Yesterday, I wrote a blog about what we say yes to. I spoke about the way our lives are a reflection of our innermost beliefs and desires about who we are and what we ultimately want. It was big picture, wordy, thought rambling stuff so you may or may not have made it past the first few paragraphs.
Today, I want to break down using the medium to which I am accustomed (health and fitness) just what it is that you actually want to say yes to. Almost entirely everyone has a body that demands constant attention. I don’t care who you are or what you do, I’d put good money on the fact you need a body to do it with. Regardless of that fact, our bodies are for the most part a mess.
In a culture with more food, education, and opportunity than ever, how is it possible that most people who come to me as a trainer in person or online, or to our gym 148 Wellness, and have so little connection with what it takes to subdue the body into a reasonably maintained vessel?
I’m not going to blame culture here… there have always been snake oil salesmen and lies in the media. None of that is going to change. Instagram bunnies, diet culture, and “As seen on TV” devices are going to keep coming. It’s not personal, they need to make a living too, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be at your expense. The world isn’t going to spin differently to accommodate your particular weakness, but it also won’t stop you from learning to get stronger…so, that seems like a fair enough arrangement.
Allow me to list a few possible reasons people continue to struggle with their own body: (This isn’t exhaustive…I’ll probably come up with more)
-They haven’t spent time studying their own life
– They haven’t taken ownership of the current state of their body.
-They intentionally stay helpless by focusing on impossible body images or dieting technique.
-They associate pain, discomfort, or even change with fear, punishment, and failure.
-They struggle with control, self-regulation, and the concept of failure.
-They have become accustomed to instant gratification, and find it difficult to be grateful for what to them seems like a burden.
Does any of that sound familiar? Is it possible you have camped out in any of these particular head places?
I just turned 40. The first time I started hating my body, I was around 8 years old when a babysitter said my thighs touched too much…yep, I even had thick thighs at 8…what a blessing. I was bullied in middle school for being ugly, dumb, and fat. I developed a really fun case of bulimia in my 20s when a boyfriend introduced me to how genuinely inadequate I was…and then decided he was gay…I found not being a man yet another impossible standard to live up to. On and on it goes. So I’m not condemning anyone when I list out all of the potential pockets of their dysfunction, I’m simply listing my life experience mingled with my particular profession.
I tend to be long winded. So this is the first in a series of teasing out just what it is you have agreed to in this life. If anything in the above list resonates with you, pay attention to that. Stop what you are doing and think, really think…without a phone…about what it is you want for your health.
If I can walk up to almost any man or woman in America right now and get a full 20 minute dissertation about the ways they struggle with the body they have been in possession of and directly controlling since birth…maybe simply containing the discussion to “health and fitness” isn’t working. It may be time to look at yourself as a whole lifetime of decisions, hurts, reactions, desires, and compromises. It may be time to address your current body with a discerning eye on the past, and hope for its future.