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This morning as I sipped my coffee, I pulled up my email. I had an email from a client that had her recent progress pictures attached with the line “terrible pictures, sorry. Lot’s of work to do!”
What do I even say to that? I am mind blown that someone feels like they need to apologize for their current physique. That they are so ashamed of how they look that they can only assume I look at their pictures with judgement and disgust, and that they need to apologize for sending them to me. Not to mention, this client has a very common physique for someone her age who seeks my help!
So how do we get so self conscious of our bodies that we feel we must apologize? And more importantly, how do we get out of that mentality to allow ourselves to be successful as we do change how we look? Because with that deep seeded negative emotion, no matter how much we change our bodies, we will still struggle to love ourselves.
- Own it– How did you get to where you are now? Did you give birth and now want to lose the body fat you gained in the process? Were you over stressed and started worrying about everyone else and put yourself on the back burner? Were you dealing with life stressors by eating too much food in attempt to make yourself feel better? Or have you been trying to create change but starved your body instead and now find that nothing works? How you got to where you are now doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are here and want to make a change. So own your past and make a decision to change your future. Leave the emotion out of it!
2. Let it Go– Why do we think that it is completely ok to judge, belittle, or even apologize for how we look if we aren’t where we want to be? Why do we have to have any negative emotion attached to our physique? After all, didn’t we play a role in all of this? Why hate your body for doing it’s job whether it was giving birth, surviving the lack of food you fed it or the abundance of stress, or adding weight because you were over consuming? Instead of allowing yourself to be overwhelmed with emotion over actions you took, create awareness for where you are and where you want to go, and then act. Look at your physique as a work of art…it may not be done, but respect all stages of the process and marvel in its potential!
3. Thank Your Body– After all, it did its job right? Then thank it. Give it gratitude for functioning like it should. For those who may have autoimmune diseases, obviously the body isn’t acting like it should, but if those are the cards you are dealt, how can you make choices that minimize your symptoms and still allow you to accomplish your goals? Instead of always looking in the mirror at what we don’t like, why not look at what we admire about ourselves. What makes you unique from someone else? Isn’t it our unique qualities that make us more special anyways?
4. Make a plan– Put down the excuses and make a plan and get motivated. Do not expect things to be easy and quick. You didn’t get to where you are in a month, so why would you expect it to be that easy to take off? Be patient. Realize this is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. There is no going back to your old ways unless you want to have the physique you are complaining about now. Find the joy in the small victories, grow from the effort and dedication it requires to make a change, and don’t give up.
(my boobs in the left pic were artificially enhanced somewhat by my funny roommate, but I don’t have the original…in case you thought something looked suspect 😛 )
Making a change physically or mentally is not easy, but I can guarantee that if you can leave negative emotion out of the equation, it will be an easier road. By removing the judgement, hate, and self pity, you will make room for acceptance, respect, admiration, and love. By focusing on the positives whether it is how you feel, how you are performing, or your physique changes, you stop focusing on the fact that you may not be where you want to be just yet. And when you open yourself up to self love and respect, you will find it easier to grind through the plateaus we all experience along the way because you realize they are part of the process, not all things worthwhile are easy, and you deserve the effort.