What Do You Do to Feel Confident About Your Body?
Written by Kaitlyn Kassis

I was just about to cross the street to start my afternoon training session at the Invictus Downtown gym, when I heard a man yell from behind me,” Can I ask you a question?”

I was fully prepared for him to say something inappropriate or make a comment about my muscles. I almost ignored him and kept walking, but I didn’t. I reluctantly nodded, and he proceeded to ask, “What do you do to feel confident about your body?” I was confused.

That wasn’t the question I had been expecting. He then began to tell me about his 18-year-old daughter. She is an athletic girl, but is incredibly self conscious about how big her legs are. She hates wearing shorts because of it, and wants “legs like a model”. He begged me to tell him what I do mentally – not physically – to feel confident in my own skin. He wanted to know what he should tell his daughter.

I pointed to the building across the street and said, “that place”. I told him that at one point, I was a 17-year-old girl in a very similar headspace as his daughter. It was discovering CrossFit that changed my life. It changed the way I viewed food, and the perception I had of my own body. I told him that I started to value my body for what I was capable of doing, rather than needing the tag on the inside of my pants to read 00. I started to feel proud of my big legs, and my strong body because of how much hard work I had put in to get my first pull-up, first 100# clean and jerk, and eventually nearly six years later, win the CrossFit West Regional with my team and then take 2nd place at the CrossFit Games. It is empowering to have a strong, healthy body that allows you to do so many amazing things.

The man I was speaking to seemed genuinely intrigued and grateful to hear my story. It was a good reminder to myself why I do what I do on a daily basis. We wrapped up the conversation and I told him that I was a coach at the gym across the street, and that his daughter is more than welcome to drop in to one of my classes.

I really hope that she does.

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