Most of the people I work with, and probably the majority of the people getting into the fitness scene, are wanting to lose weight, or get into better shape. Some common terms are “I want to lean out”, “I just want to lose this roll of fat here”, “I hate my legs in shorts, I want to tone them up”, “I can’t wear a two piece because I hate my tummy, I need to lose it”. A lot of these goals come from looking at ourselves in the mirror, with all the images from health magazines and instagram racing through our heads, and thinking “I’m not small enough, fit enough, ripped enough, lean enough”. Wondering why we don’t look like a certain fitness model, or why our weight goes straight to our thighs instead of our boobs. In other words, our motivation typically comes from a place of negativity, or dislike/disgust/hate for our bodies. This mindset breaks my heart, thinking of all the incredible women out there who get trapped by this.
Well what if I told you that you can’t panic your way thin. I heard this in a podcast recently and I really liked the concept. Often times we approach weight loss and fitness with the mindset that if we look at ourselves and point out what we need to change, try to burn as many calories as we possibly can during a workout, torture ourselves, limit our calories from food, we’ll get there someday. We think that If we put enough hate, stress, panic, and pressure on ourselves to get a certain body that we think we need to have in order to be beautiful, then we’ll have success and life will be better. Even if we’re miserable while doing it.
Well here’s the truth. When these goals come from a place of hate and negativity, it’s never going to be enough. We’ll always look in the mirror and be dissatisfied. No matter how lean, how fit, how skinny we get, it will never be enough.
I was recently going through some pictures from a photo shoot I did last year. I remember when the pictures were taken and going through them after. I was so disappointed with how I looked. I was so critical of myself, I even shed some tears over what the pictures looked like. Looking at these pictures now I see them in a whole new light. I see my beauty, my strength, and a very lean and strong body. The only problem I see now in the pictures is that I actually wasn't completely healthy. I wasn't able to have my period in the physical condition my body was at. So technically I wasn’t completely healthy. I remember preparing for that photo shoot, trying to manipulate my water weight so I could look as lean as possible. Restricting myself of carbs the week leading up to the shoot, avoiding any salt, and anything that would make me bloat. I was a little on the cranky side and probably not the most fantastic person to be around. I looked pretty dang awesome. But isn’t it crazy how critical of ourselves we can be! Most of the time it’s so much easier to find our flaws before we find our strengths.
I’m not writing this post to say we should never strive for a higher fitness level, or to ever have the desire to lose weight. But may I challenge all of us to take a different approach. What if we all looked in the mirror and were able to say full heartedly that we love ourselves. No matter our shape, size, number on the scale, we just had true love, unconditional. With that, we would want the best for ourselves, and we would treat ourselves the best we could. We would stay active, stay properly fueled and hydrated, take proper rest and recovery days. We would be healthy. Maybe not the distorted view of healthy that’s on the cover of the magazine, but the real kind of healthy. I define this as all of our organs working properly, our blood work and hormone levels in check, muscles and joints moving and working how they’re meant to, strength to carry out daily tasks, having the ability to participate in fun sports with friends and family if we want, and being mentally and emotionally in check.
I encourage you to give yourself 5 compliments today. Show yourself some love and appreciation today. Recognize the ways you are healthy, and how much your body can do. If there's some areas you want to work on, do it for the right reasons. I’m working on being proud of and accepting myself where I am today, and I’d love for you to join me. Accepting my weaknesses and realizing those are areas that I want to improve, but not letting that effect my self worth. Learning to look in the mirror and celebrate the positives before dwelling on the negatives.
Have an awesome week you guys, thanks for reading :) Leave a comment below if this post had an impact, or if you have any thoughts to share on the subject!