If you read my previous post about my relationship with my body, if not you can check it out here, you can probably tell it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster journey. There’s a couple of things along the way, which I think definitely has improved my mindset and led me to the more positive outlook I have on it all today. I don’t feel as affected as I once used to be, it still happens, but it doesn’t take over my thoughts as it could do sometimes.
With time comes acceptance
I spoke about it a little bit in my other post but I think it’s worth bringing up again, with age and experience comes a deeper confidence in yourself and who you are. This point might be more for those of you in your teens who perhaps are struggling with your body. Your teenage years can be a really difficult time, exciting and fun but also difficult. I know it sounds cheesy and cliché but things do get better on the other side. You find good friends who are supportive and love you for who you are. You realise that there are far more important things in life than what you look like and you just learn to love the skin you’re in. The more you think about what our body does for us every day, it’s difficult to not find a love and respect for it. I think this is something, at least I took for granted when I was younger, that our bodies would just work and do whatever we please but I really think we should be celebrating every little thing it manages to because one day we might not be able to.
One thing I came to the realisation with age was, a lot of the time the things you notice with yourself, no one else pays attention to. Or sometimes it could even be the thing that people like the most about you, it’s what makes you special and unique. It makes you you. I used to not like my bigger legs and bum when I was younger, but it’s something I tend to get a lot of compliments for! Not that it should matter but it’s interesting to see how others perceive your looks in comparison to how you do. Now I couldn’t care less what they look like and I just want them to be strong so I can lift heavy things hehe.
Another thing you realise with age is that you can look however you like but if you aren’t happy and confident on the inside, none of the external things matter. You can be how skinny or “toned” as you want but at the end of the day, what’s in your head is what makes you beautiful. It shines through, confidence is attractive, being a nice person is attractive. These things make you an attractive and fun person to be around. Being a positive and happy person gives you more than looking a certain way ever will.
Surround yourself with amazing people
This is really important guys, surround yourself with people who give you great vibes and make you feel like you’re on top of the world. The “hell yes” people who you leave after seeing feeling happy and ready to take anything on. Start looking around and feel the peoples’ vibes around you, how do they make you feel? What messages are they sending out with your conversations? If you surround yourself with people who are self-critical and negative, whether you like it or not, you’ll be impacted by this. Be with people who bring out the happiness and fun in life. They are the best and you’ll realise that these friendships and interactions with these incredible people are far more important than anything else.
One thing I’ve become conscious and aware of is who I follow on social media. Even if we look up to certain social media people we need to ask ourselves whether their journey, message and their fitness goals are something that has a positive impact on you. This is what you CHOOSE to see and if their presence in your world is making you question yourself then unfollow them. Why follow people who make you feel bad? Find people who train similarly to you and who give you inspiration and positive vibes. You have a choice and the people you are looking for are out there. I sometimes forget who I follow on Instagram and kind of just get used to seeing them popping up on my feed but I’ve become a lot more harsh and critical of people’s profiles. It’s nothing against them as people at all but I want my feed to make me happy and feel like it gives me something. Therefore, I quite often unfollow profiles that don’t make me feel good. It’s your space, make it a happy one.
Changing training focus
Find something to train that you love and want to excel in! Something to really geek out in and you look forward to working on and getting better at. To me at the moment it’s Crossfit. With Crossfit I love how fit my body feels, it feels strong and capable of doing any task it gets thrown at. It has given me confidence at a deeper level rather than it just looking a certain way. I feel pretty badass, like my body has become a machine that can accomplish things rather than look “toned” (I hate that word). Instead of going to the gym thinking about what exercise to do to get abs or nice arms, you go to the gym and smash out a workout to get better and stronger. You always feel on top of the world when it’s over too. I can’t get over that feeling after finishing a tough class, it’s pretty much unbeatable. It’s addictive and it’s a deeper reason to why I continuously go back for more. At the end of the day, the looks bit is nothing in comparison to accomplishing something new.
Eat to feel good
Taking care of yourself is really important and what you put in your body has such a huge impact. Eating and nourishing your body and eating food that doesn’t make you feel sluggish, bloated or heavy does the world of good. I’m not saying don’t ever eat fast food if you enjoy it or eat cake but maybe start noticing how you feel after eating different meals. I certainly feel a lot better after eating a wholesome home cooked meal rather then when I’ve eaten out, most of the time (depending on what it is). Maybe try and balance it out and have some meals out but making sure the majority of your meals are home cooked ones that make you feel amazing!
Be conscious of your thoughts
Do you stand and look in the mirror a lot and criticise yourself? It’s easy to get into a negative headspace, almost easier than a positive one at times I find. When someone gives you a compliment you don’t really accept it whilst if it’s something that could perceived as slightly negative you absorb it like a sponge. I know a lot of people say that you should give yourself five compliments a day and things along those lines. I’m not quite one of those people but I am more mindful of what I’m thinking these days and when I’m in a negative spiral I try to get myself to shape up. You’re supposed to be your own cheerleader and best friend. Not in a self absorbed way, but would you tell one of your close friends some of the stuff you say to yourself? If not, then you need to start changing it by breaking those thought patterns when they come up. Start focusing on the things you do like about yourself instead. It takes practice and hard work but the same way we train our bodies with through practicing, we can also train our minds.
Stop Weighing Yourself
If you are obsessed over the number on the scale, please just stop. I remember numerous workouts I’ve done in the gym in the past where I’ve felt so good about what I’d accomplished, then I stood on the scale and that joy immediately disappeared when the number showing wasn’t what I was hoping for. Awful! Talk about killing all your joy and any good vibes you had going on. One of the best parts of finishing a workout is that feeling of victory and euphoria. There’s a reason the Body Coach has named the scale “the sad step”. It is a sad step. I can understand that a scale can have it’s place in big weight loss instances but I still think there are better ways of tracking your progress rather than obsessing over a number. That scale has no clue what that weight is divided in to and weight varies all the time due to various factors.
Changing the view of your body and your relationship with it takes time and can be really difficult but it’s small baby steps. It’s not a straight line upwards but a bumpy rollercoaster ride almost constantly. However, once you get in a better mind frame the bumps get a bit smaller with time and you can catch yourself before you end up in those dips. I know everyone has their own journey and in some instances such as eating disorders these tips are not enough. If it’s serious you will need professional help so please don’t be scared to reach out to someone who can help you.