This past week we celebrated the end of 2017, and the opening of 2018. Happy freakin' New Year! The start of a new year always gives me a chance to reflect on the last year, and think about goals for the new year. 2017 was a HUGE growing year for me. In my career I worked with so many amazing clients with new unique challenges for me. This allowed me to stretch and grow. I learned SO much from the trainers who mentored me in Spokane. In my personal health life I took on Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery head on, and I can say its been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. While it’s been the hardest, it’s allowed me to learn more about myself than I ever have. And I finally got my period back after 3.5 years of it being absent! I made some of my best friends in Spokane, and had to say some of the hardest goodbyes as we made our move from the North coast to the South Coast. What a whirlwind! But couldn’t be more excited for what 2018 has in store for us. New home in San Diego, new jobs, new outlook on health, and new adventures.
This time of year is when the resolution and goal setting motivation is at an all time high. This past year has given me a new perspective on health and what goals I should be striving for. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, HEALTH LOOKS DIFFERENT ON EVERYONE, and at all different stages of our lives. A fitness goal your best friend is working towards, may sound great, but quit comparing! Her goal may not be the best thing for you and your health. Sometimes our goals need to go against the grain, and that’s OK!
Let’s talk about the most common goal I hear from women. I want to discuss its place and validity across the board. That goal is Weight Loss. Time after time I hear women talking about NEEDING to lose weight. I mean it’s pretty much the goal that keeps us trainers in business. I’ll admit, I’ve been there striving for that goal. It’s almost like it’s this default goal that as women we think we have to strive for because that’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re “supposed” to get smaller and smaller, until heaven forbid, we’re actually happy with our body at some point. Ok, now I don’t think losing weight is a bad thing to strive for. All I’m saying is maybe we should question our reasoning for having this goal. Do we really need to lose weight? Or are we just comparing ourselves to the girl on the cover of ‘Health’ magazine who’s genetic make up is most likely COMPLETELY different than ours. Maybe we’re already at a healthy weight for us, and the sacrifices to lose even more weight are not worth it.
To me, weight loss is a healthy goal as long as all the other aspects of health are in check or the weight loss is improving the other areas of health, not hurting them. Are you maintaining your menstrual cycle? Are you mentally and emotionally healthy and not obsessing over it? Are your hormones happy? Is your heart healthy? A few questions to ask yourself.
A couple blog posts back I talked about coming from a place of love with our goals. Loving ourselves now, the way we are, and from there comes the reason for wanting to be our healthiest and best self. This ‘healthiest and best self’ will be different for everyone! So now I want to challenge the thought, is weight loss the best goal for you? Here’s a few different situations and suggestions to consider.
• What if we want to get stronger? Well hate to break it to you ladies but putting on muscle will cause that number on the scale to go up, AND THAT’S OK. It’s actually great! You’ve heard it before, muscle weighs more than fat! My biggest point is DON’T LET THAT DUMB NUMBER AFFECT YOU. The number on the scale means NOTHING. And another point, muscle looks different on everyone! That’s the beauty of it. Some women stay curvy, with their strength underneath. While other women wear their muscles right underneath their skin, revealing those six pack abs. Some us keep our six back nice and protected under a cozy layer of fat ;) . Some of us lose our boobs the moment we start training. ALL ARE BEAUTIFUL.
• What if you want to go on a hiking trip with your kids without feeling like you’re going to die. Increasing your cardiovascular endurance is an awesome worth while goal, and even better to spend time with loved ones! You may lose a little excess body fat along the way, but thats not the main focus. You don’t have to be a certain size or weight to enjoy the great outdoors! Amazing hikers, skiiers, bikers, swimmers, etc, come in all shapes and sizes. I know plenty of women who could beat me up a mountain, or whoop my but in a marathon any day and they are bigger than me.
• What if you are wanting to have children of your own and need to actually gain weight in order for your body to function properly? Well I can tell you first hand that the thought of gaining weight SCARED ME TO DEATH. Never in my life had I desired that, but I knew at this time it was what I needed. As hard as it is to feel completely uncomfortable in my body right now, I’m still capable of amazing things! Any mother who claims her body has been flawed by child baring has been deceived and that attitude breaks my heart. You were part of a miracle! And the fact that our bodies need a little extra fat during this time is amazing. Our body knows the hard journey ahead and knows what is required for everything to run smoothly. This is for a short season when you look at the big picture, and really whats a few pounds compared to a loving family!? I mean seriously people!
• What if you’re actually just content right where you are with your body and don’t feel the need to gain or lose any weight? Can you imagine? I had a conversation with a client who felt she needed to lose weight, but when I asked her why she couldn’t really give me an answer other than she’s just always felt she needed to lose weight. She had never allowed herself to be content with the way her body was right then and there. She had never allowed herself to reach that goal. Through our conversations, I helped her realize that she was actually at an awesome healthy weight, especially for her age. The interesting thing was, after she gave up that mentality of needing to lose weight, she naturally dropped a few pounds within the next month without even meaning to or trying. She felt amazing with that pressure taken off of herself.
• What if you’re goal is to just simply treat yourself better, show a little more self love, and grow that inner confidence. That’s one of my new years resolutions. I’ve had to gain 25 pounds the last 6 months in order to get my period back and be fertile again. On my 5’4 frame, you bet I have had a hard time with this. Some days I am constantly aiming to build myself back up after a spiral of negative self talk and tears. I’ve had to retrain my brain and how I talk to myself. The voice inside my head has become so much kinder. If you want to join me in this pursuit, I am putting together a self love / body confidence workshop that is completely FREE. It will be a week long course that will start Monday, February 5th! Each day we’ll learn a new skill on how to change that inner voice, treat ourselves better, and grow our inner confidence. You can join in on this experience HERE.
Have you ever thought that there's much more important things to focus our energy on in this life than trying to be as tiny and fat free as possible? We have life to live people! And we want it to be a healthy life. It's about balance. I hope you know you are worth so much more than a number on the scale, or a dress size. It's not a bad thing to want to lose weight, or to have these different goals that challenge you and your body. I think challenging our body physically is so important and worth while. However, I encourage you to celebrate the differences in our bodies that make us each unique, and maybe reevaluate the reasons behind your goals. Be understanding of the different circumstances that life brings, and different priorities that come and go throughout life that may shift things around. This culture that we live in likes to focus on one type of health and beauty that is so superficial. I challenge you to root your health, fitness, beauty, and confidence much deeper. Expand your definition of health. Know that those “flaws” on your body are not flaws at all. That’s a part of your awesome uniqueness, so work it girl!
Hope to see you February 5th!