This body is not for you actually, it’s for me
One of my favourite people said something to me about my body recently…..
“If you keep doing all that heavy upper body work, you’ll look like Arnie.”
Hang on a minute, that's not the response I was after.
I promptly defended myself by saying;
“Well Women don’t naturally have the testosterone that men do to create the Arnie look. Yes, it is possible but not without some not so natural assistance and I’m not into steroids so don’t worry……..& actually I am really happy and proud of my body for the first time in my life.”
I shocked myself when I said it. It showed me that I really have shifted my self-worth from a few years back. I wasn’t flooded with thoughts of “oh my god they noticed”, or, “they’re right, I was worried I was getting too muscly.”
Gosh I was proud of defending my body and sticking up for it. We have been groomed to not be satisfied with our body from a very very young age. It felt so good to say it but I have still found myself thinking a lot about their comment.
“Am I starting to look like Arnie”,
“Do other people think that as well”,
“Maybe I should back off the weights a bit.”
“I wonder if Todd thinks that but doesn’t have the heart to tell me, should I ask him?”
And then something happened that has never happened to me before. I snapped myself out of it and a voice louder than the voice affirming my doubts screamed,
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THEY THINK OF YOUR BODY. YOUR BODY IS FOR NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU.
I was shocked at this ah ha moment. Something so simple finally had sunk in.
I have spent my whole life hearing I was too fat, or even too thin,
That I shouldn’t put on any weight during pregnancy because I’ll never lose it,
That I used to have such a nice figure and what happened,
That I should be careful of the resistance training I do because I wouldn’t want to turn into an Amazon woman, that I should do more resistance training to increase my lean muscle mass and boost my metabolism.
I had spent my whole life getting reviews of my body from well to doers. Be it positive or negative, there is always an opinion about my body. I have no control over what other people think or say about me, only what I think and say about myself. I have spent my whole life reviewing my own body, highlighting its flaws and wobbly bit and cellulite and things I wanted to change. Up until recently, it never even got a good review from me.
In the past, the driver to change my body was for other people. To feel approved of, or admired, or attractive. To feel normal and fit in, not be the biggest person in the room. I still want all those things but the difference is now, I know it’s me that needs to feel approved of, admired and attractive. Not wait for those things externally.
For the first time in my life, literally the first time in 30 years I feel amazing in this body of mine. Even in the past during my weight yo yos at my slimmest, I didn’t feel this good. I am strong, I am fit and I rock my bikini. I can’t even really describe how good I feel since I found my Health Coach. It changed everything for me. I love the way I look and am so delighted that I have been able to create my dream body after being obese for such a long time. I am not a skinny girl, I don’t aspire to be a skinny girl (anymore).
Skinny doesn’t work for me and that’s OK.
In fact that’s incredible because it’s me!
Authentically, muscly me!
My amazing husband fell in love with me when I weighed over 100kg. He loves me deep down to my core and it has nothing to do with the way I look. Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s cheering for this new body and he LURVES the way I look. He is not shy in telling me how much he loves the way I look which of course I love to hear. That being said, as nice as it is to hear, the approval and the praises need to come from within me for them to mean anything. I get that now after all this time.
I knew I needed to improve my body image. The more I read about helping my baby girl create a positive body image and self esteem, the more I learnt that her biggest influencer is me. How I talk about myself and how I feel about myself that is mirrored by my self care. I decided to stoop looking in the mirror at all the things I wanted to change or hated and started focusing on all the things that I loved. I stopped putting negative swings on my ‘positive’ body image. Instead of, I look pretty good considering I have had two babies, I said I look pretty good. Eventually that turned into I look great which turned into I AM great. Never underestimate the power of a positive mindset.
I’m not keeping this body healthy and fit or anyone else. Yes they benefit from it but I am doing it for me. So it doesn’t even matter what anyone thinks about my body. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. It only matters how I feel about it. When I feel amazing in my own skin, I stop dieting, stop punishing myself with exercise and starvation and binging. I eat and move and live and laugh for me because I am so worth it.