This week’s post was sparked my many conversations I have head recently with some of you about weight, changing your body composition and the frustration that go along with it.
First of all, I want you to know I get it.
What my body looks like right now is different to what it has looked like in the past (heck, it is up a solid 8 kegs from what it was six months ago - because, health!). But this body has been in many different places. I have been a lot bigger than I am right now and a lot smaller. I have also struggled with every second of this. But the work I have done on myself, particularly the last couple of years, to free myself from my identity and my worth being wrapped up in the physical being has been essential for understanding that I am so much more than my body.
It came to a point where my health was suffering so much for chronically overtraining, undereating, overworking, undersleeping an overstressing for over a decade. I had to pull back, I had to eat more, I had to purposefully gain weight in order to start to heal.
I’m nowhere near where I need to be but I am certainly much better.
And the only way I was going to be able to increase my health was to let go of numbers and body image and really do the work to discover who I am at my core and that THAT is what is important. That I am still a good human being, fiance, daughter, coach, friend, health and fitness professional no matter what my shell looks like.
And I want this for you too.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t want to change your body - heck, most of you are working with me because you wanted to change your body in some way (let’s be honest!). BUT, I want you to really dig deep and ask yourself: what is the intention behind what I’m doing? Because if your intention with the way you move your body and the food you choose is coming from a place of fear (that you have to do things or not do things because of how it will or will not ‘change’ your body) then you will stay in a perpetual negative place. You will not give room in your life to the things that REALLY matter: experiences, family, things that bring you happiness.
I am in the business of transformation. But this doesn’t mean fat loss. I want more for you. I’m in the business of helping to facilitate real, long-lasting transformation whereby you continue to make choices for your health and because you actually care about yourself, not because you loath pieces of yourself. And I know that is really hard sometimes when you truly feel like you dislike your body or feel unhappy or uncomfortable with your body, but starting to make small changes to your mindset and perspective can help you move into a better pace with this.
And when you do start to make these perception shifts you then WILL see the aesthetic changes. Your body will start to work WITH you, not against you when you begin to accept it. It is not easy, sure. To be honest, I still struggle every single day - BUT, I am aware of those struggles, I see them and feel them but I choose to feel something different because I realise that I DESERVE to feel something different other than negativity towards my body.
So what if you made your goals health focussed?
Is it scary for you to let go of that control of just focussing on the outer shell of you? What would it feel like if you did let go and shift your focus to health? What would it feel like? What kind of person would you be?
What is driving your goals actually does change and dictate not only your success but your enjoyment in the process, not to mention your adherence to another goal.
Truth: body changes or fitness goals are sloooowww. Fat loss is usually 1% of BF per week and muscle 0.25lb per week - at best (if adherence to nutrition and training is compliant!). Things take time and if you’re only focussing on one aspect of the process (scale, body comp) - the end goal - then you will never be happy.
I know I sound like a broken record but you MUST learn to enjoy the process. Because that end line will always be a moving target leading us to never be happy or satisfied with our physical goals. It may even lead us to quitting altogether.
So today I challenge you: what would it look like if you shifted your mindset to one that is more health centred? What would that look and feel like?
You will be less likely to say ‘eff it’ and eat all the things after restricting X food when you are health centered. Your weekends may start to look like your Mondays and Tuesdays where you eat because you give a damn about yourself. Instead of not allowing yourself to eat cookies Monday to Friday but then eat a whole packet on a Saturday, you might well have some cookies on a Tuesday because you had a craving. You choose to honour that craving and enjoy the damn cookies and then get on with life, because you have more important things to do in your life than worry about a cookie. You know a cookie isn’t the best thing for your cellular health but it is a good thing for your mind. And your mind is part of the health piece, too.
How much would you be able to enjoy your workouts and STICK to your workouts when you go because you know that there are instant benefits mentally and also for all aspects of your health? Not just during, but the hour after right through to 24 hours after. Not to mention how it benefits you on health, longevity, strength, disease prevention and function across your whole life. As well as increasing your confidence in all aspects of your life.
You’ve been told to be obsessed with your body because it will never be good enough according to ridiculous societal standards. Even at its best, it is never good enough. You are being sold aesthetics as health.
But health is completely inclusive! And for everyone. And health and strength is a choice that you make every single day and something you will always have success with.
I drink water and eat vegetables because I care about myself. I want to function in life so I choose to move in a way that allows me to do this.
The way I choose to eat and move honours how I value and respect myself. I do it because I deserve it.
And this is why I will ALWAYS praise you on your EFFORT in the gym or with your nutrition, what your doing out of the gym to look after yourself (sleep, stress management, etc) because THAT is the stuff that lasts. Your body is meant to go up and down in weight. And the more you can accept your body for where it is right now the sooner you will be able to love it to health (and therefore to the reshaping that you might be looking for).
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