We’ve recently been working on updating the photos for my website. The photo above is a sneak peek of some of the lifestyle photos we’ll be sharing on it and on social media. It’s such an exciting time to be in fitness and I’m really enjoying the process of bringing personal training and coaching to the internet.
Life is interesting. Sometimes new things can dredge up old things that you would rather leave behind. Scheduling this recent photo shoot briefly dug up some old self image issues that I have worked hard to overcome. I actually began to think about “dieting” for the photos. I haven’t dieted in years!
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look toned and in shape, I knew in my heart that if I did anything other than what I teach, the photos would not have been authentic. I would have joined the ranks of yet another fitness professional promoting one idea on the outside while secretly living a restrictive life behind the scenes.
How To Not Allow Self Image Issues To Win
Yes, it’s true. The self image issues that I work so hard to help others overcome tried to rear their ugly head and bite me in the butt! Thankfully I didn’t allow them to win.
Rather than allow myself to fall for the diet trap I used this moment to get really solid on how I want my life to look when it comes to health and fitness. Over the years I’ve allowed myself to gain a healthy amount of weight because there was a time in my life when I was “too skinny” for my body type. On the outside people thought I looked healthy but in reality I was doing unhealthy things to remain a size two. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
I’m forty six years old. I have no interest in trying to be twenty five again. What I want is to look great at forty six. At this stage of my life I’m way more interested in creating a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle than I am in being unnaturally skinny. I’m committed to things like eating well, exercising daily, strength training three times per week, drinking liquid calories in moderation, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, laughing a lot, and creating special memories.
Please understand, I will always pay attention to my weight and if I notice the scale is going in the wrong direction I will take a look at what might be the cause and make adjustments. However, I have also decided that I’m not going to be a slave to that one pair of jeans from ten years ago that a part of society thinks I should still be able to fit into. There is nothing wrong with setting goals to be able to fit into your old clothes without having to do an aerobic workout to get them on, but it should never be at the cost of your physical and emotional health.
The well-known phrase “bodies come in all shapes and sizes” is not a cliche. It’s a true statement. When you choose to maintain a weight that’s appropriate for you and you can sustain it without deprivation or emotional heartache you are walking in freedom. The number on the scale is personal. There is no one size fits all when it comes to health and fitness.
I’m not suggesting you give up on vigorous exercise or paying attention to things like portion sizes and fueling your body properly. What I’m talking about is setting manageable goals that are appropriate for the season you are currently in, your physical capabilities, and how you want to live your life.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to help clients achieve weight loss that is sustainable while contributing positively to their physical and emotional health. The guidelines and formulas may be similar, however their personal eating plans and exercise routines are individually unique to them.
My desire for anyone reading this article is that you would be so comfortable and confident in your own skin that you would make health your primary focus and that weight loss would be one of the many benefits. You’ll still have to work for it. Our bodies were designed to move and it’s important to exercise. It’s also important to practice self control when it comes to what we put in our bodies.
From time to time people of all shapes and sizes will experience self image issues. That includes thin people. Negative thoughts and relentless marketing can come at us from all directions. The good news is just because you have a thought does not mean it’s your own. If the negative voices start whispering “you’re not good enough” or “you’d be happier if you just looked like him or her on the cover of the magazine,” stay strong. Remind yourself that you are in this for health, not just a photo shoot.
Maintaining a healthy self image for life is entirely doable. In the beginning it takes practice. Over time, the more you begin to love and accept yourself for who God designed you to be, the easier it becomes. I encourage you to explore and discover exactly who that is. It’s a lifelong process and it’s totally worth it. I promise!
Here’s to a happy and healthy week!
Shared with love,