More often than not I hear, “How can you be a trainer and support the body positivity movement? Isn’t it your industry that fuels body hatred?” This has become… one of my favorite questions about body positivity.
I will admit that a good number of gyms have a “One size fits all” approach to fitness. They push meal plans, body types, and workouts to make every woman look like Barbie and Ken. Leaving no room for genetic body makeup, cultured eating, and intuitive movement. While that may be the standard, I choose to break that mold. You’ll often hear me saying “Workout for how it makes you feel, not for how you think it should make you look” or my mantra of “Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it”.
Keeping your workouts body-positive asks you to listen to your body, when it screams at you to rest, REST. Maybe that’s light movements, yoga, or doing nothing. When your body craves movement, do what feels good to you, dance, run, bike, whatever works best for you.
Body positivity doesn’t preach don’t work out, move your body or take care of your health. It asks that you find movement that you LOVE, which feels good to your body, and excites you to care deeply for this one precious body you have been gifted.
Here are some ways to keep your workouts body positive:
- Express gratitude to your body. We demand a LOT from it. Being physically capable of exercising is a privilege we take for granted daily. As cheesy as it sounds, be grateful to it for allowing you the privilege of movement. Movement is a gift your body gives to you daily.
- Don’t make it about weight, then again, maybe you should! Don’t make weight loss your driving factor for working out. There are so many benefits we cant always see on the outside. (let’s mention the measurable ones like Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Stress Relief, and Bone Density). Look for the weight that matters are you getting stronger? Yes? PERFECT!, Carry-on
- You don’t need to exercise to “Earn your food”. Running to “burn off chocolate cake” creates a distorted relationship between working out and eating. When you take care of your body daily it can handle a piece of cake. You don’t have to earn it, just eat it.
- Be creative. Remember how fun movement was as a kid? Do that again! Hike, dance, bike, walk, run, climb, jump, swim, play basketball, take a new class. TRY SOMETHING NEW!
- Lastly, DO IT FOR YOU!! Don’t do it to look like an Instagram “model” Do it because it makes you feel good, do it because you have the privilege. Don’t compare your journey or body to others. You are uniquely YOU!
- Learn to honor your body with rest and movement, salads and sundaes. Your body will thank you for giving it the best of both worlds