s me) and only sees someone who has gained weight, lost fitness and takes up more space.
Not someone who has harnessed her power of intuition, body confidence and self acceptance; someone who has broken free of the shackles and the shame perpetuated by diet culture; someone who has learned to listen and honor her body so that it might serve her better for years to come.
I am the least fit I’ve ever been. In my current season of injury recovery I’m moving less than ever before. But you know what? I’m also listening to my body more than ever before. And to be completely honest with you, I’m not hating it.
Sure, at first I thought about all the strength, muscle tone, endurance and aesthetics I might lose. And yes, I thought about the weight, size and body fat I might gain.
But then I realized what a limited lens I was looking through. Progress isn’t limited to the things we can see or the things we can feel. Progress - arguably the most important kind - happens beneath the skin, unseen and untouched by anyone but you and me.
Because if there’s one thing this new - slower - season has taught me, it’s this:
It’s not the external body that produces inspiring progress. It’s the embodied human inside the body that does.
If you know a friend who could use this message; maybe a new mom, someone recovering from an injury, or someone going through their own slow season…I ask that you please forward this on and let them know that you see their progress. Even if the rest of the world doesn’t.
“Progress is when we forgive ourselves for taking so long to treat our bodies like a home.”
- Yung Pueblo
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.