“You have awesome arms; I wish I had your arms”; “I want arms just like yours, can you help me?”
“If I had arms like you, I would always wear tank tops or no sleeves.”
Honestly these statements used to make me mad… at myself….
Believing I didn’t want to be noticed or seen…
CRAP!!! People saw my arms; I should have worn the long sleeves. They are also going to see that rest of me is not so good….
Building a healthy body is relatively easy compared to the hard work it takes in creating a healthy self-image.
Ever heard of the comparison trap???
It is expected as a female in a group of females to pick out our worst parts and compare them with one another. It was and is a given, that is how we have rolled…
I was one of 4 girls in my family and you should hear the conversations we have had over the years.
“You look so awesome, you are so… skinny, fit, disciplined, better than me; (fill in the blank with your self-deprecating statement).
And to no fault of her own, my Mom, had a hard time accepting her body as well…
There are so many confusing messages as a female we are hearing… strong is the new skinny, embrace your body, love yourself for who you are?!
Then someone decides to photo shop a waste line, create a slimmer leg, or contour someone’s butt.
Even when I get together with my fabulous lady friends in fitness, the conversations can be veered toward body image concerns. These ladies themselves have struggled with accepting themselves and still find some struggles in self-acceptance.
While listening to these fabulous fit women talk about their struggles; the conversations are eerily similar to the one’s I have with my clients and myself.
Yes, we have the ability to create an awesome body, we even have the tools, but guess what we are human and have crappy messages floating around in our heads too.
Having body acceptance and awareness is not automatic, it is a learned behavior that takes time.
And a fitness professional that can accept themselves, especially in an industry that is extremely judgmental of the female physique is a battle hard fought and won!
Yes, it is true; as fitness professionals we may have a better appearance than someone else. Yet that does not discount the struggle that each of us, as humans, fitness professional or not, go through.
We experiment on ourselves and we take what we learn to offer it up to you, our clients.
So as a fitness professional that is not above hating her body this is what I have learned over the years and want to offer up to you….
It is nice to have a sculpted body; however, that may not always last.
Using a starvation diet or punishing exercise does nothing but makes me feel worse about myself.
Let’s face it, your body is your body, you only have one. And if you are torturing yourself today, what will you have left in the future?
The change I have found, has to happen with how I see myself.
What has helped me in this journey of body self-love is building a healthy perspective on what it means to have a healthy body which includes the mind and soul.
When it comes to self-acceptance, it takes time on a daily basis.
Maybe I miss a workout or I just want to have a glass of wine or two.
Looking in the mirror after I choose to indulge and berating my body is not the way to self-acceptance.
Enjoying every bite is what brings me that much closer to my self- acceptance.
Look, I am going to tell you, as much as I feel that I am evolved; when I am tired, stressed, scared and doubting; my self confidence in myself wanes.
It has taken a lot of hard work and self-reflection to appreciate the body and mind that I have been given. I know someday I will never regret being healthy in body, mind and spirit.
What has helped is not punishing myself for not being perfect.
It has taken me several years to reconcile with the fact that my arms are pretty good and if someone notices. Now I say THANK YOU!
If this is one of your struggles and you are punishing yourself with either deprivation or resignation, join my email inner circle. Every week I offer up some tips, tricks and advice on how to get off that roller coaster of dieting, exercising and hating yourself…