Finding Strength in the Buff 

Today I had my annual appointment with my dermatologist. I've always been pretty freckly, and after having gone through a small scare two years back, I make it a point to go every single year for a thorough check-up.

I don't know if you've ever been to the dermatologist for a check-up, but lemme tell you, thorough means THOROUGH. You're completely nekkie, and every crack, crevice, and wrinkle is examined. It can feel pretty vulnerable, but I've gotten to the point where I find more comfort in knowing that my doc inspects ALL of it. It feels safe to me.  Today's appointment was different. As I was undressing, she quickly asked me if I was a personal trainer. I responded accordingly and then went on to tell her about my gym, (em)POWERHOUSE. We discussed everything from safe form, to camaraderie in group training, to building strength, and working towards sustainable nutrition - all the while intermittently slipping in her comments on my freckles and moles. 

Towards the end of my appointment, she expressed interest in contacting me, and she also mentioned how desperate she was to lose 20 pounds. Quite frankly, it surprised me. She is my height (5'10") and noticeably much smaller than I am, and right then I felt comfortable asking her where those 20 pounds were going to come from.

Her response? "I don't know. I just want to weigh _____." 

Me: "Get rid of your scale." 

Doc: "I should throw it away, huh? I'm slightly obsessed."

There was much more to our conversation, but the gist is that she felt comfortable enough to let me know that the scale runs her life, and she really doesn't have a reason to lose 20 pounds. She's chasing an elusive number thinking that she'll feel better once she reaches that weight. 

We know that's not always entirely true, right? We know that the number doesn't automatically make us happy. We have to find love and compassion in our current state, and that's where we can start to aim for goals. 

I talked about the importance of strength, and we also discussed the importance in feeling comfortable in her own skin. 

{meanwhile, I'm still naked.} 

She DID see me completely naked today. I have strong, muscular arms, but I also have a tummy that lacks a noticeable six pack. I am on "team thick thighs", and cellulite graces those thighs AND this booty of mine. 

She saw my body and all of it's social-media-labeled-flaws, and she wanted to know more. She didn't care about those so-called flaws. She had questions. She wanted advice. She saw strength.

She thinks she wants to lose 20 pounds, but do you want to know what I think? I think she wants to be strong. She just doesn't know it yet. 

I have single-handedly seen lives transform once they found strength. And listen, I'm not saying that being strong means you have to have big muscles (but I LOVE that idea). Strength comes in many different forms. 

FOR ME, strength has changed my mindset. I look at aesthetics differently. Sure, there are times in my life that I strive for fat loss, but there are times in life that I strive for ALL THE SANGRIA. But I mostly find balance in moderating between those two things 365 days out of the year. I could have a more cut and lean body, but I'm not willing to white knuckle my way through miserable eating to get there. 

It's the STRENGTH portion that has allowed me to find that sense of worth. It's knowing that I can take a heavy object and safely move it if I need to. It's the idea that if my 70lb lab got hurt that I could pick her up by myself and get her to safety. It's the idea that I don't need a number on the scale to walk around strong and confident. I walk around strong and confident BECAUSE I GAVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO DO SO. 

NOT THE MEDIA. 

NOT MY SPOUSE. 

NOT MY FRIENDS. 

I found strength in that appointment today, even in all of the vulnerable nakedness. I hope that my doc did, too. 

Strive for strength. You just might get more than you bargained for. 

Engage. Empower. Elevate. 

xo

Coach Fowler

PS {I am fully clothed again, and it's overrated.}