If we are to preserve the “self”, we must connect with it in the deep way that only true self-care provides. When the self is preserved, we less often ascribe our value to how many hours we work, how fancy our possessions are, how many likes our latest social media post received. The things capitalism tells us as a culture are ideal: beauty, wealth, whiteness, thinness, popularity, power, lose their hold on us. And the less we care about the external, the material, the more time and energy we have to truly BE with others. When we care for ourselves, we are better equipped to care for everything and everyone around us. And when we see our value irrespective of our status as human capital, we start seeing the value in others for nothing more than their unique spirit.
So here’s a confession: I’m a personal trainer, I am deeply curious about fitness and nutrition, I love strengthening the body, both mine and others’, but I am really, really lazy in my own practice of fitness.
I was offered to join Comfy Lifestyle as I was just starting my new career as a personal trainer at Comfy Fitness. I took the opportunity with gusto and curiosity, but I had next to no knowledge on what to expect. For those of you who are also curious but unsure about the program, I’d like to share my experience.
Here’s an even MORE likely scenario: how do you forgo foods that you know are ‘bad’ for you, like those donuts your well-meaning co-worker keeps bringing into the office? This is where knowing - like REALLY knowing - comes in handy. What also comes in handy is knowing that there are no ‘bad’ foods, only foods that don’t serve what you’re up to.
When was the last time you criticized your body? One minute ago? An hour? How many times a day are you critical about your looks, your fat, your capabilities, your genetics? I challenge you to take a moment now and reflect for a minute, even write down, the complaints that are present now and frequently for you…
I met up with a new friend a couple months ago. It was our first time getting to know one another. I bellied up to the bar, and knowing that I work in the fitness industry, the first thing my new friend asks is “So you’re really healthy, huh?” I burst into laughter and said “Not really. I’m fit though!” And then I ordered a whiskey old fashioned.
A raging feminist, I’m fairly used to seeing think pieces and blog posts in my newsfeed combating the prevailing narrative of (feminine) beauty being reserved for the chosen “thin” and “skinny” and “small.” This particular article, however, caught my attention because it attacks the problem of the “waif-beauty” ideal from a different angle.
My clients, I'm sure, get sick of hearing about the infamous turtle who beat the hare by not exhausting himself. That tortoise knew what he was doing! In weight loss, I teach that going too hard in exercise leads to burnout and injury, so I knew I had to study for my exam the same way.
I was sitting the other day, relaxing in the bathroom, flipping through a Fitness Magazine - Shape Magazine to be exact. Now, I have two confessions when it comes to the topic of fitness magazines:
I am not sure when I signed up for a subscription to ANY of them, but I receive DOZENS a year, and
I barely EVER look at them. I’ve recently put them in the bathroom in order to encourage some reading. It’s worked!
Upon skimming the magazine, it took me approximately 3 minutes to become outright appalled.
Let me begin by saying that I LOVE food. Like, if I wasn’t already married, I’d wanna marry it. I refuse to eat food that doesn’t taste good or satisfy me - I mean, c’mon! If I’m ready for matrimony, how could I? And like most love affairs, it’s taken me time to fully develop a relationship with food that works for me and my life.
I know, I know. You’ve heard it a million times; “stop comparing yourself to magazine covers” and “those women aren’t real, they’re airbrushed”. Truth be told, that IS the truth. So stop it. Seriously.
We humans have an uncanny way of taking our commitments and turning them into expectations. Our expectations for having a Beach Bod or fitting into a size 2, I admit, comes directly from our media and maybe even the fitness industry itself, or at least what it once was. I am here to release you from those expectations! At least, perhaps, for the time being.