In today’s society there are pressures everywhere to achieve a certain look.
Whether this is to look slimmer, get more muscular, flaunt a six pack, or having perfect skin and hair, it can be exhausting to keep up!
As a 25 year old female personal trainer, I myself struggle with this concept of loving my body the way it is. I sometimes find my thoughts being consumed with over critiquing myself for that extra couple of pounds I want to lose, or even ditching my rest days for a sweat session just so I can look a little leaner at a social event.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
However, this ends up causing a downward spiral.
My body is worked too hard, I’m exhausted, and I end up not even wanting to go to the social events that I was working so hard to look good for. It took me running my first marathon to realize that my body is capable of some pretty impressive stuff.
I learned that I should love my body for the way it is, focusing on how it feels, what it can achieve, and what I can do to today to progress toward where I want to be tomorrow, rather than focusing on looking my ideal of “perfect”.
The good news is you don’t have to sign up for a marathon in order to practice loving your body! You just have to practice a few tips to remind yourself how special your body is and how impressive it can be!
In both the beginning and the end of a long run or workout, I like to remind myself of what it is I am grateful for. Not just in my life in general, but what I am grateful for my body being able to do.
Think to yourself how amazing it is that you were able to wake up this morning and move around efficiently yourself. How awesome it is that you can perform that lift you are doing, and how great it is that you can do the exercise you just did!
Look back on the process of what it took to get you to where you are today, fall in love with that challenge and continue to have fun! Remember: some people don’t have their health, so take advantage of what you have while you have it.
Practice positive self-talk.
It is very easy to get bogged down with what you don’t like about yourself and it is very easy to slide down that slippery slope of self-critique when you are talking about your body. Whether these thoughts and comments arise when you are alone, or with others, stop right when it starts.
Instead focus on what you do like about yourself and what new accomplishments you have made and goals you are reaching for in the future. If you find that your friends seem to also be putting themselves down make sure to remind them how great they are!
We as people should stop comparing ourselves and lift one another up with positive talk about the good in one another, instead of focusing on minor flaws.
Make time for you.
In today’s world we are always on the go, go, go, and doing more and more every day. Working long hours, taking care of everything and everyone else besides you, it can leave you feeling tired and drained at the end of the day!
However, it is important to realize that without being healthy, you could run into bigger problems in the long run.
Lock into a time where you can do a healthy activity you enjoy doing. Think of it as an appointment and arrange other tasks around that “me time”. You can also plan ahead of the week and spare an hour or so for prepping all your meals for the entire week.
It makes it so much easier when you plan ahead and make that time geared to a healthy future. Both of these activities will allow you to pick up a healthy behavior, eat healthier, feel better and get some time to yourself! Who wouldn’t want that?
Social media can either be a positive or a negative experience, depending on the way you look at it. If you are looking to improve your fitness goals, make sure to follow people who are in the same boat as you and are, encouraging other people to start up a healthier lifestyle.
You can also follow some trainers and health coaches who practice and encourage all these self-esteem improvement techniques.
Personally I always try to end my health related posts with “#loveyourbody” not only as a reminder to myself, but to other people as well.
Try not to continually look at photos that you find are making you feel less than great. Remember everyone started their fitness journey from somewhere!
If none of this is working and you still find yourself feeling self-conscious after you take a peak on social media, try to limit your time spent on it, and instead do a healthy behavior, like going outdoors on a walk or run and enjoying some fresh air away from technology.
Give yourself a boost.
I am all for people doing anything that makes them feel extra confident. Whether that means getting a new workout outfit, putting on a bit of makeup before the gym, or bringing a partner along to your training sessions, do anything to help give yourself an extra boost of self-esteem before and during your workouts.
This will help keep your thoughts about yourself positive and can therefore improve the workout you are aiming to complete.
The fact of the matter is not everyone looks like the people in sports or fashion magazines and that’s OK!
The great part about the human race is that everyone is different and, although it is normal to have desires to look a certain way, it is important to remember not everyone is perfect and, in order to feel confident and succeed in your fitness journey, you have to fall in love with the process and learn to love your body so as to achieve those fitness goals.