Let’s talk about LOVE. Self LOVE!
“If you don’t love yourself, how can you love anyone else?” - cue “mmhmmm heard that one before” face.
I’m all for loving yourself but what place does that advice have in the fitness space?
Phases like Body Positivity, Self Love, Self Care have taken MSM (main social media) by storm… and I’m glad! Because it's been a long time coming.
I am from the generation of “you are not skinny, therefore, you are not worthy”. Trust me when I say, that those were the toughest years of my life; being a professional in the fitness industry was being engulfed by that messaging.
Skinny was in. Curve was not. Muscle was not either.
And, now, it’s incredible to see the diversity in body shapes. We ALL have a place in the fitness space, finally!
But I wonder sometimes when an “influencer”, a friend, or a teacher, tells you ‘just love yourself”, is that really enough, and how do you even do that?
It's such a blanket statement with no real tangible step by step guide. It’s useless. I know you don’t need another selfie with a caption of “love yourself” to actually make a real difference in your life.
So here is a step by step (as supported by my years of experiences and my national online #irockthesportsbra body neutrality & acceptance campaign) to make the road to “loving yourself” in your fitness journey a little less bumpy.
Get naked & look at yourself. (And I don't mean posting a naked selfie on Instagram). I mean this literally & metaphorically.
In the literal sense, take a solid look at your physical body. What don’t you like and why? What do you love and why? Take inventory. Make columns in your journal. If you find yourself hating more than what you love, ask yourself 5-10 “whys” to understand where this is all rooted in or from. It’s eye opening!
In the metaphorical sense, take a look at your lifestyle & habits. What brings you joys? What creates guilt? What sparks anger? What triggers jealousy? And ask yourself “the why’s”. I guarantee what you see in the mirror and in your life is a paralleled reflection of something conscious or subconscious that you have to work on.
This gets very real and scary.
You’ll clearly see everything that gets in the way of truly loving yourself with this exercise.
Do something that scares you. Once you truly SEE yourself, pick one fitness or body image fear you have and do it
For example, do you have a fear of intense or “jumpy” workouts or do you have “gymtimidation”? Maybe you are scared of rocking a sportsbra or a 2-piece bathing suit because of what others might say about you. Do the ONE thing that scares you, then begin to notice how your fear was and is just an illusion all along.
The harsh truth is no one really cares about your journey. People are too worried about their own stuff.
Once you face your fear, I promise you will feel a sense of pride and furthermore feel encouraged you to do things that scare you...because well, “that wasn’t so bad!”
Stay in your lane. Don’t compare and do better for yourself! If social media triggers you, get off the damn thing. That simple. Protect your energy and stay focused on you. No sugar coating that it’s a hard habit to break (MSM is addictive) but it can be done. You just have to make that decision.
If someone in your circle triggers you, go back to step 1, then take an assessment. Is there room for this person in your life because you realized you have to take care of your internal environment first, or can you cut this person out because they really offer no value to you. Again, protect your energy. (PS - each person you encounter teaches you a lesson or two. THAT IS A UNIVERSAL TRUTH!)
Focus on the good things you can do and smile about it. Focus on how incredible your physical body is and learn to play with fitness.
Start realizing that your body is like a machine, the more you work with it, the better it works for you, period!
Stop compartmentalizing fitness with “I cans or I can’ts because you saw someone do something you've always wanted or have something you've always wanted to have. Know this - If they can, you can! It’s evidence of what you can experience.
No need for comparison.. We’re all different in different stages. Comparing and telling yourself you suck….SUCKS!
Enact discipline because willpower runs out & motivation gets old fast! All actions you take require discipline to routine. You have to be ok with discipline. Work towards your goals even if you don’t feel like it. The discipline to a routine just makes you a stronger human overall and trust me when I say, you will LOVE YOURSELF so much more because you have released guilt around non-accomplishment. You’ll naturally stop beating yourself up.
When you begin to succeed, you will find the discipline become non-negotiable, and something to look forward to. .
Celebrate! Be happy more often, especially with your fitness. Be proud of that pushup you did, the mile you ran, jogged, and even walked, the wakeup call you actually stuck too.
We get so consumed with how “awful” we are, the minute we do something really cool with our fitness, we dismiss it. STOP THAT!
Celebrate literally every step of the way.
The more you take these steps, you will naturally love yourself more. You won’t ever need to find someone to tell you “Just love yourself”. If someone does tell you that, your response is “I already do!”
Your road to self-love doesn't have to be lonely, go to my YouTube Channel, subscribe and turn on the bell notification. I drop new workouts for you every Monday that I know will scare you but make you so proud once you’re done! #irockthesportsbra
Love yourself by checking out some of the programs I have, if you’re needing that extra little push.
Share your comment. What do you think of these steps? Can you find yourself applying them? Or have you figured out this “love yourself” thing? Do you have another step you can add?