I’ve partnered with my friends from New Balance Union Park (right here in Utah) to help spread the “Shop Local” initiative, which means to support local stores and shops in your own backyard. Personally, I don’t care for buying clothes and shoes online because I rarely get the correct sizes without trying things on. This usually ends with me heading back to the post office to send items back and it’s kind of a big hassle… I loved my experience shopping at the New Balance Store at Union Park because I felt like VIP status as I had a personal helper pulling styles and sizes for me. I also learned about and was tested for the best footwear style for my foot shape and weight distribution, umm GAME CHANGER! Make sure to check out their store, I promise you’ll love your experience and they’ll treat you like gold!
In addition to sharing this darling ensemble which can all be found in their store (these shoes are my FAVORITE right now!), I wanted to share a few of my thoughts and struggles with being body positive. I would have to say that working on being body positive has been my biggest challenge and triumph of my fitness journey so far. It’s a daily practice that I have to continually work on and I can tell that I am more successful at hitting my goals when I am keeping my mind in check. Today I wanted to share a few of my personal thoughts and reminders on the matter.
Feeling good about yourself can improve your drive to be better, continue fighting for yourself and pursuing your goals.
After losing over 80 pounds, you’d think that I would have no room for negative body image… but the truth is I still have to work at being body positive ALL. THE. TIME. Honestly, if you have (or really struggle with) negative body image before you lose weight, you’ll probably struggle with it after you lose weight too. As someone who’s constantly working on mastering my thoughts and staying body positive, I PROMISE you that the positive self-talk and self-love is as much of the journey as losing the weight will ever be.
1. Don’t Compare.
Comparison is the thief of joy. We live in a day and age where it’s way too easy to compare yourself to photos of other that may or may not be cropped, filtered, photoshopped and altered. It’s coming at us all the time and it can really distort the truth of what is real and truly healthy. The truth is “healthy” looks different on every body. This is your reminder that going with how you feel is more important that what the number on your jeans or scale says. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, not even yourself! Breath, live, love and accept yourself now! And for goodness sake, learn to take a compliment gracefully by saying a simple “thank you” afterwards. I know, easier said than done… but practice and you’ll get better and better every day.
2. Learn to Speak Kind Words.
Speaking kindly to and about others is important, definitely do that. I’m talking about positive self talk! Catch yourself saying mean things about yourself and STOP DOING THAT! Stop pointing out the things that you don’t like, it’s negative, destructive and it could be keeping you from hitting your fitness goals. I used to be so mean to myself, until I heard someone say “You would have zero friends if you talked to them the way you talked to yourself.” and you know what?! They were so right! (I still catch myself slipping up, but I’m so much better at cutting the negative mind chatter sooner). Everytime you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative, say three things you like about yourself. The mind is powerful and wants to belive what you tell it, so tell it good things!
3. Exercise to Feel Better.
Yes, working out can make you look good… but make sure you’re working out to feel good. There are so many benefits to regular exercise and physical activity that can help reduce anxiety, depression (my main reasons) and a lot of other things too. Excuses for not working out will only continue a victim mentality and the only one who suffers is you. Make time to move and set a time that you’ll be able to commit to regularly. Another trick is to find an activity you love doing and hate missing, mine would be boxing (obviously). Nothing feels better that hitting a heavy bag, dripping so much sweat that my lashes pop off (#thatstriplashlife) and feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes from doing a really hard work out!
4. Your Body is Amazing NOW.
In high school I used to tear out Victoria’s Secret pages to hang on my bathroom mirror because I dreampt of being skinny and boney. Back then, I thought that look was so attractive. Which is quite hilarious now looking back, as I have really fallen in love with my natural hourglass shape (thank you Kim Kardashian). But isn’t that the whole point? In another ten years the style will change and everyone will obsess with a different body shape. The body you were given is the only one you have. Love it and cherish it like you do your kids (I mean, I would NEVER say any one of the negative things I’ve said about myself to my daughter), use that feeling as your gauge. If you’re a live, your body has been through a lot, doen’t it deserve a little credit and love? That was a rehtorical question. Yes, of course it does!
5. Release the Negative Narrative.
Some people are amazing at releasing the negative and are able to let go of things in their lives easily and move forward. If that is you, bravo! I am not that way and really work at this skill. I over analyze EVERYTHING (things that have been said, looks given, comments from my past, negative self-talk and comparison. The list could go on and on) and it used to get the best of me. Luckily I have an amazing therapist now who I’ve been lucky enough to work with to help sort out my thoughts and trouble shoot the narrative allowing me taking control of what I’m able to do with that information. P.S. ALL feedback, opinions or mean things said or given to you are just information. I’m learning to choose how I filter and If you feel like you can’t move forward, seek out some help. Whether it’s the shoulder of a family member, a friend or a therapist, don’t allow anyone or any comments to keep you from going where you want and need to go!