A couple of weeks ago, I googled something like ‘trainers with body image issues’ hoping to find an article or someone who was talking about this issue that I could identify with. I swear to you I found ONE ARTICLE that was written by a trainer in Arizona honest enough to talk about it.
What? Apparently she and I are the only two trainers in the United States that have this issue. Ha!
I have body image issues. There…I’ve said it. And it makes me doubt pretty much everything sometimes. They are old demons that some days I can easily contend with and on others I have to grab a sword and slay them. Thankfully, I know from my work with people – that I’m not alone.
Society puts enormous pressure on us to look a certain way. And it’s not working – the obesity rate is climbing and sadly, so is the rate self loathing. And today – it’s the self loathing that I want to focus on.
Each of us is a gift. And we are meant to love ourselves and others. And that means loving without judgment and a critical eye. Some of the things we say to ourselves we wouldn’t say to another human being. And those words, those barbed words, stick into your psyche like a pin in a balloon.
And the irony is that this pain often sends us to seek out food, drink, drugs, sex, shopping etc… anything to soothe the pain.
There are some trainers who say simply, “Just exercise more and just eat less and you’ll see results. ”In your mind you think, “It’s so simple! And once I get to size xyz the voices will stop. I’ll finally BE SATISFIED.” Does it? Does it stop these very difficult tapes we’ve laid down and play for ourselves again and again? No. Take it from me…no.
This work – to change these tapes – is very hard work. But I believe that it’s the KEY to wellness. Loving yourself is the key. Being in awe of what your body can do is the key. Showering your beautiful self with delight is the key.
Because it is through this love – that you may decide not to mistreat yourself, your mind, your body, your spirit. You may decide instead that you want to move your body, get some fresh air, eat well, take some deep meditative breaths, honor yourself and embrace wellness as a way of life.
You are beautiful. You are incredible. You are strong. You are capable. You are worthy. It’s true. You are. Now change it and say it this way: I am beautiful. I am incredible. I am strong. I am capable. I am worthy.
Let us start this New Year by changing our tapes instead of concentrating on the size of our butts and bellies. Let us all banish those sticky, icky barbed comments. And let’s replace them with good stuff. This will take mindfulness. This will take 1) actually paying attention to how much negative stuff we say and how much we critically eye ourselves. 2) gently releasing the ick and saying, “No thank you. That’s not working for me anymore.” Then 3) countering that ick with some good stuff – kind words, gentleness, self love.
It will be hard some days. Hard work, but really worthy work.
I’ll be working on it too.
Books I love. “Women, Food & God” by Geneen Roth. “Breaking Free from Emotional Eating” by Geneen Roth.