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The tagline — "the girly girl's guide to getting fit" — gave me pause. Sure, I wear a lot of dresses and I love to bake cupcakes and I don't have an athletic bone in my body. But girly girl? I consider myself a staunch feminist. I don't wear makeup every day. I'm not a fan of Nicholas Sparks-esque books or movies. I use emojis sparingly. I own very few articles of pink clothing. I'd rather go to a hockey game with my husband than a shopping date with a friend. I've never typed the letters "OMG" in a text or email. I don't own high heels. When I work out, I like to sweat.
I was hesitant. After reading through the Fit Girls Guide 28 Day Jump Start ebook, I felt out of my element. There were many mentions of mermaids, unicorns, puppies, tiaras, and the color pink. I worried the workouts would be light — the kind you see girls doing at the gym with a full face of makeup, not a drip of sweat in sight. I wondered what I got myself into.
Still, I decided to give it a try.
I always assumed I'd follow the program — make the meals and do the exercises — but keep the social aspect of the program at a distance. I didn't want to have to talk to anyone about shoes or mascara (this is what I assumed girly girls talked about) and I certainly wasn't going to become obsessed with mermaids or rainbows. I was just going to do the plan, work hard, and see what happened.
Fit Girls Guide took the guesswork out of everything when it came to both food and exercise. They provided meal plans, menus, recipes, ingredient shopping lists, and step-by-step instructions for the workout routines. They showed me how to structure my weeks: prep these foods on Sunday night for Monday through Wednesday meals, and these meals on Wednesday night to get through the rest of the weekend. They showed me how to structure my workout schedule and listed ideas for cardio I could do in my house, at the gym, or outside. And as it turns out, I didn't need to worry about the workouts being too light. As someone who had grown inactive and was getting back into an exercise routine for the first time in a long time, the exercises were pleeeenty challenging. Tiara or not, I ended each workout a sweaty mess.
I started talking to other Fit Girls on Instagram simply as a way of holding myself accountable. It was fun to see other women across the country and beyond eating the same meals and doing the same workouts on the same days as me. I became inspired watching the progress of women who'd been doing the program for several months and I started keeping tabs with people on a regular basis. Before I knew it, I was swapping encouragement packages with other women through the mail: we'd send each other supportive notes and cute trinkets to brighten each other's days. Suddenly I was receiving pink nail polish and plastic unicorns wrapped in sparkly tissue paper and loving it. I also found myself loving the idea of making my meals look fun and cute. I ordered molds to make eggs and pancakes in the shape of a heart. I'd go shopping and find myself gravitating toward the pink clothes — after all, on Wednesdays, Fit Girls wear pink. And before I knew it, my entire life was consumed with a raw, girly power I'd never experienced before. I was writing down inspirational quotes with sparkly pens. I'd get giddy every time I saw anything mermaid-related. I started to truly love all the women I met in this community — and not once was it necessary for me to talk about shoes or mascara.
Eight months later, what I've realized is this: no matter how damn "girly" we are, there is nothing more feminist or powerful than a group of women who take it upon themselves to band together, support each other, lift each other up, and push each other to keep going. In the end, that's what the Fit Girls Guide community really is: a group of intelligent, motivated, beautiful women who refuse to let each other fail and who spend all their days pushing positive energy at each other. Sure, the unicorns and tiaras are silly, but guess what? Life is serious enough. We don't need more seriousness. We need more fun, and that's what Fit Girls Guide is: pure, sweet fun.
These days, I wouldn't hesitate to call myself a girly girl; it's a label I wear with pride. I know it doesn't mean a high-heel wearing, perfectly manicured, bubbly mannequin whose only motivation in life is the latest sale at the mall. It means a strong, powerful woman who thinks there's nothing more important than supporting other women as they navigate through their own journeys. If that means sending someone some sparkly nail polish and a set of star stickers, so be it. Life is serious enough. Finding Fit Girls Guide was one of the most important things I've ever done. Give me the confetti and moonbeams: I'm the happiest I've ever been and the healthiest too, so clearly this girly girl thing works.