“Lose weight the easy way”
“Drop 5 pounds without changing how you eat”
“5 moves to great abs”
Looking at these magazines and processing these messages made my negative self- talk go into overdrive. Why doesn’t anyone have cankles? Why did I eat that tortellini with cream sauce? I can never look like those girls..etc. I literally have to tell my brain to SHUT UP! The media tells us that women need to be as skinny as possible to be attractive. The further the gap between your legs is, the more attractive you are. The messages have started to change that “strong is the new skinny” but those women are also very skinny. They have mega muscles but are still very thin. Not only do we need to now be thin, we also need to be ripped. It is difficult to look at magazines and wonder why most women don’t look like that. A lot of us then go home and pinch our fat in the mirror, jiggle our bellies or stuff our faces. We beat ourselves up for not looking like that ideal woman on the magazine.
How do we learn to love our bodies and be kind to ourselves:
1. Positive Self-Talk: Pay attention to your inner coach or inner critic. What messages are you sending yourself? Are they positive and encouraging? I am healthy, fit and I love myself. According to John Gottman, a renowned couple’s therapist, he found after 30 years of studying couples that Master couples had something in common. For every criticism in the relationship, they needed to tell their partner five positive statements to balance out that criticism. How can we apply that to our relationship with ourselves? In order to have a positive relationship with yourself we need to work on giving ourselves those positive messages.
Here is an example:
Negative: I hate my cankles (leg ankle with no definition)
Positive: I am strong, fit, athletic, healthy and determined.
Starting to change and shift our inner dialogue will help us start to view our bodies in a different way. Remember that you are your own worst critic. If you terrorize yourself with negative messages in the mirror in the bathroom then try to put some positive affirmations on the mirror instead. Repeat 5 of those messages to yourself whenever you look at the mirror. I promise that it will start changing your thinking.
2. Eat Clean: You are what you eat. If you put balanced, healthy, nutrient packed food in your body you will feel better. When you pump your body full of processed foods then you don’t feel as positive about your body. You can not out train a poor diet. You can spend endless hours in the gym but if you do not change the way you eat you will not see the results you want.
3. Exercise: When you workout your body releases endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good and in return will make you start loving your body. You do not need to spend 2 hours a day in the gym. Start small and go for a walk, do some squats or try a few pushups. Our bodies were meant to be in motion and your body will thank you for getting up and moving.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: The ONLY person you should be comparing yourself to is YOURSELF! Are you a better version than your yesterday self? Remember – everyone is working with different genetics. Mel and I are part Hawaiian, if you watch the movie Lilo and Stitch you will see the lower half genetics that we are working with. There are many women that I see in the gym that I start getting envious over certain body parts of theirs but then I remember that they are probably envious of some of mine (Replace the word jealous with envious, jealousy is an ugly word and an even uglier act) Stop going to a place of comparison and simply focus on your own body. Remember that fitness is more than what you look like. Fitness is about how you feel and treating your body with respect. If you start thinking if only I had______, then I would be happy; you will never be happy with your body. Embrace the positives that YOU have.
5. Question the Media: Photoshop exists. The media is full of messages that tell us not to love our bodies unless we look like a woman on a magazine or a Victoria Secret model. NEWS FLASH ladies, a lot of those women do not even exist. Here is a great advertisement from Dove to further explain my point.
6. Get a Friend to Help You: When we are working on self-love it often requires getting support. Whenever you go to a place of criticism try to think of what your best friend would say to you. Give them a call and ask them for some pump up. It is ok to rely on our support networks to help us during low times. Supporting one another will help keep you balanced and will also strengthen your relationship.
Sister Act Fitness would like to hear what you do to love your body.