there it is everyone.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
Tis the season for food guilt, health shaming and misinformation memes! Here’s a few tips to deal with the influx of “1 serving of mashed potatoes = 30 minutes of running, 1 piece of pie = 300 burpees” crap you’re seeing today (or will see this weekend).
1. Let it sink in: these memes are total bullshizz, based on averages and guesstimates that are unlikely to represent you. Unless you’re hooked up to a machine, NO ONE can tell you how many calories you’re burning.
2. They promote a potentially dangerous and disordered way to think about food and exercise (very similar to the calculation process observed in those who suffer from eating disorders). A system of checks and balances might work in terms of overall consumption over a period of time, but not for individual choices and one-off days.
3. They are over-simplified and don’t tell the whole story: your metabolism increases when you overeat meaning you’re burning more calories for awhile (the body takes care of itself amazingly). You also burn calories through daily activity: more so than just your workouts. In fact, most of us burn far more calories OUT of the gym than in. (did you know your brains use approx 20-25% of your caloric intake a day?)
Calories in and calories out is a tricky matter and not as simple as the “experts” make it out to be.
4. Unless you’re eating 10,000+ calories in one sitting (AND continue to do so for days on end), you’re unlikely to gain any “real” weight this weekend. The bloat, poop and water will take care of itself in a day or so, and if you go back to your normal habits (NOTE: YOUR EVERY DAY NORMAL HABITS. No extremes), any weight gain will take care of itself too. Believe it or not, a few days “over” on the scale won’t kill you, break you, or even be noticeable to ANYONE but you.
Weight gain AND weight loss is about consistently engaging in activities that promote either over time. It NEVER boils down to one meal, one overeating session or one holiday. Thinking this way can throw an otherwise AWESOME program WAY off track: two extremes do not equal balance.
And if you DO end up gaining an additional 1-3lbs due to Thanksgiving business, good times and yum yums? SO THE EFF WHAT, lol. It’s not a big deal, EVEN if you’re on a weight loss mission. Just go back to what you were doing that feels good and supports your goals. Bam: you’ll be right back where you were. And loving yourself - not hating yourself - along the way can be mega beneficial to your overall success.
But stressing about it? Going extreme? Getting frustrated? Overthinking it? ALL things that zap the energy you need to get back to doing YOU. And the more you allow yourself to fester in these emotions & thoughts, the less likely you are to get back “on track”.
So ditch the infographics, misinformation, food shaming and guilt promoting pics and quotes. They don’t serve you, don’t help you in the long run and aren’t necessary. Plus, as stated, total bullshizz.
Bonus? All those extra treats mean hella full glycogen stores. Use them to power your workouts, have more fun and enjoy life like the bad ass you are.
NO GUILT. NO SHAME. NO JUDGEMENT. These things are not required to get where you want to go, nor do they cater to your greatness.
And you are GREAT.
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Thinking about things differently…
Let’s say you have a client who desperately wants to be lean but seems unable/unwilling to do everything possible to get to their goal.
A popular way to deal with this: blame the client. Point out their lack of willpower. Get frustrated with them. Remind them that they can do it, but that they’re getting in their own way. Provide them with mantras to motivate them. Etc.
This works for some people.
An alternative approach, however, could be slowly starting to get to the bottom of their leanness goals. It could be reminding them that there’s more to life than body fat percentage. It could be focusing more heavily on fitness goals and less on aesthetics. It could be asking them to look at the life they WANT to live rather than the life they HAVE to live to look a certain way. It could be focusing on self-esteem boosting and confidence building in the body they’re in. And more.
Weight loss obsession and distorted body ideals absolutely affect clients negatively. Sometimes the solution to “helping” them is less about getting them closer to aesthetic perfection and more about moving towards bad-assery and acceptance. Working what they got.
Weigh in! Trainers and clients: anything you can recommend that has worked for you to promote body peace and fitness over aesthetics?