Real life example: client who has been working with trainer shares personal news.
Client: “I’m getting married!”
Trainer: “Let’s get you in shape for your wedding!”
Client: “I AM in shape!”
Trainer: “I mean, so you look good in pictures on your special day.”
Hmm, what is the trainer inadvertently saying? The client is not in shape? Meaning, she’s not small enough? It may have been an innocent comment on the trainer’s part, but it’s not really. This is just one example of body shaming, criticizing someone based on the size of their body. Body shaming is something we do to ourselves and let others do to us. Why? Because being critical of our bodies is acceptable in society. It shouldn’t be! Google “Body Shaming” and read the examples. As a Coach in the “body business” for the past 24 years, this is all too common. Thankfully, I am happy to be seeing a shift, albeit small, in how women’s bodies are valued. Women have been judged based on the size of their body and pressured to be a certain size (small), i.e. the modeling industry thinks a size 6 is a “plus size”. This has led to a whole host of issues, such as disordered eating, low self esteem, depression, etc. Right now, we are in an amazing time where women are fighting against this visual rating of themselves. Right now, “healthy is the new skinny” is the mantra. As a Coach, I am excited about this change! As a woman, I am empowered!
Your health, not the size of your jeans, is what matters. We have become a society so focused on skinny that we are obsessed with food – not in a good way. We focus on calories, “good vs bad” food, excessive exercise to burn the calories, etc. Understandably, we all have an opinion about our bodies, but please remember that your body doesn’t define you. You are more than your body. Life is way too short to pick ourselves apart. Your health matters.
Health is an all-encompassing word, you understand. It’s your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. You want to create balance in all those areas. Health is your total person, not just how much gravity is pulling on your body (your weight). Loving yourself, including your body crinkles, is powerful. Self love will affect every single area of your life.
This year, lets make an effort to shift our focus on how we approach eating. I say eating instead of dieting because eating is more nourishing and joyous. Eating is necessary for life. Restriction makes desire burn hotter (oooh, i like that wording, lol!). Don’t punish yourself for the cookies or the cake. Don’t “earn” your desserts. Don’t shame yourself for enjoying food. Create balance in your life for all things enjoyable and embrace your health.
*I understand this shift in thinking and doing isn’t easy. I understand we are up against years of criticizing comments. I understand that change is difficult. I understand that your opinion of your body matters. I understand getting to an emotional happy place takes time. I’m asking you to love yourself.
**FYI, this is not only for women. I realize men also share these issues. All humans need self love.