We live in a world today of Look What I Have and You Don’t Have (LWIHAYDH). Heralded by past shows like MTV’s My Sweet 16, this notion has become more personal now more than ever. We scroll through it every day on social media, from where someone else has traveled to their name’s written in perfect cursive on a Starbuck’s cup. Sadly, LWIHAYDH has penetrated an area of life that should have been safeguarded from it. That area is health and wellness in regards to body image.

Social media is full of images of what is considered the perfect body type; a tight pack of abs, firm glutes for females in particular, and big bulging arms and chest for men.
What you do not know from social media are a few things:
1. The number of fitness models and athletes on steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are astonishing.
2. Before the photoshoots that produce the images to grace the covers of fitness magazines, models are dehydrated and starved for 24-48 hours before the shoot

This issue is independent of gender. Men are just as susceptible to physical insecurities as women. What does not distinguish between men and women is good health. When conferring with a medical professional, they will give a range of weight that is healthy for someone’s given height at a particular age. That is the best baseline for a healthy body.

There is a 29-year- old mother somewhere in America who is committed to being active with her kids and eating healthy. That is a greater display of persistent conditioning than @BeckyWithTheWaistTrainer (fictitious person). Let’s give props to the guy who ran cross country in high school and is still faithful to his Sunday morning runs and does not feel compelled to beef up his pectoral muscles up when beach season is approaching. Maybe you are the person who randomly passed a basketball game on television which inspired you to shoot hoops in your local gym. And now you are the leading women’s scorer in your co-ed adult’s

For those of us who must lose weight for health reasons and quality of life assurances, keep pushing! For those of us who are in good shape by a doctor’s standard, flaunt whatever you have. 99% of the world are not professional athletes or models, it is time for the majority to determine what is health and wellness for ourselves individually. Your life has to be about what you are
okay to live with.

Jordan Sartor-Francis