You Don't Have to "Earn" Your Body (Fitness is Not a Punishment)
Ready for some unconventional holiday season advice?
You don't have to "earn" your body (or mashed potatoes).
It's the language of the season, the undercurrent of every holiday-themed meal, but I don't find it productive. In fact, it often does more harm than good.
I think it's terribly destructive to use this language, not only because it sets us up on a food-as-reward-fitness-as-punishment cycle, but also because it reinforces an idea I am vehemently against:
The one that states that you have to be different from how you are in order to have what you want.
You are worthy of your desires, exactly as you are.
When we ascribe to the idea that we must be thinner before we can enjoy a Christmas cookie or a crispy latke at a joyous family gathering, we're affirming the idea that our primary purpose is to be looked at. We're aligning ourselves with the thought that, if we aren't ____ enough (pretty, fit, skinny, whatever), we're walled off from some of life's pleasures. We agree, on some level, that the person we are isn't entitled to what she wants.
Moreover, we end up believing that we can't trust ourselves.
You want bacon on your salad? Fries on the side? Can't; you're not there yet; don't trust that craving — so the story goes.
It's not true. You know you best. You can trust what your body is telling you.
You get to make choices:
Do I want bacon with my salad?
Or do I just want it because someone told me I can't have it?
Will bacon help me toward my physical goals? How about my emotional ones?
Does it really even matter?
Is this building up my relationship with food (and with myself), or detracting from it?
Those are the questions I prefer to ask. And it began with realizing that I'm a human being, not a puppy: I don't have to earn anything.
Wanna unpack this more? Slots are open for online coaching: I design strength training programs for clients, and I coach fitness, nutrition, and body image (individually, or all 3)!
Feel better in your body *before* the resolution crowd: strongbysteph.com/coaching