Why You're Hung Up on Your, "Summer Body"

During warmer weather in particular, we hear all about, "summer bodies," and, "getting ready," and all sorts of things implying that our bodies aren't enough as is, and, when we inevitably buy into it, we're often left with less money and more frustration than when we started, plus a heaping helping of shame.

Body image issues are logical: they don't come from nowhere, and nothing is wrong with you if you struggle to love your body.

(In fact, I'd argue that, "loving your body," isn't really the point, here; it's to think if your body less, so that you can be more of who you are, other than your body.)

And, the first step, for so so so many womxn I coach, is to recognize, while your body is certainly all yours and you can do whatever you choose with it (or you should be able to, anyway), perhaps (juuuust maybe), your thoughts on your body are not entirely your own.

STRESSED? 😬 What to do About Your Training

“I went to squat yesterday. My warmup felt fine — I was a little tired, but I thought once I started lifting I’d feel better. I usually do,” a client said to me.

"When I got to the working sets, everything felt HEAVY. Like, heavier than it should have. I finished the workout anyway, because it was written down, so I had to do it. But I’ve felt like everything is heavy and takes longer than it used to for a couple of weeks now.

What am I doing wrong? Am I losing all my progress? How am I going backwards when I haven’t skipped a workout?”

I could hear it in her voice: the frustration, the confusion, and the shame composing a horrifying opera whose featured aria, “You’re a Failure!” is familiar to us all.

When I hear this song in my line of work, my first course of action is to listen (we all need to be heard, after all), followed by asking questions.

The questions give me box seats to the full production, where I learn it’s not only the weights that feel heavy but life as well. And the last thing we need to do when life gets lifey is up the stress ante with long, heavy, grindy workouts.

Sometimes long, heavy, grindy workouts are just what the doctor ordered, but sometimes they’re pouring gasoline on the fire, leaving us feeling ineffective and not knowing where to go next.

On Wearing the Shorts (or Sleeveless Top, or Bikini) and Taking the Picture

This photo was taken over Memorial Day weekend, when my brother was in town to play at a lacrosse tournament.

Our family has had a lacrosse-filled Memorial Day weekend since I was a freshman in high school (when we moved back north, the first time). And yet, you'd have no idea I was there for most of them.

I spent years dodging cameras, worrying about what I'd eat (at a TAILGATE, where there are like, 4 options), readjusting my clothing, seeing if people were sneaking glances at my body or monitoring what I put on my plate or how often I realized half a cheeseburger (no bun) and a leaf of lettuce and coffee to curb my appetite wasn't enough for 14h in the heat (imagine that!).

Guess how much fun I had? Guess how relaxed I felt, during a time dedicated to relaxation?

IF YOU SAID NOT VERY (MUCH), YOU'D BE RIGHT.

If You're Tired of Trying to, "Love Your Flaws," You're Not Alone. There's More to This.

We won't be talking about, "loving your flaws," here, for quite a few reasons, but perhaps the most universal one?

I don't think that's a goal you really have, when we get down to it.

I don't think it would make you feel good to pick on some body part you've been told needs to be fixed, agonize in the mirror over it every morning to keep it top of mind all the time, only buy clothes that cover it up, and somehow be totally hype about it anyway.

It doesn't make sense.
Marketing to you that way is dishonest, IMO.

How (One Way) to Say No

ABOUT THIS EXPRESSION I MAKE:

100% of the time, I adopt this hands-under-chin situation when I have just delivered information that is likely unwelcome and/or at least slightly uncomfortable to its target.

This being the circumstance, I could not be more thrilled my friend Jen captured this on film, at our weekly #neighborhoodworkoutgroup.

ITEMS THAT HAVE PRECEDED THIS POSE:

⚡ "I can't do that for you."
⚡ "This is hypocritical."
⚡ "I need more support."
⚡ "Do you see how this is problematic (fatphobic, racist, misogynistic things have all made appearances here)?"
⚡ "This is out of alignment with my values."
⚡ "I disagree."
⚡ "No."
⚡ "🎶 nooooo 🎶" (in song)

(The context for many of these situations is wonderfully sticky, nuanced, and sassy conversation, as most of the things I'm into often are. Other stories for other days.)

All statements good to practice saying, particularly in a culture urging us, as womxn (the marginalized experience to which I can speak directly, but, for sure, this is exponentially compounded for others), to be quiet, to acquiesce, to carry the burden, to solve and fix and nurture.

Patterns: Why Are You the Way that You Are?

If you're here, it's likely you've tried quite a few diets and exercise plans throughout your life, very few of which have made the lasting changes you were hoping.

You've tried the 21-day-"fixes," the grapefruit diets, the plans in Self magazine (I'm not picking on them, really; that was one of the first places I ever saw any sort of structured workout myself!), and they've all yielded lackluster results.

It's also highly likely that you've realized this is a pattern, and one you'd like to break.

As more of us in fitness decide we want to let go of harmful patterns (e.g., the binge/restrict cycle, over-exercising/burnout cycle), are we helping ourselves understand what to do next?

I Ripped My Pants: 3 Tips to Deal with Clothes that Don't Fit

Earlier this month, I met with a CPA.

As though taxes weren’t enough bossy boss lady fun, I made the executive decision to put on pants. If you work from home or from a gym, you know how rare an event this is.

I went to put on my favorite pair of jeans,—soft, well-worn-rarely-washed denim, the kind that fit just Goldilocks-level right—and as I realized they’d been folded in a drawer for 6 months, I squatted down, and, riiiiip.

How Do You Feel Powerful?

POWER: what does it mean to you? Where is it found?

Does it hide from you, running to the dingy corner as soon as you enter the room and turn on the light? Or does it display itself proudly, waving its flag in your life as you march like General Sherman on his way to the sea, asserting your presence and leaving flames in your wake?

As womxn in a patriarchal world, there is no shortage of places we're told we can't be. There is no dearth of reminders of our status, supposedly submissive. In the board room, in the bedroom, in the gym, in the damn left-hand lane—we're underrepresented, told we don't belong, deemed, "too emotional," to handle it.

POWER: it isn't something supposedly meant for us.

Which is why I'd like to ask you where you find it for yourself.

How to, "Release That Which No Longer Serves You," or, "Rewrite Your Stories." (Let's Cut Through the Noise, Shall We?)

If you spend much time on the internet, particularly in the personal development and/or fitness mindset space, it's likely you've heard quite a bit of talk about, "rewriting your stories," and, "releasing that which no longer serves you." 

Rather than the freedom these phrases were likely intended to impart, I was left with a slow-burning rage:

OKAY, YOU SUPER-EVOLVED BEING IN THIS TINY INSTAGRAM SQUARE, BUT HOW? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

*insert failure and shame*