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body positive

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"I Love Me" BINGO!

Just because Valentine's Day has come and gone doesn't mean we have to put the lovin' aside... especially the self-love. So what do you think?  Want to play some "I Love Me!" BINGO?

I Love Me BINGO!

Create/Recite an Empowering Mantra Daily “I am capable.” “I know who I am and I am enough.” “I choose to think thoughts that serve me well." “My body is my vehicle in life; I choose to fill it with goodness”

Whatever it is. Find something that fills you with peace, hope, and happiness and repeat it daily. Embrace it whenever it comes to mind or whenever you need it.

Eat Something That Makes You Feel Great. Sure that salad may not taste as good as that decadent chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache for a day, but it will make you feel great from the inside out. Choose something that will fill your body with goodness.

Eat Something That Tastes Amazing. Go eat that amazing chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache just because it tastes amazing. Or better yet… try these vegan dark chocolate truffles! (See! You don’t need anyone to buy you an overpriced box of chocolates shaped like a heart.)

Smile In The Mirror. And mean it.

Write Yourself a Love Letter. You are beautiful, and powerful, and capable, and you do amazing things every day. Don’t forget to tell yourself how great you are.

Do Something New and/or Challenging. If it doesn’t challenge us it doesn’t change us. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. A new recipe, a new workout routine, a new class. Because when you do conquer it, you’re going to feel unstoppable.

Do Something that Makes You Feel Invincible. We all have something that we know we’re good at. Go give yourself a little ego boost and rock it out.

Treat Yo’Self. Even if you just treat yourself to a new pair of cute sweatpants or a box of heart shaped chocolates or the newest Saturday night Hallmark channel movie. Give yourself permission to do something a little indulgent.

So let's finish the month of love with worthy love, the kind that builds us and those around us up... and what better place to start than within!

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Progress Not Perfection

This is a hard picture to share – not because I’m unhappy with the way my body looks now, but because I’m afraid of how you are going to react to the difference.Deep Breath The picture on the left was taken May 2014 – a few months before I found out I was pregnant, teaching a full class load, and with plenty of time for my own workouts. The picture on the right was taken last week – 7 months post partum – after I stepped on the scale, realized I was about 5 pounds lighter than I was last May, and was curious what the side-by-side comparison would look like.

For the record… neither picture is filtered. (And please excuse my filthy mirror.)

I know I haven’t been eating or exercising for fat loss. Yes, I’ve lost weight, but I’ve also lost muscle and I haven’t lost a lot of fat. Instead I’ve been eating well enough to sustain me and feed my baby and choosing workouts that would help keep stress at bay. Basically… lots of carbs and yoga.

And let me be clear… there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. You can’t always be in hardcore, fat-loss mode.

But when I put these pictures side-by-side three things happened:

  1. I felt disappointed. I knew I don’t look like that first picture right now, but I’ve been happy with my body. It’s still strong (do you know how much a 7 month old plus the car seat weighs?), it’s still healthy, and I don’t frown when I look in the mirror (except maybe at the dark circles under my eyes). But when I put my pasty, 7-month post partum, December body next to my tan, childfree, May body… well damn.
  2. I worried. I’m a fitness professional in the #fitmom #transformationtuesday #imbetterthanyou (OK that last one isn’t real) age. I was devastated (no that isn’t an exaggeration) when I wasn’t back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 6 weeks. From the pictures “fit” people post online I was fully expecting to “have my body back” before my 5-week postpartum check up. Seven months later I’m still not there. Who’s going to take me seriously as a fitness professional if I don’t have perfectly toned arms and six-pack abs?
  3. I felt stupid. I showed the picture to my husband and (god bless him) he asked what the difference was besides the tan. We’re always our worst critics aren’t we? I’m constantly preaching to my clients, “Progress not perfection.” Perfection doesn’t exist in real life – at least not the “perfection” in pictures. Take away the filters, take away the contorted poses, change the light and there are the flaws. Flaws are what make us human. Flaws are what make us perfect to those who love us. I am so proud of my body – flaws and all – and I refuse to let a side-by-side comparison of pictures taken a year and a half apart, that doesn’t show the 9 months of my growing belly, and the seven months of my shrinking sides, to ruin that love.

This body did THIS! What's not to be proud of?

Here I am a week later, still unsure if I want to post this picture because it’s scary and I don’t know what you’re going to think. I don’t have a six-pack (I clearly didn’t pre-baby either). I don’t eat gluten free. I really like chocolate. Is anyone going to take my seriously ever again if I post this?

But I’ve spent all last week repeating these two mantras:

I am SO proud of my body.

Progress not perfection.

 

And they’ve stuck. I AM so proud of my body. I’m not perfect, but it gets better every day.

So I challenge you to adopt one of these mantras this week. Or find one that resonates with you and say it loud, say it proud.

Say it quietly in the mirror.

Say it in your head.

Say it anytime you doubt yourself.

Say it even if you don’t believe it in that moment.

Because I am so proud of you. And your progress is perfection.

 

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Gratitude

what if you woke up today  

Every once in a while this phrase pops up in my social media world and I love it when it does. With a new baby and a new(ish) business, it’s easy to get caught up in the go, go, go of life and forget to pause in gratitude.

According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people not only experienced fewer aches and pains -- but they also reported feeling healthier than others. Gratitude has also been proven to improve sleep, self-esteem, and mental strength: all good things, right?

I’m all for little tricks that make me happier AND healthier and ‘tis the season so without further ado…

4 Things I Am Thankful For {because 5 is just so expected, amirite?}

1. My Body It is not perfect. It wasn’t in high school. It wasn’t pre-baby. It isn’t post-baby. But it. Is. Awesome. It allowed me to teach 20 intense group exercise classes a week when I was first starting out as a new instructor and was the “yes” person. It allowed me to pass BODYPUMP training even though I had neglected to strengthen it properly before hand. It has allowed me to run three half-marathons, two 10ks and countless shorter runs. It has tolerated me treating it like a garbage can. It has rewarded me for treating it like a temple. And – of course – it grew and birthed a human being. An actual human being. A perfect human being. It is strong and soft and I love it.

2. That perfect human being. I hate when people say you don’t know love until you’ve had a child. That’s not true. There are all kinds of love and each is as valuable as the other. But the love I feel for my sweet baby girl is definitely a very different kind of love. She has changed me inside and out. I love her for everything she is and for everything she will be. I am so thankful I get to be her mommy.

3. My Soul Mate. Some people don’t believe in soul mates. Honestly, I’m not even sure I do. But I can tell you {and some of you can attest to the fact} that the day after I met mine I told anyone who would listen that I met the man I was going to marry. I wasn’t even sure if I loved him yet. I couldn’t possibly have known that after a day, but thankfully – somewhere deep in my soul – I knew I found him. We have endured heartaches and deaths. We have celebrated joy and new life. He makes my heart race and puts my mind at ease.

4. My Coworkers + Mentors Bravo has created an entire network around TV shows full of women tearing each other down. I have known many of these women in my life. We all have. We hope it’s a middle school thing. A high school thing. A college thing. And then they show up in the professional world. But I am a lucky one because I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong, self-assured, wonderful women who have not only been helpful and kind to me, but who have also shown me how to be strong, self-assured and wonderful to others. Please don’t misunderstand – of course there is competition and jealousy in my profession. It has been directed at me. It has sadly even come from me. But I try to make short work of those feelings, because they have no place in my heart or my mind. I am a lucky one, indeed.

What are you thankful for?

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