“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it,” is a powerful phrase most have heard/seen, and every person should feel confident in proclaiming. I don’t know who said it first, but it speaks volumes. I’ve witnessed the profound effect it has on clients, women, more specifically than men. Loving your body and choosing to become the best version of yourself instead of constantly finding something to “fix” is empowering, and provides freedom from a more negative self image.
But, and that is a BIG but, (because I like big but’s and I can not lie…also, I like using cliché tag lines from early 90’s hip hop songs and lame jokes!) sometimes, “just love your body” is stupid advice! (*insert disapproving gasp here!) Yep, I said it! Why though? Well, read on ‘cause I’m going to tell you!
Work out because you love your body and not because you hate it is certainly a wonderful goal, however, it’s not just another thing on today’s to-do list that you can check off with ease. As easy as it may be to say, as is the case with most things, it is much harder to DO!
Let me know if I am on the right path with this one – There’s a strong possibility you dislike something about your body – I know what you are thinking, “who is this mind reader?”, right? Is it your stomach, cellulite on your butt, maybe arms that are less “toned” than you would like? Well, I am not surprised, society has conditioned us to view our bodies critically, and ruthlessly, and we’re encouraged to strive toward “better” standards of beauty. — THIS ISNT NECESSARILY A BAD THING…we need to do this, we need to be constructively critical of ourselves from time to time and always aim to be the best versions of ourselves we can be, and we need to strive to constantly grow, we just need to go about it the right way!
So, yes, saying you should work out because you love your body, not because you hate it, makes sense! You should definitely do it. But problems arise when you’re not able to do it right away. Telling someone who has been unhappy with his/her physical appearance for years love their body and stop hating it can cause more harm than good. You may create a “What’s wrong with me?” mindset in that person.
This is when “just love your body” is stupid advice. It’s not always that easy. When someone can’t just love their body, like society tells them they should, they think there’s something wrong with them, and that’s simply not true. This was brought to my attention during a conversation, when the individual I was talking with told me she works out like I should, eats well and has seen some progress, BUT she still doesn’t like her body, and sometimes, she feels like a failure.
We can’t simply tell people “just love your body” and expect them to immediately change. It’s not one of those, “Oh, shit…yeah…why didn’t I think of that?” sudden flips of a switch. It’s no different than telling someone who is drowning in debt to “just stop accruing more debt.” These outcomes don’t happen immediately. Proper steps must be taken.
Loving your body and who you are is a process.
Working out and eating well because you love your body, and not because you hate it, may be more of a process than an immediate solution.
If you don’t like how your body looks and you work out with the specific intent of “fixing your flaws,” you will never be happy! You may fix a “flaw,” but sure enough, as soon as you do, you will find another one…and another…and so on. Instead, try focusing on your performance. What can you do, today, to perform better than yesterday? How can you get to the point that you work out and eat well because you love your body, and you want to discover and be proud of the wonderful things it can do? Specifically, what actions must you take each day?
Stop battling a reflection in the mirror — Instead, battling your training log/training program. Make is less about getting rid of things you don’t like and more about improving your body’s physical abilities and doing your best on any given day. Don’t focus on a dislike for how you look, focus on increasing your strength, stamina, and performance. Focus on how you feel after a great workout or a solid nights sleep. Pay attention to increased energy levels and less fatigue. These are the things that will take it from “just a workout” to a new lifestyle and from working out because “you have to” to working out because you want (get) to. Gradually, over time, you may just find that you start to love my body and appreciate it more than ever before. Make your workouts became solely about being the best version of yourself.
Commit to practicing this powerful principle, and great things will happen.
Some days are better than others. Loving your body is not an all-or-nothing thing; some days will be better than others. The goal should be to have more good days than bad. When bad days happen, accept them as part of the process and don’t get emotionally invested in them. Know they’re only temporary. Do what you can to make the next day better.
Simplify your health and fitness regimen. Many people who struggle to reach the “I work out because I love my body” state of mind have something in common: the way they eat and work out is too damn complicated. Instead of following proven principles that fit into their life, they attempt (usually, unsuccessfully) to revolve their life around what someone has convinced them is the “best way.” This leads to diet-hopping, starting a program that’s too grueling to sustain, and shame from giving up, yet again, on another program.
It’s nobody’s fault, really, much of the information out there complicates the process and contributes greatly to the overwhelming amount of bull shit in the health and fitness industry.
Get back to the basics. Master proven principles. Do them repeatedly for months and months. THIS IS NOT A QUICK PROCESS! But, you already know that, and now you have some tools to help you stay committed!
If you can apply the “work out because you love your body, not because you hate it” principle today, then do it. But if you’re part of the crowd that finds that easier said than done, that’s fine. Remember this is a process that requires practice, persistence, and ton of patience.
This is your journey toward loving your body, and it may take you longer than others, or you may reach that goal very quickly. It doesn’t matter, so don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Take consistent action starting today to make that mantra your reality! You got this!! J