Modifications can be super helpful if you're building up to a challenging exercise. Not so helpful? Sticking to modifications when you're ready to progress to a tougher variation. Meg Boggs, who defines herself on Instagram as a wife, mama, writer, creator, and lifter (yas!) opened up about finally realizing that all her modifying was holding her back.
Boggs, who also blogs about motherhood and wellness, shared more about how she got into this rut. The first time she worked out, she threw up and had trouble keeping up with the workout, she explained in the post. As a result, she didn't identify with "fitness." "I couldn’t fit into that category. I had to consider a better fitting category, like 'exercise' or 'weight loss journey' or something that would consider me anything but FIT and more like in progress." (Boggs also recently shared photos of her cellulite and stretch marks to address postpartum self-love.)
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Over the next two years, she considered exercise as nothing more than a means to lose weight, she explained. She also opted to modify every single exercise, without even attempting to try the standard version. "I was under the impression that as a plus-size woman, things just needed to always be modified," she wrote. "At least until I was no longer the fat girl working out." When googling plus-size fitness, she kept seeing the same message: Everything should be scaled down.
But all that changed when Boggs gave birth. She started working out with strength goals rather than aiming solely for weight loss, and approaching exercises without the assumption she'd have to modify. She attempted a traditional push-up (beginning from a high plank) and began to build up from a 2-inch range of motion.
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While that might not seem like a big deal, there's a very important point to this story, which is why Boggs says she wanted to share it: No one should back down from a fitness challenge because they don't fit a mold. "Screw the judgments or the looks that will more than likely come our way as we step out of our comfort zones," she writes. "They mean nothing compared to what we can and WILL accomplish when we get out of our own way." Just remember that the next time you start to do push-ups on your knees.
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This article originally appeared on Shape.com