Powerlifter and fitness influencer Meg Boggs did everything possible growing up to physically conform and change. She thought, as society tends to decree, that what she lost in weight, she’d gain in happiness — but that wasn’t the case. At one point, she took off 100 pounds; however, she had succumbed to a dangerous cycle of restriction and compulsive exercise. And it wasn’t until Boggs became a mom four years ago, she said on the Today show when discussing her book, Fitness For Every Body, that she realized she had to break this toxic way of life for the sake of her daughter. For the sake of actually living.
Boggs further told POPSUGAR over the phone this past fall, “You’re only ever considered successful as a fat person when it’s paired with a weight-loss story. I’m constantly just determined to show that there are endless possibilities to gain confidence as a fat person, to gain happiness, to gain strength and flexibility, and a real shot at experiencing life — not just focus[ing] on the life to be lived after reaching an unrealistic goal weight.”
Boggs stressed that we don’t typically see larger bodies depicted as strong — and even enjoying fitness — and this is damaging. “You literally have to go and search for it yourself. It’s not going to be on a billboard,” she said. “It’s not going to be on a commercial or on a TV screen or in a movie or in an advertisement.” She continued, “I feel we just need to have more visibility for different types of bodies and showing that everybody is capable of being strong and having that strengthful lifestyle, but we don’t see it. When you’re not exposed to it, of course you’re going to assume that it’s not something made for you and it’s not something that you’re capable of.”
“I’m constantly just determined to show that there are endless possibilities to gain confidence as a fat person, to gain happiness, to gain strength and flexibility, and a real shot at experiencing life . . .”
It’s empowering to let go of any stigma connected to the word “fat” and embrace fitness, Boggs said. “My hope, honestly, is just that others see these possibilities and are inspired to choose themselves above all else by choosing what makes them happy, fulfilled, and ultimately whole and never allowing society to convince us otherwise because of a freaking number on a scale or because of how we identify in our larger or fat or plus-size body.”
Boggs has learned over the years that it’s possible to shift your mindset on bad body-image days and times when she’s most anxious. She immediately logs off of social media and will often utilize her Fitbit’s stress-management tools (she particularly relies on guided meditations or breathing exercises). She also turns to affirmations since, she noted, our inner voice is a muscle that can be trained to resist self-doubt.
One of Boggs’s favorite affirmations is “I am safe in my skin because I am home.” There’s more: “I think of my body as my home, my safety, and I refuse to burn it to the ground for the satisfaction of others.” It is natural to have moments where you’re struggling mentally, especially when it comes to body image, and Boggs said it’s an ongoing journey.
Take a page out of Boggs’s book and end every workout, no matter how it went, by thanking your body out loud. She highly suggests it. “Over time, that has just made me actually appreciate whatever it was that my body did, even if it was a 10-minute walk around the block to just get some air,” she said.
“I am safe in my skin because I am home.”
Boggs continues to inspire people through her platforms (if you haven’t already followed her on Instagram and TikTok, you should), where she posts fitness content and chronicles IVF and living with PCOS. She shares openly with the intention of making a difference and helping others. “I am not here to provide weight loss inspiration. You can find weight loss porn at literally every other corner of the internet,” she wrote on Instagram last month. “I am here to share my story. To share my experiences. And to punch diet culture square in the f*cking throat.”
Image Source: Courtesy of Meg Boggs