By Jaimi Acourt
Self-acceptance and fitness. It seems almost counter intuitive to have these words in the same sentence. In this day and age, fitness, exercise and training is focused on ideals of change and improvement.
Change your body. Improve your fitness. Become a better version of yourself.
But is it really possible to achieve self-acceptance and be engaged in a fitness regime? I say hell-to-the-YES!
Choosing to exercise because it makes you feel good on the inside and out is part of creating a healthy mindset and certainly part of reaching self-acceptance. Instead of following the current idealisation that fitness and exercise is about changing yourself to look a certain way, choose to do it because it is good for you and makes you feel good.
But it got me thinking about the pressure we put on ourselves to look a certain way. Currently Instagram is booming with accounts of fitness models and body builders. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against any particular type of training or fitness area or wanting to look your best (and to be completely honest with you I follow a number of these fitness accounts), but I have been taking close notice of my own mindset and thoughts and wanted to delve a bit deeper into this topic in hope that being authentic helps others to decide what is really right for them.
Seeing myself on social media lately, has brought about a bucket of feelings and self-evaluations. I acknowledge that I am and always have been my own worst enemy and biggest critique. I am always so judgmental of myself and will mull over and over things because I don’t think they are good enough. Take a recent photo shoot for example. I was helping take some promotional photos for PEAQ and all was going well. As normally happens, the photographer was giving me advice and suggestions on where to move and how to position in order to maximise the composition of the shot. Nothing negative was said about me or my body but after about 15 minutes of this I noticed I was becoming really agitated. So much so I requested to stop the whole photo shoot. Even though these comments had nothing to do with my body or the way I looked, I began to judge myself and every click of the camera caused me to think something negative about myself or the way I must be looking in the photos.
Sometimes we notice one little detail about ourselves, and focus on it, blowing it up into a huge issue.
Then time passes, and we realise that actually it is not as a big deal and it may have seemed in the moment.
I guess what I am trying to say is, if this sounds like you, just take your time to find out why you may be feeling this way. The issue so often seems external but the hard truth is it often emanates from within. We condition ourselves to think certain things about ourselves. So next time you consider “changing” yourself or embarking on a fitness journey consider if one crash diet is really going to ‘fix’ the problem or will it bring you momentary happiness until you find the next ‘problem’ to ‘fix’?
Strong minds, smart bodies is coming soon to PEAQ Conditioning Coaching. Ready to kickstart your fitness in the meantime? Check out our personalised programs here.