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?
And I should know how to use that negativity for motivation shouldn’t I?
Well the truth is…
Body dissatisfaction, and negative self-talk are NOT sustainable motivators.
No matter how driven or motivated you are at some point you will “fall of the wagon”
And if those are your only motivators then it can be very difficult to get back on the horse.
Yes I’m mixing metaphors but you get the idea.
Instead try to remember and focus on the present. That you and your body are always doing the best they can at any given moment.
And if things need to change then focus on making small changes that you can sustain over time. Instead of trying to have “that perfect body” that truthfully no one really does focus on being the best YOU you can be.
Stop judging yourself based on the fiction that the media portrays that everyone should have 6 pack abs, weigh 110 pounds with no Bodyfat.
That my friends is NOT reality
Instead practice self-acceptance and self-compassion and if you have a goal you want to achieve make sure its one based in reality.
And remember that Self-acceptance is not “giving up,” but rather should be a basis that spurs us into further action.
Engaging in self-acceptance can free up the mental space that was taken up with negative self talk that so many of us have and that prevents us from trying to reach our goals whatever they are.
And yes it can be done. I know because I did it.
It took me a long time to get here but for the first time in my life, my mindset is one of self-love and self-acceptance.
I choose to engage in healthy behaviors daily because I feel better about myself when I do. I do it because I enjoy it and feel happier, healthier and it lets me enjoy life more.
It also allows me do what i do which is help people
And because of this single shift, I feel a new sense of freedom and motivation.
Instead of focusing on the negative I choose to focus on the positive even when I have bad days.
To be sure I at times will overeat but instead of punishing myself by going on a week(s) long binge like I did in the past. I look for the positive in that bad day. Maybe it was just one bad meal or one bad choice in a day filled with dozens of choices 99% of which were good.
By focusing on the good I am able to be much more consistent with my behaviors because they come from a place of love and positivity instead of negativity and frustration.
When you love and honor your body every goal you meet will be a reason to celebrate versus an opportunity to pick out and correct another physical flaw.
And those celebrations will keep you moving forward to a happier, healthier life.
Why not give it a try?
If you found this tip helpful could you do us favor and help spread the word by liking and sharing it so that others can see it also. We'd really appreciate it!
#FCFNC #LivingFitAfter50 #WeGetFitDone #healthtips #fitnesstips #nutritiontips #nutrition #fitness #health #healthylifestyle #healthy #healthyfood #weightloss #diet #motivation #fit #wellness #food #lifestyle #fitnessmotivation #healthyliving #healthyeating #fitfam #eatclean #personaltrainer #foodie #weightlossjourney