I hear it all the time.
"I wish I wasn't so fat"
"I wish I had (insert celebrity's name here)'s body"
"Ughh I hate my thighs"
"What can I do to get rid of my saggy arms?"
And you know what? I can totally relate! Despite being in a really good place where I have come to accept my body as mine, and accept responsibility for it, I still have plenty of times where I struggle with the way I look or the way I perform. It's natural.
One of my clients (who shall remain anonymous), was struggling with depression. Apparently her psychologist set her the task of listing three good things about herself, or three things she liked about herself (I can't remember which). Sadly, my client could only come up with one thing. One thing!! This is unacceptable! Now, don't get me wrong. I know that someone in a depressed state will struggle to do a task such as this, so please don't think that I am without understanding or compassion. But for anyone, of any mindset, this is unacceptable.
Who told you that you weren't allowed to like yourself? Who told you that if you liked yourself, or even just parts of yourself, that you were full of yourself? Who told you that liking yourself was a bad thing? If your current view of yourself is a matter of humility, then you need to re-learn the definition of humility. Because last time I checked, humility didn't mean putting yourself down, or hating yourself.
Question: How do you feel when you think about yourself? How do you feel when you think about the things that you don't like? It's pretty depressing, right?
Now tell me this: how are you supposed to feel inspired to improve yourself when all you're doing is focusing on how disgusting you are or feel? Don't get me wrong, this can be a very powerful motivator. But it needs to evolve. If you're constantly hating yourself, you'll always be punishing yourself. "Oh man I suck! I ate ice cream again! I'm never going to lose enough weight to fit my old jeans!" Yes - wanting to fit into your old jeans is a powerful motivator. But what about the rest of the sentence? "Oh man I suck!" Actually, you don't suck, you're just a human being who likes ice cream. You don't suck, you just need to figure out a better plan to work ice cream into your life so you can control your cravings and not blow out by eating a whole tub because you feel deprived.
What do I dislike about myself?
I dislike the fact that I'm carrying slightly more body fat that I deem ideal for my body, and I don't like my laparoscopy scars, and there's probably a couple of other things that I don't like too but I just can't think of them. It's taken me a long time to get to this point.
What do I like about myself?
I like my eyes. I get blue eyes from both of my grandfathers, and the blue is a really cool blue. So, thanks Grandad & Grandpa.
I like my shoulders. I suppose this is because I've done so many handstands and cartwheels. Yeah, maybe I'd like them to be a little more defined and a little stronger, but I still like them. I still like the strength they currently have and their shape.
I like the fact that I finally have biceps! They're not big at all, and they're probably almost outweighed by the fact that my arms are getting saggier with each passing year (lol), but that's ok!
I like the fact that while I don't exactly have the abs of a crossfit athlete, my core is strong enough to enable me to do some pretty cool things.
I like the fact that while sometimes I feel like my hips and butt are a little too wide for my liking, they give me a good shape.
And I like my feet. Because while (to me) they look like little paddles, I love walking around barefoot and feeling the muscles in my feet work. I love knowing that I have so many muscles in there that help me be firm and balanced in my activities.
I believe that if we focus on our good points, we are going to feel better. And in feeling better, we will see and understand our worth. We as people are valuable and precious. We can't let other people, or photoshopped images determine our worth because we don't look computer generated.
Let's have a change of motivation. Start with three things you like about yourself. If you can't think of three things, start with one. If you can't think of one, just give it a crack! Because when we start understanding, believing and knowing with every ounce of our being that we are worth good health and good fitness, our lives will change for the better.