Being upset with how you think you look makes every day a bit of a challenge – from getting dressed to getting through the day with confidence. It’s a horrible feeling. But you can reframe gently and tackle the day with positivity instead. Are you ready?
Ask yourself – what does ‘I feel fat’ mean? Because ‘fat’ isn’t a feeling. Sometimes we hide behind what’s going on by using our body as a scapegoat.
Your first step is to check in with yourself – how are you feeling today? Is something else making you feel anxious, or stressed? Do you have an exam or an important meeting on? Or something else? Name it, acknowledge it and separate your body composition from your feelings – they don’t need to be lumped in together.
Be logical. There is no way you are significantly larger today than yesterday.
A fat day is just an illusion. So what influences our body image then? In our brains, sensory information from different parts of the body is processed and collated to create a perception of your body. It takes cues from body parts – like muscles and skin – as well as visual cues. If you spend the day sending your brain the ‘wrong’ signals about your body, it will reply with the wrong image.
Now we know that ‘fat days’ don’t really exist. You need to take a deep breath, find something to wear that you feel confident in and work on facing the emotion that’s the real issue.
It’s also important to take a moment to acknowledge your body. Recognise what your body does for you. Remember that it’s this same body you hate right now that will do anything you ask of it. ANYTHING. Want it to run? It will – give it some time, and it will respond. Want to lift? Again, give yourself the opportunity for consistent practice, and it will reward you. What an incredible gift.
Make it easier on yourself by removing the focus on aesthetics. The tips below will also HELP a great deal to shift away from automatically feeling negative about your body.
1. Clean out social media accounts.
You have my permission to delete, unfollow, and unlike the pages, blogs, Instagrams – basically any accounts that focus purely on aesthetics. It is not helpful nor productive to be made to feel preoccupied with your body or dissatisfied with your looks. You don’t need constant reminding by people selling weight loss products with a photoshopped image that your body is unacceptable. This is manipulative and dishonest.
Make it easier to break free of body dissatisfaction by reducing the images you are bombarded with by ‘unliking’ or unfollowing.
2. No fat talk.
You have fat. You are NOT fat. Let’s just leave it at that. You don’t need constant criticism and preoccupation about fat, weight loss, dieting, and even appearance in general!
What else can you focus on? Being curious is a great emotion to explore because it allows you to try new things and challenges. Things like City to Surf – instead of putting pressure on yourself to be a model sized mum, what if you allowed yourself just to feel curious to see if you could do it? It’s an entirely different approach and one you can enjoy – and that’s the point. In the course of achieving your goal, you will improve your body composition – but the joy comes from producing something tangible.
3. Dress up.
Feel good. Wear something you like. And take care of the body you have with dressing up, some makeup if that makes you feel better, or doing your hair. These are self-care rituals, and they remind you that the body you have right now is worthy of your attention and care.
Your body is an incredible machine. Nothing changes about this when you change your diet and exercise plan – just the aesthetics. Yes, you’ll adapt and become more of a lean machine with a faster metabolism and more muscle – but how it works stays the same. Isn’t that remarkable? It will adapt to the challenges you place before it; it will get faster and stronger because you challenge it- how could you not love it?
4. Go. Have. Fun!
You are capable of so much. I notice that when clients start training, they consistently underestimate what they can do. It breaks my heart! The only way to work out your talents, what you love to do and what you’re capable of is to do things! Try new things. Meet new people. Enjoy yourself! Go online today and find something that piques your curiosity and sign up for a trial session. Just like that.
5. Get some help.
I am not sure why my smart, highly capable clients always feel like they have to do everything themselves. Seeing professionals like a psychologist who specialises in body image issues, for example, is a smart way to get where you want to go, faster. It makes sense to strike while the iron is hot and not wait until you’ve been sidetracked. Body image issues are involved. Many people offer services that help you to counter self-critical talk.
My goal is to help you develop a more balanced and positive sense of your body.
I want you to understand how your body works and to get moving – we know so many lifestyle diseases are linked to being sedentary, and it’s brilliant we can work to prevent these just by moving.
I want you to work hard – that’s how you learn what you’re capable of and what your super powers are.
I want you to eat healthier, nutritious food (but not all the time – you still get to enjoy life). Only 14 % of folks get the daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables so start simply by adding more fresh food.
The biggest change in clients when they exercise and eat fresh? They FEEL better. And that’s half the battle won!
What actions are you going to take this week?
Download a free Squat Challenge e-book, join my 7 Day Kickstart or find out how much you know about your metabolism…
Also published on Medium.