The health and fitness industry makes billions in profits each year on one small idea: you are not good enough.
Let me tell you a secret they don’t want you to know: you already are.
How many ‘I’ll start next week-ers’ do I have out there?
People who try a new ‘get fit quick’ scheme once every few months because they wake up one morning and don’t like what they see?
How often do you have these ‘break through’ scenarios that almost always lead to flunking it?
Have you ever wondered why you might be running in circles with your health and fitness?
A few common answers might be:
Anyone see a common denominator in those above statements? Not sure? Let me assist: the answer is negativity towards yourself, and it starts when you look in the mirror and smack talk yourself.
When a negative influencer prompts you to embark on a journey of change, you will never be good enough for yourself. You will always be looking for the faults, the failures, and the shortcomings.
Ask yourself: “Why am I here, reading this?”
“Why am I getting into fitness (again)?”
“Why am I educating myself on nutrition and training?”
Is your answer is, “To look in the mirror and like what I see”, try flipping your perspective.
What if you looked in the mirror and already liked what you saw? What would you do then?
Nothing? “Oh sweet. I’m perfect. Nothing to do here.”
Hmmm, I’m not so sure.
You know why I work out? Because I love myself. I deserve to work out. I have been blessed with a fully-functioning body and every day I will celebrate that by going to the gym, because I deserve to look in the mirror and love what I see.
So does everyone else. So do you.
Work out because you love your body — not because you hate it.
I know some of y’all have a bit of a complex when it comes to a little self love, so let me try to help a bit. Below is a caption from something I posted on my Instagram a few months ago;
“The one thought process that changed everything for me was when I started to look at myself as a friend. Imagine what my life would be like if I treated myself the way I treated my friends. Encouraged myself, complimented myself, gave myself chances, was patient with myself, forgiving of myself, supportive of myself, loving and generous to myself.
Same goes for when s** went down. Defend myself and stand up for myself, and encourage myself to accept my faults simply as a learning experience rather than considering myself a lesser person. That flip in perspective changed everything for me. Because it made me realise how the people I love — the people who matter — saw me. Learning to take my own advice was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
When you look in the mirror, imagine the person looking back at you is someone you really, truly love. They’re saying to themselves: “I hate my body, I hate the way I look. I’m not good enough, I’m never going to be good enough for anyone.”
How does it make you feel when someone you love talks about themself like that? Look at your current situation as objectively as possible — as an outsider that loves you. When you look at the situation as an outsider, you can stop internalising all the trivial BS that really doesn’t matter.
So be your own friend. If you would be supportive of a friend, say kind things of a friend and love a friend, why would you deserve anything less?
Something else I like to try is really quite simple; gratitude. This helped me get out of some really bad headspaces a while ago, when I was trying to implement more positive thought processes about myself. When I couldn’t say something nice about myself, I would acknowledge something I was grateful for and it always gave way to the silver lining.
Go to the supermarket and buy a white board marker. On your mirror, write five things you are grateful for. It could be your Mum, your best friend, your two fully-functioning legs, the roof over your head or even something as tiny as the fact that you’re not allergic to peanuts because you just love peanut butter.
There are small victories and something to be thankful for every day and if you’re really struggling to think of something you like about yourself right now, think about something you are thankful for. It sounds small, but when it comes to self love, it’s a journey, a process —something that doesn’t happen over night — and you gotta learn to crawl before you can walk.
Here is how we can turn a simple act of gratitude and self love to affect our motivation:
‘Today I am thankful for my two fully- functioning legs that get me around everywhere, everyday’
Being of able body is a privilege that not every human has. It’s a blessing to be able to get up out of bed everyday — not a right. You are not born into this world entitled to the right to walk and the right to breathe without difficulty. So, stop wasting your blessings like they’re so disposable to you.
Love yourself because you have the capacity to do these things. You have the ability to walk — as mundane and everyday as these things may seem — so go out and have a party…at the gym.
See how it works now? Find your own place of joy, love and gratitude that motivates you.
When you learn to look at training and nutrition as a privilege, everyday turns into a blessing.
Training turns into something that is never a chore — rather something you can do for yourself that fits into the same field as a day at the spa or on the golf course. Something nice you do for yourself.
You get excited about things and you get excited about doing them yourself. When you hit a personal best in the squat rack or get a better time on your sprints, you’re able to enjoy them easier because they’re not a point of validation for you — they’re an addition to what you’ve already amassed in accomplishments by already being alive today.
You strive for more because you deserve more.
When you start a journey with health and fitness from a negative influencer, you are letting the appearance of your body control you, when in actual fact, you control the appearance of your body.
See what I’m getting at here?
Flip the perspective. You got this.