Did I get your attention? Muhaha.
The other day while entering my gym’s locker room, I made eye contact with an older woman getting out of the sauna…buck.ace.naked. I quickly looked away, embarrassed that I glanced up at the wrong second. But the woman just smiled and headed to her locker. I realized that this lady could care less that I noticed her. She was 100% comfortable and confident in her own skin.
While on the treadmill, the aforementioned situation got me thinking about body image. I think it’s something that many women – myself included – struggle with now and again. I’m no expert on the topic, so I’m not going to get into the way society has molded our vision of the perfect body or the issues with Barbie being an unrealistically proportioned skinny B. I am, however, going to share 5 things I try to keep in mind for maintaining a positive self image:
- Get off the scale. Actually, just throw it away. Seriously. Get rid of it. I haven’t owned a scale in years, and I never will. At my lowest weight, I didn’t feel my best. I made poor nutrition choices and was tired more times than not. Eating right and gaining muscle may add a few pounds, but it’s good weight. As long as you feel healthy, weight doesn’t matter.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. So guilty of this one. Although I’m all, “I’m going to eat pizza and drink wine and ignore the hot bods on the Victoria Secret Fashion Show,” I end up blurting out annoying comments like, “Oh em gee look at her abs. Her arms are so skinny. She had a baby how many months ago?!” Chances are, we’re not going to be VS models when we grow up. We should spend less time comparing ourselves to others and more time appreciating ourselves.
- Eat right, don’t diet. Every once in awhile, I declare that I’m going to go on a diet (read: Enter calories into My Fitness Pal for 1/2 day until I accidentally eat some chocolate and stop calculating my food consumption.) I’ve found that eating clean is a far more sustainable way of life. Eat clean (fruits, veggies, lean proteins) and you’ll never have to diet. Plus, you’ll feel better too. I promise.
- Set a fitness goal. My races are what get me out of bed in the morning; I’m rather unmotivated to workout without them. Set a new goal by signing up for a 5K, a fun run, warrior dash, etc. Training will increase both your strength and confidence in your abilities to conquer your new goal. Added bonus- It will feel so awesome to cross that finish line.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. I need to remind myself of this quiet often. Allow yourself some cheat days and chances to indulge. As my friend Drake once said, ‘YOLO’. (Did I really just say that?) Life’s too short to deprive yourself of delicious cookies. Like yourself and your body, cookies and all.
Now, we may not parade around the locker room like my friend, but I hope these tips were useful!
Thanks for reading. Have a great Sunday!