Mirror, Mirror On The Wall?

I believe we should all strive to obtain a healthy and active lifestyle. Some will never make it a high priority, but others end up falling in love with fitness and develop a desire to change their physique and go after amazing new performance goals. But no matter our level of commitment to a healthy diet, or the local gym, the majority of us still are left with a negative body image.

Why, after all our hard work do we still see ourselves in such a negative light? I am pretty sure this blog won’t drastically improve your body image over night, but I hope I can provide a few ideas that will improve the way you see yourself.

The National Eating Disorder Association states 8 out of every 10 women are not at all happy with their reflection in the mirror. As a personal trainer and working in the modeling field, it’s all too common. I get asked all the time, “how do I get rid of this!” (while grabbing the particular area) You know they’ve asked several other people that exact question; yet all the while hoping I’ll give them this epiphany that will change their circumstance or perception of that problem area.

These questions lead me to one of my life missions. There is this mentor side of me that somehow draws close to the people that need to be lifted up and encouraged. Clients think they’ll be coming to me for just weight loss or stength gains, but it’s changing their attitude, mental state, and the support they recieve that they don’t expect. I wish I could record some of the first conversations I have with Clients, “I’ll do anything you tell me or I’ll never be able to do this”. The biggest problem I see, they have no idea how to obtain a positive body image or sometimes even a positive attitude. I am here to give them hope, a new beginning.

I am by no means exempt of this phenomenon, it happens to me too! I get caught up in the next goal, competition, or photoshoot, and I get that negative tunnel vision. All I see are the flaws and the areas in which I have fallen short. So we have identified the problem that plagues most of us, now what do we do about it?

I’ve come to the conclusion that most people simply need to just take their eyes off themselves or the scale. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, workouts, and your weight to do something to help others. Usually reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and you make a positive change in the world at the same time.

Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and recognize the importance of accepting yourself just as you are. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you’ll “never” reach your goal. It is a journey, and it is a marathon not a sprint. So, find a way to enjoy the process and make it a healthy lifestyle. Before you know it, you will be amazed at your hard work and dedication the next time you look in a mirror.

Lastly, and Ladies this is especially important for you, become critical when viewing social and media messages. Please ignore images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Support companies and social messages that represent a positive self image and offer encouragement.

Take control of your destiny. Believe in yourself. Ignore those who try to discourage you. Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits. Don’t give up and don’t give in. — Wanda Carter