There are some great women that I have gotten to know over the past year or so at the gym and seeing them in the locker room is kindof like an alarm clock for me. When they are getting ready to leave that is my cue that it is time for me to get home too so I’m not late for work. We have great conversations in our brief moments in the room and give props to each other for getting to the gym. It’s like a little family. 🙂
One comment though just struck me as funny one day from these nice women was, “You are getting so skinny.” I laughed. I declared that the word “skinny” is not really in my vocabulary and never has been.
I’ve also heard comments from others like, “I’m jealous”, “You don’t look old enough to have had 3 kids” or even “I could never fit into the clothes you are wearing”. Side note…my clothes start with a 1 and have another number after that…I am not a size 0, 2 or even close to an 8.
Although it may seem that I know what I am doing, that I eat all the right stuff and that I am wearing small(er) clothes and appear skinny to some…this is really what is going on: I don’t think any of that is true.
Body Bashing is the “B” word (I guess “words”) that we are talking about today…and this is SOOOO hard to talk about. I know that this is part of almost every woman out there though and in order to get healthy we not only need to work on the body but the mind also.
Since middle school I have thought negatively about most of my body parts. I’ve pretty much always been the tallest girl in every class during school, I was the largest size out of all of my friends and so I could never share clothes or get the “lower number” on the basketball jersey (ever notice the higher numbers usually went to the larger girls?…at least in my school). I was always told that I was “big boned”. Well, those big bones and growth spurts led me to getting stretch marks on my hips, knees and back while I was young. Through the years I’ve always thought that my thighs are bigger than most…talk about quadzilla…that is me. My stomach has stretch marks EVERYWHERE from having three kids and gaining an enormous amount of weight during the pregnancies (and after). Speaking of a stomach…I dream of having a waist under 35 inches but it is just a vision at this point. I’ve never liked my nose. I’ve had some bad hair style choices throughout the years. I have even had a sales clerk in a very large lingerie chain comment that since I am getting older a push-up style bra might work better for me. Thanks.
Talking about those body issues that I have noticed throughout the years doesn’t bring up happy memories at all but years of self-hatred and remembering how I wanted to be a smaller size so I could be like my friends. I wanted to be skinny like the girls on tv and in the magazines but I just wasn’t.
Those thoughts above could go through my mind every day…if I let them.
About 15 months ago I started strength training a little more seriously and followed a plan by a friend who was a personal trainer. Through our communications he noticed that I had one thing in common…I was body bashing. Body bashing was a big “no no” in my training plan.
I didn’t realize how much I was doing it out in the open and was really disguising a lot of the body bashing by making jokes of different body parts of mine. I was called out on it and told to stop. I needed to stop dwelling on the negative and be proud of what I had already accomplished. I had a lot of literature from Rachel Cosgrove as well and one of her rules in the Fit Female Credo was: Put an end to body bashing and instead celebrate your strengths!
Man…was this tough to do! Sadly, I didn’t even realize how much the body bashing comments were a part of my conversations. If they were part of my comments without me even noticing then how much were they a part of my subconscious comments that I had about myself.
I gave myself a challenge and this was not easy for me. I had to ask someone what 10 of my strengths were and I had to listen to them, accept them and say “thanks”. I put the list on my phone in my notes and when I started to focus on the negative again or put a little joke in my conversation about some body part that I wasn’t liking at the moment I had to read those strengths.
Eventually…it sunk in. I was becoming prouder of who I was and my accomplishments rather than dwelling on what I didn’t like about myself. It worked!
Today, I am more concerned about being too proud of myself when I am talking to others because…I AM proud of me and it might sound a bit boastful to someone who doesn’t really understand how hard I have worked. If someone wants to think that I am conceited because I talk about what I have accomplished I would like them to join me for just a week and do my workouts with me…they might change their mind after that and realize that I’ve earned it. I got up in the mornings. I became sweaty and gross (and sometimes smelled bad) while I was at the gym and I made these changes happen…no one else. I AM PROUD!
If you have some body bashing going on in your mind…or you stand in the mirror and poke at the squishier parts that you don’t like…or you compare yourself to your friends or what the media presents as the “perfect size”…STOP! It’s not healthy. I know this. I’ve done it.
Take the challenge and tell yourself that you are awesome! When you start thinking you aren’t…read the list of strengths again, over and over and repeat this process until you are proud of yourself.
Challenge #4: Stop the body bashing!
Ask someone what 10 of your strengths are. Listen to them, accept them and say “thanks”. Put the list on your phone, on your mirror, fridge or somewhere that is handy. When you start to focus on the negative again read those strengths again.
Is body bashing something that you have struggled with?
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