Let's talk about body image, baby

Happy Friday! I hope your week has been a great one. Mine has gone by super fast with my new job and solo Rex parenting. I can't even talk about Taylor's surprise album until next week - I need to spend time with it 😂. Looks like a cold and rainy weekend here so I think I know what I'll be doing. 

Last night, I got the opportunity to join / lead a conversation around body image for Macros & Muscles clients via Zoom. I could talk about body image all day - the culture in America around women's bodies, the amount of conflicting media messaging (cue Britney Spears' "she's too big now she's too thin" from Piece of Me), the body positivity movement which has been co-opted by white women into something that doesn't accomplish what the original movement set out to do, etc. So many of our core insecurities come together when thinking about body image - the comparison trap, making assumptions about others without knowing their struggles, the idea of seasons and allowing our bodies to change, control, perfectionism, the list goes on. 

And as easy as it is to SAY that we want to eat just to nourish our bodies and work out to be strong ("strong is the new skinny" is problematic when thinking about body image and pressure too), an old quote from Cameron Diaz along the lines of that no one is getting up before dawn to work out in order to improve their heart health has always stuck with me. I think it's totally natural and ok to want your body to look a certain way. To make choices and sacrifices in order to achieve those goals. Some people will whole-heartedly disagree with me, subscribing instead to an intuitive eating and "just move" approach - and that's ok! As I've said here before, I value having a visible six-pack. Not everyone does. Both points of view are ok. I think where I'm really working now, and hoping to help others along the way, is parsing out the difference in the WHY. 

I value having a visible six-pack. Yes. But do I believe deep down that having a visible six-pack will bring me joy and happiness in life? No. Not anymore. I don't know if I ever truly did but I created that story. I created the narrative that "If I achieve this, then I will finally be happy". And that's where I'm learning and changing the narrative. I must first be happy on other levels (mostly with myself as a person, regardless of my body fat percentage) and then I am free to pursue additional goals. It seems like a small difference but at it's core, the message is that changing your body won't change your body image or overall happiness / well-being. Change your body if you want - awesome. I can help you do that. But if you're unhappy with your body, you have to also work on changing your body image. Nutrition coaches can help, along with therapy and personal reflection. Counting macros won't improve your body image on its own. 

I don't think I'll ever be the person shouting to love your body no matter what from the rooftops. I believe in appreciating my body (and reframing negative thoughts into grateful ones - it's hard to hate your thighs when you imagine not being able to use them) while doing my best to keep it healthy and strong. I no longer want to live in a world of perfectionism; but I also don't want to live in a world without expectations. Life is too short to be mediocre. So I think the key is figuring out (1) what makes you happy outside of your body and aesthetic achievements, (2) your why for pursuing body changes, and (3) what you like about yourself / your self worth completely outside of aesthetics and athletic performance. Then drill down that data and get the body of your dreams 😀

I hope this hasn't been too rambling - I could talk about this stuff for days. Have an excellent weekend (and enjoy evermore if that's your thing too!).