Growing up, I was a chubby, awkward, and nerdy kid. Not being blessed with the talent of athleticism, I struggled with sports, and as a result, I struggled with my self-esteem. It wasn’t until college that I picked up my first weight at the gym which ultimately began my fitness journey.
The journey, however, was not smooth. I struggled initially with “gymtimidation.” Although a large percentage of gym patrons were friendly, going into the fitness environment with no real athletic background was tough. I was afraid of judgment from others; being afraid that I was squatting “wrong” or looked “weak” and fat. But I continued to show up and slowly learn from whatever fitness resources were available at the time.
Even though my confidence in fitness began to grow slowly, I constantly compared myself to the fitness images I would see on Instagram and other social media platforms, which began a vicious cycle of self-loathing and a growing fear of food. This eventually led to a reverse in my fitness journey, causing me to unknowingly develop eating disorders, dropping my weight to dangerously low levels. It took a lot of time and help for me to climb out of the situation I found myself in and by the time I had recovered, I found myself back at square one with my fitness goals.
I eventually moved on to become a physical therapist, where I learned more about the strength training world which I immediately fell in love with. Naturally, I began to gain more weight and develop a larger build. Even with my increase in “the gainz,” I still heard the little voice in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough. It was then that I began to realize that my constant comparison of others had led to an unhealthy dissatisfaction of myself.
I started KFKF at a time in my life where I began to stop comparing myself to other people and began learning to embrace myself and my own personal fitness journey. Too many times, I would lose confidence in myself when I would fail. I would convince myself that starting over was a wasted effort.
But you know what? Starting over is part of the process. Whether you find yourself a little heavier than you were a year ago or find that you haven’t achieved the physique you expected, the point is remembering to enjoy the journey. It is a reminder that fitness is for everyone and as such, everyone’s goals and journeys are different. I believe that long term success comes from the belief in the value of one’s self in the present. KFKF reminds me of where I was and the journey it took to get to where I am today.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside if you are not happy with yourself from the inside first. KFKF is an important reminder that your value in this world is more than just looking at what society depicts as “good.” Life’s too short to waste it hating yourself.
-Dr. Dean, PT, DPT, CEO/Founder of Kinda Fit Kinda Fat, LLC