Have you ever felt hesitant to admit that you work out mostly to look good? Many of us have worried about being judged for caring too much about our appearance. Yet time and again, my friends and clients keep telling me that their physique matters to them deeply. They want to look good on the beach, in their favorite jeans, and in the buff, and that’s the main thing that keeps their healthy lifestyle going.
It made me wonder, are we really judging each other for our reasons to get fit, or do we all secretly feel the same way? I decided to find out.
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Are other people really concerned about why you work out?
I wanted to hear from real women, so I asked around. I asked my friends and clients, fitness enthusiasts, gym goers and the women on social media. “Do you think it’s shallow to work out not just for health, but to look good?” The answers I received were a wonderful surprise. Not only did women stand up in droves to admit that their appearance was a huge driver for their fitness, but they embraced every reason other women might have to get in shape.
There wasn’t a single negative thing said about anyone else’s motivation or methods. Just a deep appreciation for all the facets of our physical and mental health that benefit when we take loving care of ourselves.
If you want to see what kinds of relatable, encouraging, and empowering things other women are thinking about fitness and their bodies, have a look below.
Looking good is healthy
One thing I loved about these candid answers was that many seemed to draw an automatic connection between working out to look good and becoming more healthy and happy because of their active lifestyle.
“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you’re healthier!” – Randy
“I think working out to want to look a certain way isn’t shallow. Self determination means you get to decide what’s important to you about your body including size.” – Samantha
“If something motivates you to take care of yourself and exercise regularly, I’m all for it.” – Robin
We all look our best when we’re healthy, and we feel best about our appearance when we’re active, no matter what our healthy looks like.
We care about each other’s well being
The respondents were overwhelmingly positive and encouraged everyone to enjoy their bodies and fitness. But they also acknowledged that we need to pay attention to how the voice in our head frames our workout goals.
“Your reason is your reason” – Alison
“Do your thing.” – Tracy
“Work out for whatever reason you choose, as long as you are choosing.” – Denise
“Anything you desire for yourself is not shallow, you have those feelings for a reason! I think it’s you wanting to channel your inner Queen.” – Kim
“It’s healthy to take joy in looking good, whatever that definition is. But don’t shame yourself because your physical embodiment doesn’t match our culture’s definition of looking good.” – Ron
“As long as you feel good, it’s all good. But if you are killing yourself painfully trying to look a certain way, then a new approach might be helpful.” – Cheryl
Confidence is an aspect of your health
Beyond just appreciating our bodies, several people pointed out that feeling fit can also help us behave with more self-assurance.
“Confidence can be such a powerful thing and if you like the way you look, that improves your health too!” – Karey
“Saying that wanting to look good is shallow is like saying it’s shallow to want to be rich. But you could do A LOT with that level of abundance. Same with body goals. You can do a lot with confidence!” – Amanda
“Love loving my body!! And I’m so much happier to share my best with the world when I feel cute af.” – Jessica
“One of the main reasons I continue to exercise is I want to look good! When I look good, I feel good!” – Lisbeth
We all care about our appearance
The bottom line? We all care about our bottom line.
“People whiten their teeth for the sole purpose of them looking good. I think it’s totally reasonable for someone to work out for aesthetics.” – Marissa
“I workout to look good,” – L.A.
“I’m running again just to fit back into my dress clothes and jeans. I also want arm muscles, abs and a great butt!” – Sandra
“It’s ALL about having a nice butt.” – Brandy
So whatever “looking good” means to you, I hope you embrace it. Your body and mind work best when you’re active, so let your body love get you up and keep you moving.