“I’m Tired Of Feeling Like I Have To Look Pretty When I Work Out”

by | Feb 12, 2019 | Fitness

“What is it with you chicks?” If I had a Discovery point for every time I’ve heard my husband say these words, I would never have to pay for coffee again. But when I read the post that prompted this particular comment, I had to agree – what is it with us chicks?

No Pain, All The Gains

The average fitness influencer doesn’t sweat. She always has perfect hair; often unsmudged make-up and her matchy-matchy outfit is free of any unsightly damp patches – whether her workout was “epic” or “tough”. Beetroot face is not an affliction she’s familiar with. Because, apparently, when you accumulate more than 10000 followers on Instagram, you unlock the ability to look put-together at all times along with the power of swipe-up. It has to be that. Because the alternative – the scene described in the post my husband had stumbled across – was so laughable, no self-respecting woman would pull such a stunt for likes. Surely. Please?

This was the post…


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Social media and the gym should be separate entities ?

A post shared by The Official Gym Memes Page (@gymmemesofficial) on

READ MORE: 10 Exercises To Make You A Faster Runner And How To Score A New PB

“Wait, I’m Not Ready!”

So we laughed and laughed and rolled our eyes and then my husband asked, “But, seriously, if women insist on taking pictures of their workouts, why don’t you own them? You worked hard; why do you try and hide the effects? You should be proud.” I didn’t really have anything to say to that. The very next day, I did a particularly sweaty class. Afterwards there was a group pic. The girls crowded in, jostling for the back row. “Do we have to take this AFTER class?” someone whined. “Do I have to be in it?” asked another. “Wait, not yet, I’m not ready!” protested several, while adjusting their hair and dabbing at their faces. I’d never noticed this about my sex before. Probably because no one had ever pointed out that it was odd. I felt a little disappointed – not least in myself; my ponytail had been redone the minute class ended.

READ MORE: 5 Game-Changing Tips I Learnt When I Started Studying Personal Training

I Worked Out Like This

As random samples go, the WH team is probably one of the more active groups of girls you’ll come across. From Muayi Thai to triathlon to S.W.E.A.T. 1000 to mountain biking to hot yoga, every one of us has a fitness obsession that leaves us red in the face and more than a little sweaty. And yet a quick survey of the office revealed that even we feel nervous at the prospect of of being snapped at our messiest. And when you think about it, it’s BS. Why do we put pressure on ourselves to look pretty all the time? My husband was right: if you work hard, you’re going to sweat. Your hair is going to get messy and beetroot face is going to be a very real possibility. It’s time to own that. So we decided to lead from the front and started with ourselves.

work out

Team WH at our sweatiest…and happiest!

READ MORE: How To Do Bicycle Crunches Without Killing Your Neck

Show Us Your Workout Face

And now it’s your turn. In this month of self-love, we’re inviting active women to celebrate their badass selves. You just monstered your workout? You legend! Celebrate that sh*t with a real, unfiltered pic of you, the conqueror – red, sweaty face and all. Fitness isn’t pretty; it’s hardcore. And so are you. Tag your pic #IWorkedOutLikeThis and let’s get women celebrating our tough side. Remember to tag us as well…@womenshealthmagsa on Insta and @womenshealthsa on Twitter.

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