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Posts tagged "Body Love"

Body Peace, Six Packs, Weightloss Loss And Feeling Good

Something that helped me when I first started feeling worn down by the pressure to lose weight (before I was ready to let go entirely) was giving up the idea that weight gain or loss was “bad” or “good”. I’d already given up the scale because it wasn’t helpful or healthy for me to have it around, but I needed to work on gaining acceptance of my body in all states.

That meant finding joy in jiggles. And shimmies in shakes. And magic in muffin tops. And celebration in cellulite. Because my body was and is gonna change. But how much energy I spent perfecting it or fighting that change the was up to me. And I was TIRED. And I needed that energy elsewhere.

At the time, illness had given me a wake up call that there were more important things in life: it had forced me to re-evaluate why being as small as possible took up such a big part of my life. At first, I decided to call weight changes “feedback”. That worked for awhile. Weight gain was no longer failure or something I had to urgently address. It was the result of my life at the moment, which included periods where I couldn’t move like I wanted to, didn’t have the energy or motivation to eat how I wanted to eat (or, many times, was eating more after a period of restriction). It gave me freedom and wiggle room. I’d never felt those things before.

I repeatedly told myself “it ain’t a big deal”. I’d been heavier before, I’d been smaller before and in my head I decided that’s how life goes. I got rid of the “wagon”. I knew I felt good when I could move and I ate tons of veggies. Putting my energy into that goal instead (feel good), replaced the “I suck at life because I’m fat” guilt trips I used to have that never, ever, served me. Ever. So much energy had gone into feeling bad about myself. I decided that was enough for one lifetime.

The idea that “old Chichi” would have thought “current Chichi” was too fat to…

- Have a fitness page
- Be a trainer
- Share anything with the world
- Be inspiring
- Be herself
- Be happy
- Call herself sexy, beautiful or awesome
- Take pics of herself
- Live freely
- Eat what she wanted and do what she likes.

… seems freaking crazy to me. Cray cray all the way.

Getting to a place of peace with my bod took lots of little steps and changes in my thinking. And time. Each small step lead to bigger ones, and soon the whole idea of having to mold my body into perfection seemed dumb, dumb, dumb. But when I look back on my journey, I realize that for me, it wasn’t just ONE lightbulb moment, but a series of them. And daily effort to keep my environment and headspace clear. Others might feel the same way; if you are struggling with having a “lightbulb” moment and the mantras aren’t working, start smaller. One step at a time. Some people have massive “a-ha” moments. The rest of us have to work at it a bit. All you need is the desire to want to change your narrative. And some guts.

I gave up magazines and blogs I was obsessed with, but we’re making it hard to love myself. I started questioning marketing, specifically in fitness. I shared my thoughts and found others who felt the same way. I dug. I looked for the root of where and why I was dissatisfied with my body, and opened up to seeing how I’d been taught to hate it. I decided the only “rule” that served me was “it should feel good”. And obsessing over my bod didn’t feel good.

This meant giving up working constantly towards six pack abs and living my life to be as lean as possible. But it also meant giving up the idea that anyone else should feel that pressure either. I gained an appreciation for my love of physical fitness, but as a marker of individuality not superiority. I like what I do. But not everyone has to. I hate the notion that some people would consider that “lucky”. It’s not luck, just my thing. I like burpees. She might like knitting. We’re both awesome.

All this to say, I never found body peace in abs or weight loss. I found it in being okay with OR without those things. I found/find pleasure in eating well and moving, but never in thinking those things made me better than anyone else. I found love for myself when I ditched the rules on how, when and what I needed to be allowed to feel that way. For the first time in my life, I feel confident that I’d be just as awesome in a body 100lbs heavier because my priorities are straight. I’m grateful for what my bod can do, but if for any reason it can’t do it any longer, I know I’ll be okay. I’m not sure the same can be said for a lot of weight loss enthusiasts: take away their abs, guns and ability to do what they do, and they might not be able to identify themselves.

Just some things to think about. Baby steps and end game are very different, but my end game would not have been possible without a TON of baby steps and effort.

What’s your end game? If it’s body peace, six packs and weight loss might not cut it.

Just. Like. That. :)

"If you’d describe the way you treat yourself as animal abuse, please get help"

(via http://boggletheowl.tumblr.com/post/62711162750)

rockstarkate:

Love who you are right now.

the-exercist:

Ah, #fitspo - Skewing your body image one photo at a time. 

I found all of these photoshopped images in either the #fitspo or #fitness tag. So whenever a “fit” woman crosses your dash, please take that motivation with a grain of salt. If you are aiming to become a healthier and more active person, then you don’t need to aspire to a certain body shape in order to make that happen. 

**Please do not reblog this post with a comment like “The originals are so much prettier!” or “They look so much better without those insanely fake edits!” Pointing out photoshop is not necessary because it makes women look less attractive to you - Pointing out photoshop is necessary in order to stay true to the way that women are consenting to being portrayed. If you have to insult certain body types in order to compliment these women, then you’re doing it wrong.  

#closethethighgap - See the awesome celebration album on Jen Sinkler’s Thrive As The Fittest page here.

(psst- this isn’t anti-gap. It’s pro-diversity, pro-health and pro-YOU. Because we all have the right to feel bad ass in our own skin).

depressioncomix:

mentalillnessmouse:

depressioncomix:

depression comix #159

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Existing is’t easy. Thank you for being here today. I hope to see you tomorrow <3

I feel that way for everyone reading this. Thank you for surviving, I’m so glad we’re still here.

(via letstalkabouted)

fearfullymade-locs:

thedameloves:

homeisaheartbeat:

image

What are your top beauty tips?

Start out perfect and don’t change a thing. Always accentuate your best features by pointing at them. And conceal your flaws by sucker punching anyone who has the audacity to mention them.

Never too old to learn from the Muppets.

And this:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” - Miss Piggy

(via polvinho)

I’m not watching tonight. Just not my thing. But you might watch or want to watch. It might be your thing.

I’m not all that personally bothered by it, nor am I worried about it affecting my self-esteem or body image (I work too hard to maintain it and keep it strong like bull). That said, there are plenty of you watching tonight who might not feel the same way or who might not feel awesome about your bods after the show. So here are a few things to keep in mind, whether you choose to watch or not.

10. HONOR YOURSELF. If it bothers you, don’t watch it. You control your environment, not the other way around. The moment something feels bad, don’t do it. Likewise, if you LIKE it, watch it. Have a good time. You don’t need to defend yourself, feel guilty or bad about it. Do your thing.

9. LISTEN CAREFULLY. If you find yourself starting to make negative comments about YOUR body, HER body, WOMEN’S bodies in general? STOP WATCHING. This is a sign that there’s more going on. Turn it off, watch something else, read a book (or come vent here!). You don’t need it.

8. SOCIAL MEDIA SUCKS DURING AWARDS SHOWS. Avoid Twitter. Like. The. Plague. Fashion/awards show body shaming is rampant, even amongst well meaning ladies and gents. The more we normalize criticizing other women’s bodies, the more we accept that it’s okay and RIGHT to criticize our own. The more body criticisms you expose yourself too, the more normalized they become.

7. REMEMBER IT’S AN ELABORATE ILLUSION. A lot of work goes into VS fashion show bodies and the show itself. A TON. An army of experts are called in: hundreds of people working on everything from technical, design, to wardrobe, makeup, hair etc. Even the models are selected very carefully: they don’t represent your average body (OR EVEN YOUR AVERAGE MODEL BODY, lol). There’s lighting, camera angles and flashy flash all designed to minimize flaws, hide imperfections and deliver a SHOW. This is a show. Not even remotely close to real life. Treat it like a cartoon if it helps.

6. WATCH YOUR EYEBALL TIME. Avoid idolizing, ripping down or obsessing over the bodies you see. The more time you spend oogling images during and after the show, the greater odds you have of feeling less than adequate. Science. Plus, you have better things to do, right? Go do that. Admiration is fine, but only takes a second. If you find yourself spending more time than that on other women’s bodies, you’re being boring.

5. REAL SEX IS UGLY. WHAT THEY ARE SELLING ISN’T ACTUAL SEX. There is a BIG difference between the “sex appeal” being sold, and actual, real, sex appeal. Really awesome sex is ugly, messy, and most partners won’t remember what you were wearing before. It also has a lot more to do with confidence than accessories. What’s being sold isn’t sexuality but the idea of a sexualized female object and conformity to a set of ideals that have little to do with real life attraction and bamchickawahwah. Keep it in check. (most men like to keep things simple. The more buttons and clasps it has, the more terrifying it is, lol).

4. DON’T HATE ON THE MODELS. Don’t like the show and what it stands for? That’s cool. Talk about it. But don’t take it out on the models. Tearing HER down does nothing to help raise us all up, ya know? (plus…. real women, all of them). And making light of eating disorders, “eat a cheeseburger” talk and calling them fake doesn’t help matters. In fact, it hurts us all so much more. Refer to #10. If you find yourself in a hatin’ mood, read this instead: “Why Women Love To Hate On Victoria Secret Models” by Erin Brown http://fitmamatraining.com/why-women-love-to-hate-victorias-secret-models/. If you’re still irked, read the follow up: http://fitmamatraining.com/we-are-on-the-same-team/. If you’re still bothered, don’t watch.

3. REMEMBER, THESE AREN’T YOUR AVERAGE WOMEN OR AVERAGE BODIES. And even though they haven’t been “photoshopped”, doesn’t mean that every trick in the book hasn’t been used to “perfect” them on camera. Only very specific bodies and body types are chosen to represent the line, types that represent about 3% of the actual population. Then there’s hair extensions, makeup (face AND body. Layers and layers and layers), duct tape, weeks or months of dieting/working out, spray tans, glitter and more. (some of these women look very weird in person, but great on the runway. No point comparing. They will NOT wake up looking like that tomorrow). AFTER THAT, there’s lighting, camera angles and flashy flash all designed to minimize flaws, hide imperfections and deliver a SHOW. Victoria’s Secret model Selita Ebanks once put it, “It’s all about creating the illusion of this amazing body on the runway. People don’t realize that there are about 20 layers of makeup on my butt alone.” Angel Adriana Lima famously disclosed her Fashion Show diet a few years back: no solid food in the nine days leading up to the taping and no water in the 12 hours before. Sexy.

All the exercise and diet in the world will NOT help you look like them. Just like all the exercise and diet in the world will not help them look like you. And that’s okay.

2. ASK YOURSELF WHAT’S REALLY BEING SOLD. Remember, this isn’t really a retail show. Or a show for new items meant to purchase, wear or promote. Most of the underwear being shown is actually quite ridiculous and completely impractical to wear in real life (3D printed wings?). Artistic and fun? Sure. Meant for consumption? Nope. It’s okay to like the show for entertainment purposes. Just know what’s up, cool? What’s being sold isn’t fashion or art first.. And it’s not a secret.

1. Re-read #10. It’s worth repeating. If you like it, watch. If you don’t, don’t. But if you CHOOSE to watch, make sure you know what you’re consuming, how it affects your own sense of self, how it impacts your own body image and how much energy you invest into it. If it doesn’t serve you, don’t engage.

image

If you’re a long time follower, you know I don’t usually post pics of other women’s bodies here. There are no headless booties, non-stop shots of great abs, nor are there fitspo quotes or imagery trying to “moti-shame” you. But I make exceptions for mythbusting images, and this one qualifies.

We simply don’t get to see how much retouching is involved in covers and shoots for magazines often. It’s not enough to talk about photoshopping or use images of celebs as our basis. We need to see the extent visually so we can understand why we should not be striving to look like a magazine cover, or think we’re less than awesome for NOT looking like HER.

Some thoughts on the image above…

1. This lady’s got a great bod, right? Before retouching. Bangin’.
2. That bod isn’t perfect. Nothing is perfect. Still bangin’.
3. The image you see on the left is a magazine’s attempt to ‘perfect’ her body by removing what they consider 'flaws'. A lot goes into it. Decisions go into it.
4. That ‘flawless’ image is a lie. (duh)
5. We see it. Some people buy it, both literally (as in a purchase) and metaphorically (as in accepting it as truth). And even those who ‘KNOW’ it is airbrushed, do not have access to the before pic to know to what extent.
6. The ‘flawless’ image is believed to be attainable and possible by the consumer (us), especially if supported by an article by the model explaining her ‘routine’ to get such a stellar body. Which isn’t a lie probably. Except the body she’s referring to and the one you’re looking at are two different bodies. She might not know that: don’t hate on her.
7. People may or may not follow her tips, waiting for their body to look like hers. Rather, the image of her body that we’re presented. Which again, is a lie.
8. Women feel frustrated, annoyed, de-motivated and defeated in trying everything possible to attain the perfection presented… only to end up as ‘not perfect’. Not as smooth. Not as soft. Not as flawless. So much energy goes into this process, both in trying to attain perfection AND trying to cope with the disappointment in not getting there (imagine what amazing things we could accomplish with all that energy. So much wasted “win”).

It’s so rare to see the before shots of magazine covers, that it’s fair to say it’s impossible for most to understand & gain  awareness of how much they are altered. As evidenced here (and by countless other mythbusting images), it’s a LOT of tweaking. Most are simultaneously subtle and dangerously overt: they have to stay  close to the line of “realism” so that the consumer will buy into the lie (if you’ve ever witnessed photoshopping gone wrong, it can be a brutal PR faux pas). Examine the image above: save her arms, hair and her legs BELOW the knee, every inch of her has been altered, modified, softened, smoothed, slimmed and “perfected”. She still looks like a version of herself, but not at all what she’d look like if she were right in front of you.

It’s easy to say “Don’t compare. Don’t idolize. Don’t get trapped by notions of perfection”. But actually LIVING those things means exposing yourself to the truth more often and limiting your exposure to images that utilize similar techniques. Which.. is all of them.

A good place to start? Start seeing covers like these as lies. Ditch them. All of them. And remind yourself that perfect does NOT exist. Nor is it a GOOD thing.

:)

Body Positive: Transitioning From Fixing “Flaws” To Fixing Your Attitude

Hear this…

Working out for a half hour, 3(ish) days a week, walking a smidge and eating as well as you can without being too diligent might NOT get you to your aesthetic goals, flat abs, a goal weight or the podium/finish line. That’s true. Those things often need more effort for most people, more effort than you may be willing or able to put in. And that’s okay.

But it’s certainly enough to get & keep you relatively healthy, improve your mood, make you feel bad ass, “maybe” lose a little weight, and boost your confidence - if you let it. And it’s more than okay to let yourself think it’s “this is what I can do and its good enough”.

All too often, I hear the same story: "I was doing really well! I was working out 6 days a week, eating only clean food, and I lost so much weight! But then I started feeling un-motivated, and then this happened, and that happened and I just gave up all together". This happens a lot. It’s an “all or nothing” attitude, and it typically leads to burn out, exhaustion, feelings of failure, sabotage, etc. It’s also no fun living that way. And deep down, you know it. Our bodies and brains take steps to slow us down when we’re going extreme for long periods of time, so the story often ends the same way: we stop, give up and give in.

Aren’t you tired of that? That sucks, no?

How about this instead…

Do a little. Do more when you can. Do what you can when you can. Don’t beat yourself up when you can’t. And know that doing your best has value, even when your goals seem far off. (it’s also okay to change those goals, put then on hold, or ditch them).

The person who commits to a few days a week, most weeks (or who finds a way to move a little each day) and eats as well as they can without being too diligent can often keep it up for a LONG ASS TIME. Especially if they focus on finding things they LOVE. When we treat our workouts and diets like punishments, they feel that way. And your body doesn’t like to feel punished.

Happier, healthier people don’t always fit into skinny jeans, workout everyday or eat like health superstars. But they do keep thing relatively consistent, stay flexible, and they don’t beat themselves up. You can always add more when you can, but knowing that you can be flexible and do the minimum too is more likely to help you adopt habits longterm.

Living with “all or nothing” extreme thinking means you’ll have periods where you’re 100% on target and periods where you give up all together. If that’s YOU, try a new approach. You might just find it serves you better long term, even if you don’t hit your aesthetic goals.

It should feel GOOD. Stress, obsession and anxiety are signs SOMETHING is off.

#awesomeboost #youdeserveit #feelgood

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