I’ve been reading loads of really cool things online recently. Huff Post’s women’s section seems to be a treasure chest of awesome, empowering articles recently, full of self-love, confidence, body boosters and giggles. What’s not to love about yourself after all this?
Inspired by the voices of the many incredible women out there writing about body image and self love, I decided that the first thing I would do on my birthday this year was to go hop off to the gym for my very first PT (Personal Training) session. Here I am!
I’d been feeling a bit like no matter how much time I spent at the gym or how long I rocked the cardio wave, things just weren’t happening. My body was doing a big yawn at my workouts – it was getting bored and refusing to get pumped and working anymore. Plus, I seemed to just keep right on injuring my knees and busting out my leg muscles. It was time to up the ante, quicken my heart rate and jolt myself back into action.
So I signed on for a whole bunch of PT sessions, the first of which fell on my birthday. And right after I did, I wondered if I had just been suckered into that whole thing again about wanting to look like Heidi Klum, trying to force myself down into the skinny vision of a Guess ad model.
But no. After a little soul’n’cellulite searching, I was glad to discover that it wasn’t just about being some imaginary ideal dress size anymore. It was about strengthening the parts of me that weren’t strong (like my leg muscles, so my knees won’t keep getting whacked), bringing my fitness up to the next level (because apparently even the most vigorous BodyStep classes aren’t breaking out a sweat anymore), beating the shit out of that nasty Bosu ball and getting myself to the best version of me – whatever that might look like.
Then I remembered something I came across in one of those many super reads I’ve been immersed in, which said something like,
“don’t change your body so you can love it. Change your body because you love it.”
And snap. There it was, exactly what it was all about: just learning to love your body, then all else will fall into place – you’ll get to the right weight you need to, you’ll fix those nagging health issues, you’ll eat properly, you’ll exercise the right amount, you’ll stay healthy and bring (or return) your body to its most natural and beautiful state.
I can’t remember exactly where I saw this (I’ve spent all evening trawling through my browsing history and still can’t find it). But I remember how much it resonated with me: such a simple little turnaround to the way we can choose to view and treat our own bodies.
So, don’t think necessarily about changing it. Instead, do the best for it
make it strong
make it healthy
give it a treat sometimes (it likes foot massages, body souffles and the occasional creme brulee)
give it regular check-ups
let it be naked
take it dancing
give it some sun
dress it up
let it wobble a little if it wants to
let it be svelte if it wants that too
listen to it
Most of all, love your body and when you truly do, then everything you do with it will be a good thing and you’ll be all the happier, healthier and more beautiful for it.