In my 36 years of life, I have yet to meet a woman who is happy with her body. I have a friend who shared this story with me. She was standing in her bathroom taking pictures of herself in the mirror, trying to find the right light, to accentuate the recent changes in her obliques. She was just trying to put together a “before and after” photo. She heard her young daughter ask, “mom, what are you doing? why do you keep taking pictures of your stomach?” Mom begins to explain that the photo is for a result or “fitspo” instagram post. The young daughter, still confused, asked another question “ Mom, what are you trying to look like?” Her daughter's question caused her heart to drop and she was overcome with sadness.
Mom started to remember when she was her daughter's age… All of the struggles of what it was like NOT to look like the women on the cover of magazines, all the self hate, all of the days she went hungry, ALL THE DAMN CARDIO! She realized she was feeding her daughter the same sad lies that society fed her when she was growing up. Always measuring your worth by your comparison to the people you are trying to look like. Truth is, we DO NOT have to look a certain way.
There is a huge problem, and it's most likely in your hand right now! We have social media at our fingertips! We can pick up our phones and be misled by fitspo posts that are only showing you what they want you to see. The health and fitness industry is sadly too much about aesthetics. In all of the before and after pictures, the “after” photo is always someone who is more ripped or jacked, and supposedly much happier. What is worse is that we have aligned being jacked or ripped, with the assumption that we are healthy or fit, and even worse is we have associated those attributes with being happy and successful.
Are you combing your hair for the mirror or are you combing it for yourself?
Work on the relationship, with YOURSELF! The real transformation happens in our minds. We all have insecurities, doubts, we've all experienced trauma, we all have inner demons. Everyone has some bullshit story we keep telling ourselves, an excuse to continue with the same harmful thought patterns. I see it way too much, and admittedly I've been there before. I was working out to look good or look a certain way. It is exhausting, and destructive, and can be unsafe at times. We are all human, we all have an ego, this doesn't make us terrible people.
The thing I've implemented into my life is concentrating on things that I can control, like proper nutrition, which will lead to quality movement, and quality performance. If you focus on those things, I promise the aesthetics will surely follow. I will leave you with a quote from someone who knows a lot about this issue and that I am very close too.
Do it for you ;),
Coach Mike Thompson
“If the end goal is purely for aesthetics, you will experience total burn out, it's unrealistic and unsustainable. Accepting we are a constant work in progress, and perfection is unattainable we can shift our minds to truly believe we are enough.” ~ Frankie Rose