Last week, I watched a beautiful video about women and their body image, Body Image Movement. It was quite sad to hear the amount of negative views some women have towards their bodies. The movement to change these views that women have, is charged by Taryn Brumfitt, an inspirational mother of three who wants women everywhere to love their bodies!
Today, I read an article from Huff Post Parents which also spoke about women and their feelings towards their bodies. The author, Lisa Sadikman, focused on accepting your post-baby body. Again, it’s a feel-good piece trying to encourage women to give themselves a break and accept the many changes we go through.
Then, because I am a fitness instructor, I started seeing all of these health/fitness magazine covers in my FB feed! The only two that I saw that had positive writing and images on the cover were, O, The Oprah Magazine and Natural Health Magazine. Everything else spouted to get fit, lose belly fat, tone now, lose inches, swim suit season is coming so….
As a fitness instructor, I’ve seen many moms struggle with their post-baby changes. Obviously we struggle with these body changes because of ego, but mostly societal views and expectations. Being a mom of two, I most certainly have had my ill thoughts about my extra tummy skin and stretch marks. However, I found that when I teach and focus on strength, fitness for fun, nutrition for health, and happiness, my clients and myself included, seem to also take on those aspects and challenges of class and life. I actually don’t remember the last time I’ve heard anyone say anything negative about their body in class. The smiles, the life in their faces, and the strength in their movements scream “I FEEL AWESOME!” They may come tired from waking up so often during the night, but they leave definitely enlivened by the exercise and mood of the group.
When I am around moms from my son’s school, I do get asked questions about core exercises, losing weight, getting toned, and everything else about looking better. I understand it, because I was there, but over time I’ve come to figure out that it’s not what I see or want to see, it’s all about the way I feel. If I feel good, I look good. If I feel good, I will have a ton of energy. If I feel good, I will be happy. If I feel good, the possibilities are endless.
So what makes us feel good? There are a gazillion diets, trends, tools, and styles out there and what it really comes down to is the individual. What do you want? My motivation has always been that I want to live a healthy life, one free of disease. I’ve had this thought since I was fairly young. My mom had breast cancer at the age of 39, and ever since then we both have taken our health very seriously. I do not want cancer. I may get it, but I am going to do everything I possibly can to prevent it. This includes exercise, meditation (which I get from running), and eating well. My husband and I have recently been playing with a plant-based lifestyle, for the sake of feeling good and to ward off disease. For us, it’s been working and we’ve been feeling pretty terrific. We also run six-seven days a week, and challenge the neuromuscular system, muscular system, and heart regularly.
I’m definitely the woman who wants to fight the obesity epidemic. I want to inspire families to be healthy together. I see the value in the proverbial saying, “You are what you eat!” For so many reasons, I see the value in limiting screen time. I see the value in moving our bodies throughout the day. For me, fitness and good health has no attachment to superficiality. It’s about what I want from my body when my husband and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. It’s about being free of disease and illness so I can be there for my kids and their kids (if they choose to have them).
The key is to find a balance that works for you. Your being knows when it feels good. If your hormones are out of whack, you know something is not right. If you are constantly tired, you know something may have to change. Only you know you and only you can make the changes that will fuel you to better health and to feeling good.
Share your stories about what you do for your body to feel good. Share tips, recipes, whatever it may be.
As always, Spread the Goodness!