Do you "look like" someone who works out? What is your relationship with "looking the part"? I am interested in your stories.

A point I haven't seen brought up is fitness in relation to your partner's level of fitness. Do you perceive yourself as fit when your partner is much, much fitter than you?

My boyfriend is 5 years younger than me and has been a serious cyclist for a decade. He has a super muscular lower half, and more than decent abs because climbing hills involves a lot of core stabilization. But as a 36 year old 5'8" woman... the fitness level I can attain is so far behind a 31 year old 6'2" trained male athlete. No one will ever look at both of us and think we are equally in shape - and they are right!

People who look at me instantly notice that I'm slender, and now that I am indoor cycling (Zwift) 5x week, my thighs and butt demonstrate that I do something for fitness, but it's more of a runner/yoga body.

There's also intangibles, like, by age 36 most of us have developed some cellulite or vericose veins, and even when you have muscle, that stuff can be distracting and make it look like you're less fit than you are.

I'm happy with who I am though, and it's an ego stroke that a younger hot dude thinks I'm hot. I've learned not to get too attached to how other people perceive me though, because with each passing year I lose more youth and you can't put that toothpaste back in the tube. You have to switch from being perceived as something to knowing that you are living that way and being healthy.

/r/xxfitness Thread