All tagged perspective

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?

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*

"No One Ever Told Me It Wasn't About My Body Before." (probably not like the rest of what you're reading on New Years' Day)

No one ever told me it wasn’t about my body before.

It was never about me. Nobody before you. I hope you know that has given me the ability to move in the world with less fear and shame; I can be entirely myself without disclaimers and I get to reclaim all of that energy and put it into things and people I love.

It has an impact on every single person around me.

No one told me that I can be as smart and insightful as I am and STILL not know that it isn’t my body’s fault and it isn’t about my body.

I can be a genius and still be fucked up by these things, but I don’t have to be anymore.

And neither do you.

How to Handle Toxic People

Do you know any toxic people? (lol, it’s the holidays; if yours are anything like mine, for at least one day between November and February, you’d rather rip each individual hair strand out of your head and reattach it than spend one more minute in someone’s presence).

I used to wonder what the common thread was relating all these "toxic" people. What was the common thing I was "falling for" every time?

Can I Share a Personal Story with You? (+ work with me!)

I grew up in an emotionally abusive household, and I received a message from a young age that I wasn't good enough. For millions of reasons, but the point on which it all converged was my body.

My body became a physical manifestation of everything I wasn't: I wasn't tall, or thin, or unconventionally beautiful like my mother, or quiet, or succinct, or self-controlled.

I was too much, constantly spilling over the edges of my container, and my body was alleged to have reflected that.

It's effortless to pick on our bodies; the "flaws" there are visible, after all, so they're very easy to pinpoint.

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.

Grit: A Reward You May Not Have Considered

Honing our crafts takes reps under the bar, after all. To learn where we thrive under the pressure and where we cower in fear, we need to set out on the path.

When looking into some research on perseverence and change, I found that the highest performers work on their weaknesses the most. Seems obvious, no?

But it's the last thing most of us want to do.

We want to avoid them, find ways around them, out-muscle our weaknesses with our strengths.

Fitness Doesn't Have to be a Punishment.

Fitness doesn’t have to be a punishment.

It’s not the Visa for food binges. No debt collectors will come calling.

You’re allowed to move in a way that makes you feel good, simply because it makes you feel good.

You can discover your desires, your fears, your passion, and your power in the gym, all without changing a damn thing about your body if you don’t want to. And you can change and sculpt your body without the current iteration being “bad,” “wrong,” or, “gross,” if you so choose.

Strength is Not Just the Iron.

We tend to think of strength in one context: how much can you lift? But strength is so much more than a number on a bar.

Strength is more than an ego boost; around these parts, we spend a lot of time discussing being more than a number, and this is no exception (a sometimes difficult shift, as we realize that "not defining ourselves by a number" means ANY number, even ones that prop us up. We're more than our abilities. We have inherent worth begotten simply by birth.).

I Tried Something New Recently.

I did a new thing recently.

Due to injuries, stress, and poor-quality sleep, I've been moving my body in new ways. It's been a process of relearning how to tune in — something that is relatively easy for me under some heavy weight, but, I've noticed, is not so natural (at least not without a steady stream of judgment) in other mediums of movement.

I've been doing some #mediocreyoga for about 6 months (which you've seen intermittently in my Instagram stories, if you're playing along!), and earlier this week, a new class was advertised that was beginner-friendly. I'm also in a new area, so, I figured, why not?

And just like that, I took my mediocre yoga out into the world.

Why I Don't Do Before-and-After Photos Anymore

I'm not into before-and-after photos, because I don't believe in comparison.

Not even of the "#youvsyou" variety.

I've found them to be damaging for many people: implying that smaller is always better, or that the "after" version of you is somehow more worthy, the new standard against which you should measure from now on.

I'm constantly changing, and the past iteration of myself isn't bad or wrong or less evolved. She's just different.

How to Get Started (You've Been Thinking About it for a While Now).

"But HOW?"

I get asked this question a lot, and it's a fair one.

HOW do you start strength training if you've never felt like you belong in the gym before?

HOW do you eat just a few bites of "bad" foods?

HOW do you wake up in the morning and not hate on your stomach?

HOW do you dance when you're a clumsy dancer, or write when you're an unclear writer, or love when you're an insecure lover?

There aren't always easy answers, and, "just start," while true, isn't very helpful in the swirling overwhelm.