I have a performance coming up in Toronto in 8 weeks. Working online allows for lots of yoga pants and sitting when you are on a screen. Which doesn’t always mean prioritizing how my butt will look on a stage with photographers and TV cameras.
Because I am an artist at my core, I love playing with fitness in order to create the look and experience I am going for on stage. I see my body as art. I am grateful to have a body and know it is magnificence in action when my mind is right.
When my mind isn’t right is when the problems begin.
- Body comparisons
- Confusion about what to eat and how to train
- Exhaustion from all the extremes
- Insane expectations and brutal inner dialogue
- “There’s not enough time.”
- “Why work so hard.”
I found myself obsessing and spinning, but caught it!
My mind was doing this:
“Ok, I have 8 weeks, I will do 1 hour cardio in the morning and intermittent fasting plus green drinks, then I will do full body circuits, but should I do the heavier weights and body-split training I like? I know. I’ll do yoga to relax my body and go in the infrared sauna, then I’ll maybe do a cleanse for a bit to kick start my system, in which case I shouldn’t work out…” Then a day of work and life-stuff happens and I let all my expectations of what I should do exhaust me to the point of doing nothing.
The experience sucks, is not effective and I’m sure I’m not the only one doing this.
I was in my head too much and not taking one day at a time and doing the things I know to do. The one thing I stopped doing was appreciating myself now, and acting from that loving place.
I was a personal trainer for over 7 years so it’s not like I have a lack of knowledge in fitness and body transformation. But, I also have a history of trauma and family addictions and mental illness so body image can become a minefield if I don’t watch it. Which brings me to the title of this article:
You Can’t Hate Your Body into a Body You Will Love
For some reason, we have been conditioned to need to feel like crap in order to be motivated. I touched on this in another article as well. See my article on – How to Accomplish your Goals without being Self-Abusive.
We seem to need to see a picture of ourselves and cringe with self-rejection in order to get on the treadmill the next day. The discomfort of not liking our image spreads to all of our cells and grows into self-contempt. We confuse commitment with unrealistic, inauthentic goals that sound good, but are not aligned to our lives.
Pain wakes people up and is the only thing that will motivate them to stick with a program.
Why don’t we stay awake so we don’t need to create moments of pain and self-rejection in order to push us into who we really want to be.
Staying awake to our own worth is what I mean. Not letting anything take our sense of value in a world that idealizes external validation is where we can make real, lasting, loving change for ourselves.
Just because I got my body for free (thanks mom) doesn’t mean it’s not the most valuable physical property I am have.
Eventually, you can create a body you LOVE by loving it first. Crazy concept, eh? The body wants to be healthy, feel, live, and BE. It doesn’t need to be whipped into submission, it doesn’t need our mind to tell it how to be magnificent.
Our bodies need us to get back into them, so we can listen to the intelligence that is our nature.
Unrealistic Expectations Leading to Extreme Low Self-Esteem
The photoshopped world we compare ourselves to is hard to ignore.
Luckily, the #bodypositvity movement has exploded on social media because now people are finding a voice and able to post their own pictures representing body diversity and the diversity of human beings in general.
This is just the tip of the iceberg however, because I have done a ton of self work and can can still fall victim to the old programming.
The thoughts in my mind and the images I see in the world I think I need to measure up to to be beautiful can become louder than my own knowing.
Beauty means worth for women if you didn’t know. It’s all so deep, and not as simple as “love yourself.” But it’s a place to begin.
The 72 Billion Dollar Agenda
The 72 billion dollar diet industry wants you to be on this yo yo cycle in order to make profits. There’s always a hot new promise, special magic pill, or system being sold to the masses, and the public eats it up because they don’t want to stop and trust themselves and their own body.
It’s too risky to trust that walking/running is too simple to be effective, a lifestyle that is active isn’t working hard enough, a simple program done consistently is boring, eating less processed foods and eating more alive nourishing foods seems to allude people, stopping eating when you are full, enjoy eating but not relying on it for pleasure…. Simple, natural, kind daily habits work.
Do things that make you YOU and make you feel pleasure just because.
Because you have a body!
It is friggin’ amazing and working with you for you 24/7.
When I sink back into the truth, that my body is a marvel of divine engineering, the mental noise, stronghold of control and emotional grumps fade away.
Stop being mean to your body, It loves you. Your body is like a golden retriever that will keep loving you back until you abuse it too much and it snaps. Your body will only put up with extreme food restriction or obsession and lack of healthy consistent activity for so long before it starts sending you signals in the form of discomfort or illness to get your attention. If you love your body, it will show you how to live. Don’t let the media or the diet industry rob you of your life, get back in the driver seat by getting into your body and trusting yourself.
For Further Insight:
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash