Last year, around this time, I wrote two blog posts: this one about getting started with fitness and this one about getting started with eating real food. I know my blogging has been very sporadic and inconsistent (I am hoping to change that in 2016) but the holiday season (and extra time on my hands) has inspired me to talk about another topic: our bodies.
Yes, committing to moving more consistently and eating more “real food” are awesome things but all too often we overlook the real reason why we should be doing these things. Sure, we might want to look a certain way and I can’t tell you what your reason may be but I hope that I can offer some advice and inspiration in focusing on our health (mental and physical) and focusing on how we feel in order to love the skin we’re in.
Obviously this is a complex topic and I am certainly not “perfect” but here are my two cents:
1. Ditch the scale.
I know, I know: such a cliche “step 1” but it’s true. For whatever reason (maybe it’s our hyper-competitive human nature) numbers drive (most of us) crazy. I do want to note that I’m referring to that “healthy” number we see yet still think we should see a different, lower number and proceed to think badly of ourselves and self worth. Five pounds do not define you.
There are so many factors to body weight: time of day, hormones, the actual scale itself, overall composition (fat vs. muscle, etc) that trying on your favorite pair of jeans is a much better indicator of your body than a number.
Now, to never weigh yourself? Not what I’m saying. But only when you can get to the point where the number does not define your day, week, self-worth but rather checking in to know what your body weight is when your workout is to “body weight back squat” or needing to fill out a health form… you get what I mean. It’s okay to know what you weigh but I ask you: why do you want to know?
2. Rid your life (and social media) of negative comparative things.
When motivation turns into jealousy or comparison, it’s not motivation anymore and it’s gotta go.
Take it from Dr. Seuss:
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You
Right? There is only one YOU. Your stomach is going to look differently to my stomach or her stomach or his stomach. It’s science. It’s fact. It’s the reality of life.
Again, our human nature comes into play here as well. But I think that recognizing this possible negativity is an important step and leads into point number 3 nicely…
3. Recognize your dislikes and re-focus.
This may seem counter intuitive to this whole post of loving your body and yourself but hear me out. I don’t see the point in sugar coating something and pretending it is something it is not but rather changing the perspective. So you hate your thighs: they are “big” and “jiggly” and that gap is nowhere to be found. Okay, own that. But you also just squatted your heaviest weight or ran your fastest mile or simply are able to get out of bed every morning.
Sure you might not love what they look like all the time but you are proud of what they can do.
You can find this with every part of your body if you try hard enough.
4. Give yourself time, and lots of it.
As much as I wish you’ll read this blog post and exclaim how much you love your body, it’s (likely) not going to happen that way. Patience.
If you are working towards this, that’s all you can ask of yourself. You cannot give yourself expiry dates or deadlines to attain (most) emotional feats.
5. Aim for consistency, not perfection.
This is something I tell my clients (and myself!) all.the.time. Food, fitness, health, work, love, relationships, life… are not meant to be perfect. Some people use percentages (ie: “80-20 rule”) but everyone’s percentage is different and doesn’t really need to be defined – just do the very best you can.
We must look at things overall in relation to our own lives. Overall, I eat a very nutritious diet but eat real-deal ice-cream when I feel like it. Overall, I am very happy but sometimes I cry and feel crappy. I’m not perfect. Neither are you.
Some days you will roll out of bed, un-dress, check out yourself in the mirror and feel awesome. Other days you will not. I don’t have the trick to make the awesome feeling 100% of the time (because I don’t think it exists) but what does is having that awesome feeling consistently.
Aim for your consistency. And celebrate it!
Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe 2016!
Question of the day…
What kind of blog posts do you want to see in 2016?