I was doing some thinking today and I felt I had to write out this post because this topic is HUGELY important to me. I would say more important than anything else. I didn’t even really realize how much of an impact I can truly make on this topic until I started discussing it with a friend.
In my profession it is seriously an hourly occurrence that I hear people pick apart their bodies to me. They tell me what they want to change, lose, slim, what they hate about themselves. I try not to engage in negative self-talk in front of clients but I do allow them to come to me because I try to be a sounding board for them. I just realized now how not helpful this is! I don’t want people to pick apart their bodies period. I want them to start coming to me and saying “I love how much faster I can run! I am so proud of the new muscles I am seeing! I LOVE my curvy body and strong legs! I love my stomach pooch- it gave me children!”
Sometimes I want to quit everything to do with nutrition and fitness because it seems to almost constantly revolve around weight loss, getting smaller, how “good” or “bad” someone was that week or how they’ve “fallen off the wagon” etc. I could pull my hair out!! I think I’ve had one client come to me EVER that actually wanted to get stronger, faster, and fitter and I’ve never heard her say a bad word about her body which is so refreshing. I hate that this is not the norm. Why are we all so focussed on changing ourselves? What is with this constant drive to be someone else? Why can’t we just be ourselves and be happy?
I think it really hit me today when I was teaching a class to some seriously accomplished amazing women who are in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. They are lawyers, teachers, mothers, wives, and amazingly fit and dedicated. Yet they are concerned and upset that they have the tiniest stomach pooch that won’t go away! As soon as I heard that I immediately piped up, “But who cares?” And they looked at me like I was a bit crazy, as I am their trainer after all. But really, WHO CARES. Do you think anyone cares about that stomach pooch but you? Do you think your kids look at you as a mother and think… “well maybe if she was a bit thinner I’d love her more”. It’s so ridiculously mind boggling to me how important weight loss is in our society.
I know this is probably confusing coming from me. My money and career is made off of people disliking their bodies and wanting to change them. I’ve never really thought of it that way, but I do NOT want to support that image and that ideal. I guess I’ve always supported people with their weight loss because it is important to them and they feel they would be happier. But I think it’s up to me so start showing people than you can MUCH HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, FITTER AND STRONGER without ever uttering or thinking the “weight loss” words. I felt so happy today when one of my friends who is also a client- texted me today saying “I was thinking this morning how much I love my body just as it is without putting an overextended amount of exertion into making or shaping it differently. I love working out with you once a week and am going to try and do my own workouts and incorporate more yoga”. THIS IS WHAT I WANT EVERY ONE OF MY CLIENTS TO FEEL. And even if she said that she doesn’t love working out with me and she never wants to train again I would be just as happy and proud.
I want my nutrition clients to want to change their nutrition to feel nourished, energized, happy, sleep better, learn to cook, and get their vitamins in for a long and healthy life. I wish the only goal wasn’t weight loss. I want my personal training clients to want be faster, stronger, fitter, healthier, empowered. When we focus on weight loss, we take out all the actually important happiness boosting things that create and shape healthy habits. If your only goal is to see a number on the scale; you aren’t going to like working out and getting fitter because that number might not change as you build muscle. You aren’t going to like nourishing and loving your body because you aren’t going to see the numbers drop as fast than if you were on a juice cleanse. You are not going to be happy and love yourself when you can only focus on getting smaller and seeing the numbers go down.
So, do you love yourself as you are? Do you think the only way you’ll be happier is if you lose weight? Well I’m here to tell you from first hand experience that you are wrong. I’ll spare you the big long story, but I’ve super thin and fit and I was most definitely NOT happy. Right now I workout because I enjoy it, I eat nutrient dense foods because they make me feel good, and I drink wine and eat chocolate because those make me feel good too. I feel sexy and happy and confident in my body. I do not think about losing weight anymore. I don’t think about weighing myself. I feel happy and like a total babe when I look in the mirror. I’m also a lot heavier than I used to be.
Your mindset is so important. I understand that people want to lose weight for health reasons and that’s fine. No matter what the reason- that does not mean you cannot start loving yourself right and treating your body like you love it. Don’t follow a certain meal plan to lose weight; incorporate some of your favourite recipes to feel energized and strong and amazing! Don’t put yourself through workouts you don’t enjoy to lose weight. Try new things, experiment. Any activity is good activity, and one that you love is the BEST! You’ll never stick to something you don’t enjoy.
I encourage you to create a life that you love that involves nutrition and fitness, without putting the emphasis on weight loss. Writing this blog post and definitely helped me figure out another direction that I want to take with my nutrition plans, one that allows you to learn how to eat intuitively, listen to your body; and enjoy all foods. There should never be good and bad foods, there is just FOOD. Just relax and love yourself right now, today, in all your glory because LIFE IS SHORT. I’m mad I wasted so many years of my life hating myself and I hope that I can change that for some of you. When you put your time and energy into all the positive things that I’ve mentioned above; there is no “falling off the wagon” or being “good” or being “bad”. There is just being you. Just enjoy being you. Love being you!!!