The Influence of Society & the Media
“Get six pack abs by doing these exercises…”
“Bikini body in 3 weeks…”
“Build those biceps…”
Observing various magazine covers in the supermarket checkout line, it’s apparent that these headlines bombard me on a regular basis. On the covers, I always see amazing, smiling, “healthy” models looking as thought life is perfect. It’s easy to think, if I don’t look like them, well I must be doing something wrong.
No wonder there is so much body shaming and body dysmorphia in our country! Feeling less than, or like a failure in your health can be downright depressing.
Does the shape of our body define our health?
Should we be unhappy and feel less worthy because we don’t have the body of a fitness model?
Absolutely not! I’m not saying go out, eat a plate of French fries, wash it down with a sugary soda and gain lots of weight. That’s not defining “good health” either. But often we’re faced with body images of what “good health” looks like, which in turn makes “healthy” seem daunting and unattainable.
Finding Positivity in a World Filled with Critics
Society and the media have majorly impacted the blurred lines of what true health means.
Instead of saying slogans like “how I can get a flat tummy in 10 days,” tell me what foods are great for lowering my cholesterol (hello avocados!). How will exercise help me maintain a healthy heart? This is where a personal trainer can help implement strategies specific to your body to keep it working at its best. We’ve only got one body so let’s make the most of it!
Once, I worked out with a trainer who I found to be truly inspirational. She would train us hard, but was not one to say, “Work for those six pack abs!” What she did say was far more relevant, “You are so lucky that your bodies work so you can exercise! You are truly blessed, and don’t ever take your working body for granted. (Now drop and give me 10 more!)” Her approach and coaching stuck with me. She was absolutely right. She was all about the privilege of having good health and maintaining it, rather than focusing on the cosmetic aspects of a fit body. I think many of us forget how important having a healthy body is in comparison to having a bit of back fat.
Being Appreciative of Our Efforts
We are our own worst critics but it shouldn’t be that way! It’s very easy to get caught up the superficial aspects of our appearance, rather then focus on what actually brings good health.
I’m no exception to this! I’ve always been self conscious about my arms because I felt they were just too big and unattractive. I even vented my dissatisfaction about them to a friend’s father, and he squeezed my arm and said, “You just need to work out more.” Oh boy– I was working out 5 days a week! Talk about soul destroying! Shortly after that episode, I made peace with the fact that while I was in great shape. I was also genetically predisposed to gaining weight on my arms (among other spots!). My cholesterol was good, my blood pressure was fantastic, and my doctor could not be more pleased with how well I was taking charge of my health. I needed to stop focusing on what couldn’t be controlled and be thankful for what could.
We need to remember that a healthy body isn’t necessarily how you look on the outside (have you heard of skinny fat?), our mindset and the choices we make to fuel our bodies are what make the biggest impact towards our health and well being.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
One of my New Year’s Resolutions every year is to not sweat the small stuff. What’s the point, really? Instead of complaining, I now try to focus on the positive. I like to remind my clients of all the positives they possess. You hate your legs? Okay but don’t get down over it. The good news is you have no knees issues – lucky you! I have some great leg exercises that will help tone them.
Sweat at the Gym with a Personal Trainer
Personal Trainers will work with their clients to provide the best workouts, and workarounds, for what might seem like a deal breaker to the client. We’ll help you to stop sweating the small stuff and provide you with a sweat to bring on the good stuff: being healthy!
Working out and eating nutritiously may not be something we look forward to all the time, but rarely do we ever say, “darn, I wish I hadn’t exercised today!” Typically, it’s the alternative, the times we’ve skipped a workout and said, “ I should have gone to the gym!”
I train a variety of different clients with different needs and goals. But one thing that all my clients share is ambition to make the most of the body they have been given, and a desire for better health.
That doesn’t necessarily mean turning the clock back 10 years (although a better physique is always a great and welcomed side effect!). The pursuit of optimal health internally, where your body is capable to perform efficiently and move at its optimal level, even with injury or genetic predispositions in the mix, is a common goal.
As you pursue better health, keep this quote in mind: “Don’t let the scale define you. Be active, be healthy, be happy.”
Take Control of Your Health
Call Pam (630-653-8152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule your complimentary, no obligation fitness consultation. Realize your fitness goals and enjoy being strong, fit and healthy!
To learn more how our experts can help you be strong, please visit our website: Strength Training
Strand Fitness is a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs.