Here's the very first Body Bestie Friday video, your weekly dose of Friday feelgood and the place that you can come every week for advice on how to love yourself, particularly your body just a little bit more. I'd love for this to be a place each week where we can start a conversation, where you can just watch or, is there's something you wanna know? Just ask! Also, if you want me to talk about something in particular one week you can send me a private message or email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to answer.
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In this first video I share a little about my story. About my experience in the fitness industry and also about my body issues as a teen, particularly one part of my body that I used to just HATE!
Why am I sharing this with you?
I’m in the fitness industry. An industry renowned for making you feel bad about yourself in order to sell you something. They show you pics of amazing toned bodies to sell you their [insert gym membership, workout program, piece of equipment, pill, potion or powder] because they KNOW you will compare yourself to this person, come up lacking, feel like shit and decide that their product is the answer.
And guess what? When you feel bad about yourself, you’re far less likely to stick with aforementioned program and far less likely to want to treat yourself right. So instead of sharing the latest fat burning exercise or fad diet, instead of asking you to change yourself, I’m going to help you LOVE yourself just the way you are. Because no matter how many changes you make, how skinny/toned/fit/strong you get, it will NEVER be enough if you don't love yourself FIRST.
Social media is plagued with perfect people, just search #fitspo if you want to know what it feels like to send your self confidence plummeting in a nanosecond. We all know that a lot of this content is also, curated, staged and just straight out fake (I'm looking at you Kardashians!)
I want this to be a place to keep it real, tell it like it is and share some hints & tips on how you can start totally on yourself completely.
Like so many teenagers, I grew up having a love/hate relationship with my body. I Spent most my life dancing, which encourages you to scrutinise your body and all it’s parts. Dance was one of the most amazing gifts I've ever received and has brought me incredible joy throughout my life however it also encourages you to be critical of your body and of yourself.
Growing up there was no such thing as Instagram, no Facebook (OMG what did you do with your time!? You ask. We talked on the phone for frigging hours) Without all these visual mediums connecting us with the rest of the world, the only people I had to compare myself to, were the people around me, at school, in my dance class and local community. I can't imagine how stressful it is for young people these days to have to compare themselves with the rest of the flipping world!
As a teen I had always been pretty strong and athletic. However lots of Ballet meant I ended up with very muscular thighs – I hated them!
To make things worse, my Dad, who for some reason heralded our German heritage as being responsible for my big muscly thighs and would chase me around the house chanting
"German legs, German legs, Kate's got great big German legs!!"
Far out! That just made things 100 times worse! This has plagued me for practically my whole life. I never bought skinny jeans, I wouldn’t wear short skirts or shorts of any kind. In fact I don't think I even owned a pair of shorts until I was in my late 20's.
It wasn’t until I started my business and began to research what body confidence really meant (which by the way isn’t exercising and dieting your ass off until you look amazing and love yourself for it!!), that I started to put some of these ideas into practise and actually began to change the way I felt about my body.
Body Confidence is about loving and accepting each and every part no matter the size, shape, colour or texture
I began to focus not on how my body looks, but what my body can DO. Perhaps you’ve seen a post or two from me about this before……. I kinda do talk about it a lot because it’s so FREAKING IMPORTANT!
Here's an example; My muscular legs are strong, these strong legs can carry me up a steep hill with a sandbag on my shoulders faster than almost any other woman I've competed against, they can jump high and carry me around a stage (back in the day) and help me express myself through movement, they can help me carry BOTH my kids upstairs to bed at the same time when they’re fighting over who gets a piggy back first. For these reasons and more I now LOVE my legs!
My point is: when you start focusing on what your body can do, instead of how it looks you can appreciate your body so much more and that’s where the self love and true body confidence really begins.
Here's a little exercise I'd like you to do: Have a think about something on your body that you’re not a fan of and then come up with three things that body part that it DOES for you. Eg: perhaps your skin isn’t great and you’ve got acne that you hate, but maybe your skin is a gorgeous golden brown that honours your families heritage and reminds you who you are, perhaps that same gorgeous skin protects you from the sun and you rarely have to worry about getting sunburnt. Or perhaps you’re not a fan of your nose, but hey, that nose helps you smell the most incredible things, helps hold up your sunglasses and makes you look distinctly like you. Whatever it is, focus on what your body can DO, rather than how it LOOKS.
If you want a program that helps you become more toned and athletic, gives you nutrition advice that teaches how to listen to your body without the meal plans, food restriction and calorie counting and is absolutely BURSTING with info on how to really love your body then check out the Empower360 Teen Fitness Challenge.
Stay tuned for the next Body Bestie Friday post this week and if you’ve got any questions at all or you can send me a private message via facebook or instagram or you can send an email to email@example.com if you want to ask me a question anonymously.
This article was written by Kate Hickey for Empower360 Fitness. If you'd like more information on our online on teen bootcamp programs, head to our website www.empower360fitness.com.au or contact Kate: firstname.lastname@example.org