Work Out Slut: The Ideal Compliment

"Please don't become one of those people who are so consumed with the 'ideal look' that they totally lose touch with reality. Look inside your heart more often - not into the mirror." That's a quote from my (unnecessarily) concerned mother after she read my first blog post.

I have to give Mom props because her words are as sentimental as a quote from Mother Theresa. I hear what she's saying, but I think my point was lost on her. Do I come across as narcissistic? A little. Does it sounds like I lost my sense of self and put too much emphasis on my outer appearance? Maybe. But, allow me to further explain and put my vanity into perspective.

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I certainly take pride in how I look and I don't mind the occasional compliment on my ass. More importantly than a bangin' body or clothes that fit, is how I feel about myself, not how others feel about me. When I am active, I have more energy and feel more focus. When I am strong, I feel healthy and self-sufficient. When I am feeling good about myself, I'm confident and self-assured - not because I look good, but because I FEEL good. And when I feel good, everything in life is just a little bit more manageable.

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What is the ideal look anyway? I think we all have our own ideals and I think that's okay, so long as they are realistic and healthy. My self-defined ideal is strength and ability, not dress size and weight. I have to work with what I have, ya know? I'm 5"1' with a petite frame and an athletic build. I never pay attention to the scale because when I exercise, I build muscle quickly, and I actually GAIN weight. So for me, I don't feel accomplished when I fit into a size zero; I feel accomplished when I have the strength to head-to-head with a man in a push-up competition. There is definitely an ideal and standard here, but they are ideals and standards that I set for myself. For me that means getting more compliments on my biceps, than on my ass.

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