Wednesday, April 10, 2013

weightloss wednesdays: developing a healthy body image

as a fluffy but active gal, i often get asked by my friends certain questions.

1- how are you so fabulous? [i'm just born with it people. it's a gift]
2- what kind of bra do you wear? [read about my unmentionables here]
3- how much weight have you lost? [about 10 stubborn pounds, so i'm back to pre-pregnancy. but that's not how i determine success. stay tuned!]
and more importantly
4- how do you stay so positive about your body?

i know it sounds hokey-pokey but i am a huge believer that your attitude determines your altitude [gag. saying those cliched words just makes me want to vomit]. it's true! i worked really hard for many years to gain self-love. it wasn't easy but i think having a healthy body image will also help you achieve your fitness goals.

i have a friend who is so beautiful, just recently had her second child, and has the worst body image i've ever heard of. she's terrified of gaining weight, angry she hasn't been able to shed her pregnancy pounds and is constantly worried and talking about losing weight. her body consumes her whole life. it's actually a little annoying. she is so beautiful and not obese but yes, is a little fluffy around the edges. she's asked me so many times what i do to workout and what i've accomplished weight-wise. but she's so stinkin unhappy it's depressing. i can't see why she doesn't see how beautiful she is!

i have to admit, a lot of my self-worth comes from my faith but it was also developed by following some simple advice.

- notice the people around you. how many people do you meet a day that are a size 0? how many have arms like serena williams? get the notion out of your head that normal is a victoria secret's model. everyone around you is imperfect. on pinterest there seem to a lot of half naked pictures of rockin bods to inspire you to work out. really? i see those and it makes me want cake because i don't look like that. realize that most of that is genetics or a whole lot of work and time. it's also a gift that not everyone has. so get over it and realize that you have other gifts other then a great body.

- look for the positive in yourself. do you have fantastic skin? are your calves defined? do you have amazing balance? look at yourself and find what you like. start small then work your way up. for example, i've always hated my gigantic calves. they've always been thick so it's hard for me to find boots. but then i realized one day, they're not fat- thick, they're muscle-thick. even now that i work out 5+ days a week, they just get more defined and shapely, but not thin. it's who i am. they're pioneer made calves that could carry me across a country if i needed to. and that's pretty bombtastic.

- take some stigma away from your body by 'faking it til you make it' [man i am just vomiting cliches today]. do you feel comfortable in lingerie? news flash - no one days. but you should still wear it and flaunt your big boody for your hubbyspend. because he loves you and thinks your sexy, and that'll make you feel awesome about your bod. talking about clothes with your friends? don't be afraid to mention you wear a size 14 while they're a petitie 10. because it's just a number and it doesn't determine your self worth [and for the record, i'm a 14/16]. and by talking about it, it makes it less scary.

- have a fat day? wear those yoga pants and make them sexy. there was a time in my life i lived in yoga pants [wait.... i think it's still ongoing]. so what? rock them. but also get yourself pretty at least once a day. seriously, i have to force myself to put on a bra and jeans but it makes me feel good. embrace your fat days but don't let yourself wallow in self-pity.

- speaking of clothes, buy the right size no matter the number. nothing will make you feel like a busted can of biscuits more then a dress too small. get the larger, correct size and feel confident in your clothes. no one will know if you wearing size 7 or size 9 jeans so just embrace them.

- receive praise by GIVING it. i know i've talked about this before but one of the ways i make friends [and in the world of politics, you are always meeting people and making friends] is to get them talking about themselves and finding something to compliment them on. because everyone loves compliments. the same things go for you. tell your friend you can see the definition yoga has given her. tell her she's amazing for giving up soda for a month. if she's not a troll [and a lot of politicians are trolls] she'll return the favor. it's cylindrical behavior. it'll also make you more aware of finding positives in imperfect people.

- this is for the mama's out there. i've seen those posts on pinterest showing off some skinny girl's tan tummy with stretch marks that say to the affect that you're a tiger who earned her stripes. while i would really like my stretch marks and tummy to look like that, it's message is true. accept who your body is post-baby. accept that you will never be that skinny minny from hs anywho [isn't it amazing how we all thought we were fat is hs only to realize it was our skinniest time?]. accept that you'll have a perma-pooch on your tummy and that's ok. you did something AMAZING and that's called your child. i don't know about you, but landon was worth it.

- be realistic. goals are only goals if they're attainable. i'm not talking about extreme weight loss goals here [whose else is excited for summer?!], i'm talking about for those of us in the 0-24 range. looking at my family and my body through the years, i know i'm not supposed to be 110lbs. i've round and fluffy but i'm strong and athletic. even though i weigh what i weigh, i can do a whole lot more then most people wh
o are smaller. my body was just made more for farm work and child bearing then walking down a catwalk and that's ok. my goal is to weigh what i did when i first got married, so 10 more pounds to lose. that's realistic. when i accomplish that, i can find another attainable goal. i'm not trying to fit into a size 6 right off the bat. sometimes you are just not made to be who you think you were.

in a study done by standford, 63% of people who had a healthy body image were more successful at losing weight, compared to the 26% of people who weren't. just remember, you can be fit and fat and happy. so focus on being happy and the other stuff will fall into place. this is not to say amazing transformations can't occur or you can't change your body, just learn to love it during the process.
*i feel like i need a good shout out for girl power at the end of this post. that's the spice girl in me*
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Caitlin said...

I love this post. Honestly, I struggle with body image a ton so I needed to hear this. Thanks for motivating me pookles. Girl Powa!

Kari said...

I have a very warped self-body image. Sometimes I'm good and very honest and other times I'm such a drag. I do love my body! I love what it can do and how fantastic I can be. However, I am to often worried about perfection and comparing myself to all those toned ladies next to me at the gym.

Thanks for reminding me it's ok to have imperfections too.

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