One of the greatest lessons I have learned in the last couple of years as I started to journey deeper into the realm of health and fitness is that I am my greatest asset. That is not mean to sound conceited by any means. It just means that I have strengths and weaknesses and the more that I learn about myself and embrace the person that I am the greater success I will have at any endeavor. Especially when it comes to fitness. 

I spend an unreasonable amount of time on the internet. And right now the whole 'fitspiration' trend is off the charts. And while I think it is fantastic that people are being exposed to the ideas that being healthy and strong is more important than being skinny or an ideal weight, there are still some major flaws. Despite having taken a more healthy approach to what constitutes the 'ideal' body the fact that there is an 'ideal' at all can turn into very unhealthy obsessions for those trying to reach what may be an unrealistic goal. These images are often still heavily retouched and not an honest depiction of the subject. The reality is you have one body and it is 100% unique and no matter what you do you will never have the butt, abs, or biceps of the fitness model you saw on Pinterest or in Men's Health magazine. You will have your butt, abs, and biceps. Start learning to appreciate your body for its strengths and stopping feeling ashamed and guilty of your 'flaws' because they are what make you unique and that is always something to be proud of. 

Last night I went to see the Chippendale's World Tour show at the Esplanade here in town. Now let me tell you that was quite the experience. An hour and a half of the most gorgeous men dancing and taking their clothes off (staying classy of course). I was excited before the show started but when the lights dimmed and the first song started something in me snapped and 'wild, crazy, loud Ally' made an appearance. I will admit, I am pretty loud to begin with. I have spent a number of years teaching martial arts and it is my goal to command the attention of my students, a skill that comes in handy for public speaking of any kind...or in this case trying to get the attention of the men on stage. I am often criticized for how loud I am, being told to use my inside voice when I start to get excited about something and my volume goes up without me realizing. A few social drinks does not help the situation so at the show I am very confident in saying I was the loudest person in the room. And I did not care a bit. I tried to be polite to the people behind me and keep my standing/jumping up and down like a nutcase to a minimum (because hey they paid to see the show too. not my butt blocking their view of the significantly more muscular male rear ends on stage). But as the night wore on my excitement could not be contained. And I got a fair bit of attention from the performers as a result of my very vocal enthusiasm. One even threw me his shirt. After the show a woman was walking by me and called me 'a total nutbar'. Now in the context it was hard to tell if she  meant it as a criticism or a compliment but I chose to take it as the latter. I had a great time at the show and the performers clearly responded to and fed off of some of that energy. 

While some may consider my loudness a flaw I believe that it is a result of my overflowing energy for life. I embrace this quality in my job as a trainer, trying to motivation and energize my clients in a room full of noise and fatiguing minds and bodies. I cannot change who I am so I learn to use the tools I have been given in the best way possible. I treat my body the same way. I am not genetically engineered to be 110 lbs. You would have to cut off one of my legs in order for me to reach that weight. And I still need both my legs so i threw that dream out the window long ago. I have broad shoulders and hips and some junk in the trunk and I am proud of it. I am strong and I am fast and my motivation everyday that I train is to become the best that I can be. Not to become someone else. If embracing my body and personality ruffles a few feather along the way, well, I guess I will just have to live with that because I can only be one person and that is myself. So I might as well be the best self I can be and show it to the whole world! You should too.