Comparison, where all good faults are made.
So everywhere we turn there are beautiful, fit, lust worthy women to compare ourselves too.
On every billboard, every set of TV ads. In magazines, women’s & men’s magazines, papers, and of course social media. The rise of #fitspo & #cleaneating & the like, have done little more, than make us feel we are #notwinningatlife.
The thing about comparisons is that when you look at someone’s body, be it a small body or a large body, you have no idea how or why they got there. When you look at a fitness model for example as you long for those abs, you might not be considering the fact that she might be operating in starvation mode at 1000 calories, on her ‘cheat’ days, she is fixated on training, to the point it is taking over her life and she has not gone out with friends for 6 months because she is scared of the calories.
Does that still appeal? Do you still want a body that has been punished into shape? Maybe you do, and that’s actually no fault of your own.
Maybe she has a chronic medical condition that affects her weight, maybe she doesn't, my point is you just don't know. While ever we put emphasis on physical bodies being numero uno, we are going to find ourselves in this pit of never feeling good enough.
Diet culture sucks the life out of you. It makes calories & points and clean eating your life’s purpose, and I don't know about you, but that sounds totally shite to me. I have so many other things I want to devote my brain power to other than the guilt of a caramel slice or shame for a tummy roll in my swimming costume.
The emphasis on having the perfect body is everywhere you turn. Constant pressure from health professionals, recommending we restrict calories with the intention of weight loss, even though we KNOW diets don’t work. The relentless marketing of the latest diet and the celebrated excessive exercise and alarming eating behaviours. It’s hard to escape it.
So what then, do I close off and never look at another picture of a beautiful woman ever again?
No, that would be impossible. But you do need to recognise that your body, is not her body & her body is not yours. One of the things that makes you so incredible is that no one has your body. It’s yours, the only place you will ever really call home.
By all means admire someone’s beauty, but do it without questioning your own. Recognise that even the #fitnessmodels & #bodygoals gals don’t look like that all the time. They too have insecurities about how they look and pick themselves apart. To add fuel to the fire they often have many 100's or 1000's of people with an opinion about their body both good & bad, but none the less reinforcing the idea that your body is there for others. Don’t for a second think that just because they have a ‘dream bod’ they autmatically feel good in it.
Make a decision to love your body right now as it is today. Give up on the idea of perfection and be content with a body that does so much for you every second of every day. The path to body love is long and bumpy but even being body neutral is in essence body positive.
Do you ever stop to think what your body has does for you today?
In the last hour alone it has beaten your heart around 3,600 times, has taken around 720 breaths, has allowed you to stand up, sit down, digest, detoxify & hopefully smile a couple of times.
It is so very extraordinary and deserves some love from you. By focusing on what your body does not how it looks, we can start re-framing those awful things we tell ourselves about how our body doesn’t measure up. When having the perfect body relates to how it feels, and how it's working, not how it looks, swimming costume shopping isn't terrifying anymore.
Give yourself a minute or two right now, & think about what you're grateful for. What your body does that you haven’t really given much conscious airtime too.
Life is simply too short to be spending the rest of it wishing your body looked like someone else. Pining after a body you will never have because genetically you are not built that way. Maybe you do manage to fight genetics, even if it’s only for a few months, but was it really worth the suffering. Was it really worth all that brain power, all that ‘discipline’ and all that lost time striving for the perfect body?
I’m not suggesting you give up on yourself, in fact it’s the opposite.
I’m suggesting you take some time to listen to what your body needs. Maybe it’s a big bowl of veggies, maybe a brownie, maybe a glass of wine in the bath away from social media. Maybe it’s a yoga class or a spin class or a rest day and an early night.
Stop looking outwards to ‘fix’ your body, it’s not broken, and start listening….. no one knows what’s best for you better than yourself.
I get it, I spent the best part of 27 years dieting & hating my body. Picking it apart and wishing it could look different. Deciding to improve the way I saw myself was one of the best things I have ever done. I stopped battling my weight, both literally & figuratively & have never felt better.
To be honest before I started with my Health Coach, I didn’t really know that I didn’t have to hate my body. In a culture that has made me believe that I should be leaner, fitter, more beautiful it’s hard to rebel against that.
But sometimes Wonder Women don’t play by the rules.
If you would like to start rebuilding a truly healthy relationship with your body, the first thing to do is let go of Diet Mentality once and for all. I have created The Wonder Woman’s Guide to Diet Freedom to help you do just that. It has my 8 simple & effective methods to let go of diets forever.