That’s what I usually think to myself when I’m doing a Body Attack class at my gym. No lie, I’m usually one of the bigger grrrls in the class, but wow, I love that I can actually survive that 55 minutes (and still walk the next day).

Tonight I came across this link: Fat Acceptance at the Gym Burns More Than Calories, an essay that’s all about what it means to be fat at a gym.  I resonated with a lot of what this essay said (along with the Jezebel article that pointed me in its direction). I know what it’s like to be the red-faced, sweaty big girl working out next to the slender girl in her Lululemons. And, despite the fact I’m active — playing on a soccer team for the fourth season in a row, working out with a personal trainer, and on track to run a 10k in the spring — I so often feel out of place and really low in the self-esteem department when it comes to looking around me.

And you know, I shouldn’t.  I can flex now and feel muscles moving in places that weren’t there before. And while the scale may not be doing down, I see my body in a stronger light.  I sleep better, and I’m setting an example for my daughter on why it’s important to schedule in time for yourself at the gym.

But that’s my brain talking — and it’s easy to talk yourself up when you’re not having to stare at your mirrored profile while doing insane amounts of lunges and squats.

It’s been a lifelong struggle for me, and if I’m honest, I’m not looking forward to the day when Emma begins to struggle with her self-esteem. So I know, not only for my sake, but for hers, I need to kick this negative body image thing I’ve got going to the curb. I don’t want her thinking it’s okay to think less of herself because she doesn’t measure up to a (unattainable?) standard of beauty that’s been imposed on her from the outside.

I don’t think I will ever be the cute skinny girl in Lulus (for one I don’t think I could ever bring myself to spend $100 on yoga pants) — but I think I could be the cute big girl in generic yoga pants who’s proud of who she is, and the steps she’s taking to be healthy.