Yesterday at the gym, I was finishing my workout with bear crawls when my trainer politely said, "focus on keeping your hips parallel". After finishing the movement (with a renewed focus on parallel hips) I popped up and asked, "what was I doing wrong?"
"Nothing", he replied. "Just focus on keeping your hips parallel to the ground."
"But that means I must have been doing it incorrectly, right? Just tell me - what sucked?"
To which he responded, "Don't focus on the negatives. Keep your sights set on what's good."
Sometimes it's a damn shame my trainer is my husband...especially when he's right.
But this got me thinking - how often do we choose to intentionally focus on the negatives? Even when there are positives right in front of us, we look for what's wrong/bad in order to blame, criticise and shame. ESPECIALLY when it comes to our body image.
On a daily basis I hear things like, "gross, my thighs are so jiggly", "I ate so badly this past weekend, I need you to punish me", and, "I hate sex because I hate my stomach". And when we share these scripts with those around us, many validate our statements by silently agreeing or by responding in a way that lends credibility to the shame, like, "oh, I hear you! me too!" or, "but at least you have a great butt!"
Well, I'm not buying into it anymore! I refuse to play the role of shamer and refuse to tolerate body bashing (my own and anyone else's). Instead of participating in language that focuses on the negative and brings us down, let's be more aware of what tumbles from our lips and the message it conveys - both to ourselves and to those listening ears around us! And let's really explore - dive deep - into what's going on in our lives that drives us to speak about ourselves (and sometimes others) in that way.
Nine out of 10 women say they will actually not eat and risk putting their health at stake when they feel bad about their body image.*
SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE. We need to help empower each other! We need to increase body-confidence education, drive meaningful conversations around the pressures women and girls face, advocate for change in how females and their appearance are talked about and portrayed in the media, and most importantly, we need to teach - and KNOW - that all bodies are beautiful and worthy of love and belongingness. Every shape, shade and stature.
Want help becoming the healthiest, strongest, most body-confident version of you?
Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, stressful, media-driven lives.
That’s why I work closely with my Nutrition Coaching clients to help them reach their health, fat loss and body confidence goals...no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.
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Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.
* Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 2017