How is your body image?

“You can’t change a body that you hate.”

-Janell Yule

Have you ever met someone that is happy with their body?  Everyone I've met has, at minimum, that one area that they want to "fix" or don’t like. For me, it’s my midsection that I have always been unhappy about. I have always stored my fat in the mid-section no matter how hard I train. Of course, I would love to have six pack abs or washboard stomach and I always think to myself, for as much as I work out I should have these things. Maybe if I were to give up those pesky bad habits I really enjoy maybe my body would be different but I also don't want to deprive myself. Read my last blog post on Why you can’t out train a bad diet. Because of this, I know that I will never have a “perfect physique”.

 

Did you know…

80% of women and 45% of men report being unhappy with their bodies.

 

That is an insanely large percentage of the population that is unhappy in their own skin and why???

 

We are bombarded EVERYDAY with messages of how we “should” look. We’re hit from all angles - social media, traditional media, healthcare providers, our friends, our family, and our significant others are directly or indirectly providing us with cues as to what our appearance should be.  Social media these days has gotten out of control!

 

Why is this an issue? Body satisfaction is linked to self-esteem, self-worth, and depression (among other things).  Society is always worried about what everything else thinks. I’m not pretty enough. I ‘m not skinny enough. I’m not tall enough. I’m too tall. You would be surprised. Yes, people are judgmental but no one is  as much as you are to yourself. It’s up to YOU to realistically assess, understand, and change the internal and external messages and cues about ideal bodies and their effects on your self-esteem and self-worth.

Easier said than done, right?

Self-Acceptance

Since I was a child, I engaged in healthy behaviors like exercise and healthy eating because I enjoyed it. It wasn’t probably until after college when my life got more sedentary and I had an office job that my purpose for exercising changed from doing it because I liked and it was part of my life it to doing it to change the way my body looked. For the first time in my life I didn’t like my body image and had a lot of negative self-talk.

 

And the truth is…

 

Body dissatisfaction, and negative self-talk are NOT sustainable enough motivators to keep you going.  You will “fall of the wagon” if those are your drivers.

 

Remember, you and your body are always doing the best they can at any given moment.  Only accepting yourself as long as you look a certain way is NOT an act of self-love.

 

What if instead you practiced finding self-acceptance and self-compassion?

 

I always believed that if I accepted myself as I was, that I would become complacent and lack motivation to engage in healthy behaviors...

 

That couldn’t be farther from the truth!

 

Self-acceptance is not “giving up,” but rather it spurs us into further action.  Engaging in self-acceptance can free up the mental space that was taken up with negative self-talk to allow us to practice better choices moving forward.

 

You have to be in it for you and your loved ones. It has to be a way of life. Once you find self-acceptance and practice self-love you will notice a change and be more confident and accept that you can only do so much.

 

Do I still have days when I find myself engaging in negative self-talk about my body?

 

ABSOLUTELY! Everyone does.

 

But it happens much less often, and when it does, I catch it quickly and remind myself that my negative behavior isn’t serving me.  I then shift my attention to something about my body that I am grateful for, or something that my body is capable of...

 

For example, I am grateful for my strong legs.  They give me the ability to carry me everywhere I go.

 

Focus on you!

How do you make the mental shift? Ask yourself and start tracking these simple things. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you start tracking your habits. Journal or use an app to track. You will learn a lot.  Below is a great start of what to look at in your life:

 

  • How is your sleep? 
  • Is your energy good throughout the day? 
  • Are you more emotionally stable? 
  • How often do you get sick? 
  • Are you able to focus clearly when needed? 

 

These things are all impacted by how you care for yourself:   what you eat, your exercise routine, your relationships with yourself and others, and how much you sleep.

 

Your body will change because you are consistently practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors.

 

Training at Studio ME will be more about keeping your body strong, flexible, and mobile versus fixing your appearance.  And when you are strong, flexible, and mobile your outer physical appearance will shift.  You will be focused on ALL OF THE AMAZING things your body can do like nail a shockwave class with PRs across the board.

 

Your life becomes much more enjoyable when you shift your focus and energy away from having the “perfect body,” because I can tell you the “perfect body” does not exist! Workout and exercise because you enjoy it not because you want to fix your body.