Updated: Feb 4, 2021
You can’t change something you hate… This is something I said recently to one of my clients.
You see she had said to me she hates her body and how it looks. So much so she avoids looking at it.
As we continued to talk I asked her why she hated it and like many it was because she was comparing herself to the covers on women’s magazines and saying to herself: “I should look like that and because I don’t I’m worthless”
Is it any wonder that most (yes men too) of us struggle with body image...
We are bombarded EVERYDAY with messages of how we “should” look. Whether it’s TV, Newspapers, Magazines or social media every single day the “ideal image” is pushed at us.
And if you don't look like one of those models or whatever it is you're supposed to look like people make comments. Often nasty comments.
Hell I get them directed at me all the time. You don't have 6 pack abs they say so you can't possibly be a good trainer.
Yeah ok.. Guess all that experience and education I have not to mention time I dedicate to my clients isn't as valuable as spending 6 hours a day in the gym and being blessed with genetics.
It's called fat-shaming and honestly that pisses me off. Why?
Because we are presented with the "perfect bodies" of various celebs and fitness models that aren’t reality. They don’t actually look like that all the time. Far from it.
And the media doesn't just mis-represent those bodies they out and out lie about them.
And when that gets exposed they go on the attack and try and shame people, which is on full display almost daily on social media. It's one factor in why the teen suicide rates is so high. .
What they "neglect" to tell you that pretty much every women's (and yes men's ) magazine cover is photoshopped.
They neglect to tell you that prior to that 1 day photo shoot the person was on a very strict training and diet regimen for 6-8 weeks prior. One that NO HUMAN BEING can sustain forever.
They also neglect to tell you that most people genetically aren't cut out to look like that.
They are presenting a lie and I for one am fed up with it. a
Your worse enemy is....
As I said earlier 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.
But most often the person who is speaking loud and clear about how you should look is YOU.
Studies show that over 80% of women say they are unhappy with the way they look. That they have at least some degree of dissatisfaction with their bodies.
And why is that an issue? Well body - dissatisfaction is linked to self-esteem, self-worth, and depression (among other things).
It leads to as my client said: “A daily struggle not to hate myself to the point I can’t even function. I just want to stay in bed and forget the world”
And the truth is I get it because I myself have been there.
When I weighed almost 400 lbs I hated myself to the point I did in fact on some days lay in bed and try and forget the world.
Worse I would use that self-hatred as an excuse to punish myself by eating myself sick.
And its something I not only struggle with today but will for the rest of my life.
But it doesn’t need to be that way. You just have to accept the struggle exists and learn how to deal with it.
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...I know.
As I have said before I struggled with my weight and self-esteem for decades. And I’m a trainer! I should know better right?