Ok I wanted to touch on this, but here at Tri Anything, we are a light hearted bunch, so forgive me if this gets a bit too heavy for you.
Now, keep in mind that I’m a blogger, and I’m sensitive about my S#!t… Word to Ms. Badu.
So many blogs, magazines, and books talk about being fit, losing weight, gaining muscle, keeping healthy and as women we strive to look good and eat well. But feeling good about ourselves is just as, if not, MORE important for us. We are bombarded with images of stick figure models and bootylicious vixens but rarely do we see pictures that reflect the silhouettes of strong everyday women. These manufactured body types can lead to a feeling of inadequacy, insecurity and unhappiness among many girls and women.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of “well I’ll be happy when I lose 10 lbs” or “I’ll be happy when I lose this belly” but comparing yourself to someone else is a futile mission. Our culture is built to make women try to be the “prettiest” or “skinniest”, but who decides what the litmus test for beauty is? Certainly not the media who make it their job to Photoshop every curve and cover every freckle or mole with a ‘flawless complexion’. Your fitness journey is just that – A JOURNEY, not a competition to see who lost the most weight the fastest or who has the greatest before and after changes.
These things can definitely put a damper on your self-confidence and self-esteem. What good is a great healthy and toned body if you don’t have the mental happiness to enjoy it? In addition to working your physical muscles, try to work on your mental and emotional muscles or what I like to call your “happy muscles”. A few tips to help make sure your happy muscles are strong:
Who are you doing this for?: Who are you losing weight for? Yourself? A man? Your friends? To keep up with the Joneses? If you find that you are trying to change your lifestyle to fit someone else’s, then take a step back and reassess. Your goal to a healthy life should be for YOU and YOU ALONE. Try to focus on the benefits it will have in your life, such as better quality of life, or preventing weight – related diseases by losing weight. Now if you are losing weight so you can run with your children or to live a long life with your spouse, by all means those are legit reasons. But again, your goals should be your own, not cut and pasted from someone else’s.
Be grateful for now: in EJ’s post about her Workout Recap, she mentioned how her trainer provided her with encouraging words. She said, “You need to thank your body for where it has brought you. Its been there for you all this time even though you haven’t treated it that well. So say thank you and start treating your body right”. I think this is such a profound statement. We often will reserve the right to be happy after we’ve reached a goal, either because we feel we don’t deserve to be happy with what we have now or because we are convinced we will be happy when we get to the next level. This is so not true! Your body is your temple! Yes, you may have not treated it well, but you are just a deserving of happiness for where you are in your fitness journey as anyone else. If you are at day one, be happy that you are at the start of your fitness goals. If you are at day 91, be grateful that you’ve gotten through 90 days of working on being a better, healthier you.
Reflect positively: I think the best perspective when it comes to happiness is looking at how far you have come versus how far you have to go. Instead of focusing on “Ok, 15 lbs more and I’m done!” or “I have so far to go!” realize where you used to be and how you are making changes to your life that are positive for your health. Reflect on your own strengths like your intelligence, your charisma, your generosity, etc. These things make you who you are, not your pants size! When you see girls with a Kardashian booty or models with legs for days, do not try to fit into their mold. God broke the mold when he made us that is why there are no two women that are exactly alike! We are beautiful in our own right, and when you reflect on that, be sure you do it from a place of love and compassion for yourself.
I hope these suggestions help you on your path to mental happiness. There’s nothing more rewarding than flexing your happy muscles!