So I know that this is one of those topics that is very individual, but I wanted to share with you what helped me through all the things that we all go through. For me, there are a lot of things that go into this and one of those was just that I had to grow up. My journey started at the wee age of 17 and I just didn't know anything about life, and now that I'm 10 years wiser (hehe), I'm able to really work through things in my brain that I couldn't reason well with before just simply because of maturity.
My heart breaks for those that are in their 40-50s and still struggling with this so I hope that this is helpful!
The first thing that I want to say is that it's okay to have goals. I think the trend in fitness is to hate fitness. It's quite comical actually. Everyone is all like DO NOTHING. NO CARDIO. ACCEPT YOUR BODY. I EAT JUNK. BE STRONG NOT SKINNY (when most of the time they are skinny and ripped but whatever, I digress lol). I mean, let's be real, I was one of those, until I legit had a friend one time tell me that she saw a post I made with an ab shot that she felt was this weird message because I was all like "LOVE YOURSELF" but hey look I have a six pack. It just doesn't mix. But the other side of that is that I'm not allowed to be empowering because I'm actually fit. Does that make sense? Like it's only inspiring if someone is overweight and loves their body? I sound like I'm being arrogant, but I'm genuinely just saying that it's hard as a fit girl because I never want to make someone feel anxious about their body by showing mine but I also want to show that it's possible to not starve yourself/be miserable and still have results. I like having a blog for this reason. I don't have a tiny instagram caption that doesn't convey my full thoughts. haha!
So, if you have goals that you want to reach with your body then I think progress pictures can be better than the scale sometimes because you are able to see change. Howeverrrrr, if you are someone that is nit picky about your body and feel a lack of body acceptance and guilt towards food, then I think that you should NEVER take body progress pictures. I get women every single day that email me with pictures of their body pointing to specific areas, and it honestly just breaks my heart. They see things that I don't see. They see things that NO ONE else sees, but they see it and they want it GONE. They are desperate and I guarantee you that these spots on their body that society has told them aren't perfect and need to be fixed-NO ONE ELSE NOTICES.
So the first thing that you have to do is recognize that no one cares about your weight/body but you. Literally no one. You could gain 50lbs, and who would care? No one. The best part about society is that they might would wonder what was going on but if you went out to eat with them and told them that you were going to eat a salad to try to reach your goals, they would be like "OH GIRL YOU DON'T NEED TO LOSE A POUND!!!"
People are weird.
The second thing that I tell everyone to do that has some of these issues is the same for food or workout guilt as well as body acceptance and that is to go to the root of the anxiety that it's causing you.
If you eat this certain thing, what would be the end result? What is it about that that makes you fearful?
If you miss this workout, what is your fear that will happen? Do you think that you won't make it to your race day? Do you feel like you won't progress with building muscle?
If you aren't happy with the little things that you see on your body, what would fixing them accomplish? Would that make you happier forreal or would you find the next thing? Why the focus on those parts? Does that make or break who you are as a person?
I think that when I type them out, it's like "Katie, duh!" We all know the answers to your little silly psych questions, but when you GENUINELY sit down and think about worst case scenarios for yourself, then it helps. For example, if we go back to my seasons of doubt post, I got to thinking later on with this method.
What if all of this was to just disappear tomorrow? What would happen?
Oh yea, I'd have a loving husband, a great family, awesome friends, I'm in great shape physically and emotionally, and I have a God that knows EXACTLY what I need in every season.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO SEE THIS IN BOLD. YOU WILL STILL BE THE SAME PERSON! YOU WILL STILL BE LOVED AND ACCOMPLISHED AND ALL OF THOSE WONDERFUL THINGS.
The lack of anx on a particular issue actually allows you to flourish in it more. That's the whole thing about it. The less you worry, the easier it becomes. It's so crazy.
Food should never cause guilt, but yet it does every single time that someone overeats. You HAVE TO CALM YOUR THOUGHTS DANG IT! If you are stressing out that you overate that night, think back to all of the times that you have overate in the past. What has happened in those times? Have you stayed the way that you felt in those moments? No. You have probably gotten right back into the swing of things the next day and been fine. The body is a beautiful thing that only has transient feelings in that area. This also allows you to calm your mind and not do the thing that so many do.. "Well now I've screwed this up so I'm going to just eat everything in sight because who cares?"
Yes, I caught you. It's so common. Lol.
No.No.No. Do NOT let your mind go there. Just really try to relax your thoughts!
I've got two more points to make.
Find something that you love to do in fitness. There is a sport for EVERYONE. If you find something that you love to do then it's SO much easier than "Uh, I have to go to the gym today!" but rather "I have an adult indoor soccer game tonight. I can't wait!" It makes working out so much easier when you find that. It's so hard to find for some people, but search around. Tennis, soccer, running, biking, crossfit, olympic lifting-the list goes on and on!
Lastly, write it all out. I'm a huge fan of getting things out on paper to be able to process them. It really helps. Write out your plans, your goals, and your deepest thoughts. It's allows you to brain dump, and if they haven't done research already, I would think there is something to this. It allows you to get it out of the space between your ears and onto paper where you can say "Wait, you know what? That really ISN'T that big of a deal!" and then you are able to move forward.
I know it's not easy as it took me about 5 years to get over it but as I move further and further away from that time in my life and just continue to love my sport and love eating well and not over doing it with undereating, overeating, always having aesthetic goals-it feels AWESOME!! I want that for everyone and I want to bottle it up and give it away.