One of the best things about writing for Polkadotsi is that I spend a LOT of time reflecting on my own body love journey, and what I consider to be body positive and what is just bulldust body shaming.
I also spend a lot of my day speaking to women about how they feel about their diet and exercise, some of us workout because we love our bodies, and others workout because we want to love our body.
There is a massive distinction right there! Putting our bodies into future tense, as something that we cannot love until it fulfills a certain criteria.
While I think that the physical side of working out is incredibly important, healthy, and wonderful - the mental game is equally important, which prompts me to examine what is and isn't body positive about working out.
Is Your Motivation Sabotaging You?
I love motivational Pinterest boards, I utterly, lavishly adore them. However I am completely picky about what motivates me, and I've got to say I take major issue with Fitspo.
There are SO many boards out there telling us to "run til we don't jiggle" or "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" and that we are one detox away from a flat belly.
Make sure that your motivation is coming from a healthy place of love, not a place that shames you into performance.
Do You Fuel Your Body Or Punish It?
Unless you are trapped in a dystopian novel and have been captured, forced into slavery and are made to perform for the entertainment of the ruthless ruling class, chances are you don't have to earn your meals.
If you fancy a piece of chocolate, you certainly don't need to punish your body for eating it. The same goes for the burger, potatos, and salad....
Food is fuel and it helps your rockin' bod perform not only the day to day stuff, but the crazy things you inflict on it when you workout!
Eat: all things in moderation, mostly plants, and without fear or shame.
Do You Push Too Far Past Your Limits?
Challenging yourself to achieve something you never thought you could achieve is one thing. Pushing through a bit of discomfort and waddling with DOMS is alright.
Pushing through a niggling pain that turns into an injury is just well, I'm sorry, that's NOT healthy.
You need to keep this body for an entire lifetime. And if you're blessed to make it into old age and I certainly hope you are, wouldn't it be magnificent if you could enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle then?
Listen to your body when the wheels are threatening to fall off. Take heed of the niggles, and respect them.
Are You Doing The Time Warp?
Do you constantly look at photos of yourself in your youth and pine for the slimmer, younger, smoother version of yourself? OR do you picture a body in the future when you have checked off all of your fitness achievements?
I hate to break it to you, but neither of those people even exist.... All you have is right now, and right now is a gift.
Cherish that amazing, sparkly gift.