Imagine if you stood in front of the bathroom mirror naked and loved every inch of your perfectly imperfect body? It’s hard to imagine isn’t it? It’s hard to believe that right now in this moment, we could be enough. Why is it so hard for us?
As a plus size fitness professional, I get it. You walk out of class feeling sweaty and awesome. Your drive home with the music cranked and feel proud for working out. Then comes shower time. You take off your clothes, stand in front of the mirror and the berating begins…
“You are so fat”
“Look at those rolls”
“That sagging skin is so gross!”
“Who would ever want to see me naked?”
“Is that another layer of flab on my back – what the fuck!”
“You disgust me!”
“I am never going to be skinny”
“Omg, my thighs!”
“Where did my belly button go?”
And just like that, those feelings of pride, happiness, and good endorphins disappear and the self loathing begins.
What if, for just a moment, you changed the way you saw yourself when you looked in the mirror? What if you chose to empower yourself and find gratitude for your amazing body? What if you viewed life as a journey, not an instant result?
In order to learn how to “be enough” I am going to ask you to come on a little journey with me. I would like you to go back to your 5 year old self. Imagine that sweet little human being who loved their body. Remember, those days when you felt free from all those gut-wrenching negative thoughts and you were your authentic self.
Let’s find that little human again so we can stand proud in the mirror and love our perfectly imperfect bodies. We become enough when we practice the following tools daily.
1. Practice Gratitude for Your Own Body …
Think about how much your body has gone through in your life. Take a moment and write down or reflect on any trauma your body has endured (childbirth, weight gain, injuries, weight loss, sickness, stress, divorce, life, heartache, etc.). It’s been through a lot hasn’t it? I imagine your answer is yes because all of our bodies have experienced changes.
The irony is, you have asked so much from your body and when you berate yourself, you are dishonouring every ounce of all of what makes you – you. Think about it …
Your heart on averages beats 108,000 times a day for you.
Your muscles make it through every workout with you and they don’t give up on you.
Your lungs have continued to give you the gift of oxygen in order for you to breathe even after all the stuff you have inhaled.
Your liver has been filtering through all the processed junk you have put in body and it is still going strong (let’s hope).
Your pancreas is still functioning after all the sugar you put into your body day in and day out and is preventing your body from literally dying because sugar poisons your body.
This amazing body of yours has never quit on you, yet you selfishly put it down every time you have a bad day on the scale or don’t feel good in your clothes. When you have a rough day, try this “Thank you heart for beating 108,000 times in a day just for me.”
When you put down what’s on the outside, you are also putting down what’s working for you on the inside.
If you want to learn how to practice gratitude, check out this awesome article. Gratitude literally changes the brain!
2. Let Go of the Pursuit of the Perfect Body
In order to be “enough” we must let go of the pursuit of perfection. You will never have the perfect body because it doesn’t exist. No matter how much weight you lose, you will never be happy with your body if you are in the pursuit of the “perfect body.”
The pursuit of anything in life is the dream killer. Happiness comes from being in the moment, not in the pursuit of something unattainable so no wonder shower time becomes so stressful – you cannot compete with a perfection that is impossible to achieve, you just can’t, so why try? This is why people who have surgeries continue to get more and more done because there is no such thing as the “perfect body”.
This does not mean giving up on setting and achieving goals when it comes to losing weight. Striving for goals is an important part of weight loss and your own health, but what I am saying is if you think reaching that goal will make you “happy”, you will shorty learn that the happiness that comes from weight loss is temporary. True happiness comes from being grateful for everything you have accomplished this far and honouring your struggles and wins in the process.
When you look in the mirror, know that you already have the perfect body (one that is working for you) and as you strive to continue to improve your body’s overall health, remember to love the body you have right now. As you lose weight, you will feel better (that’s a given) but if you don’t appreciate the journey, the weight will come right back on.
3. Practice “I Am” Empowering Statements on the Regular
“I AM Worthy”
“I AM Beautiful”
“I AM Grateful”
“I AM Fit”
“I AM Enough”
This is my favourite mantra. Why? Because it is filled with ooey-gooey good vibes. Remember, you become what you think about the most. If you think you’re worthy, you become worthy. If you think you’re fit, you become fit. If you think you’re enough, you become enough for yourself.
You are enough.
I have struggled all my life with weight. My body has been thin and it has been fat. At my heaviest, I was 340lbs (at least the last number I saw). At my thinnest, it was 151 lbs. I have lost over 90lbs and still working towards my goals every day. The best part, I am more confident now than I ever was at my thinnest. Why? Because I love my body and I am appreciate all the growth this process has taught me. My body has literally climbed mountains, ran countless marathons, survived knee surgeries, got me through 40,000+ hours of teaching fitness, and still it keeps going strong!
I look in the mirror naked every day and remind myself “I AM Enough” or when I like to make myself laugh, it usually sounds like this “Damn girl, look at that body you are creating” lol!
I could let the world tell me that I “should be” a skinny fitness professional so I “look the part”, or convince myself I need to be skinny to be loved or I need to be skinny to win someone’s approval but the best lesson I have ever learned is a person’s opinion of me is none of my business. When you allow people’s opinions of you to become more important than your own opinion, you wake up one day and don’t think you are enough but I am here right now to tell you that you are.
And the greatest gift struggling with my weight has given me is empathy for my clients. I know what it feels like and it makes me a better coach – so no, I don’t need to be an instagram bikini model to be an amazing and loving fitness coach. I am enough.
Let’s stop the berating in front of the mirror or any other time. Let’s pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and be enough when we stand in front of the mirror naked because our body is a constant evolving work of art.
Remember, your body is an amazing machine! Treat it kindly, fuel it with goodness, give it lots of exercise (daily) and stay grateful for all it has given you this far.
YOU ARE ENOUGH
Said with love,
www.innerfitstudios.com (Best Fitness Community Ever!)
www.indoorcyclingteachingideas.com (Love to share my cycling ideas with instructors)
Photo Credit Jeremy Saunders (The Amazing)
@jeremyjsaunders instagram http://jjsphoto.ca/
Thank you for sharing this! I too am. Plus sized fitness professional. My main passion is indoor cycling, but I also teach water exercise including arthritis water and silver sneakers. This article inspired me and I have drawn in people because I don’t have that typical fitness instructor body. I can relate to those who struggle with weight as the struggle is real in my life too. I love what I do and I am good at what I do…what my body looks like doesn’t define me as a coach or instructor. You are amazing!
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Thanks Dawn for the nice message 🙂 You are amazing and the world needs more people like you coaching 🙂