"Baby You Should Go & Love Yourself!" Why Self Love is so Important To Your Fitness Journey
Wait, what? A personal trainer and coach saying that killing it in the gym should not be our first fitness priority? Yup, that’s right. We all know that healthy eating and staying active is key to a healthy life. However, when setting our fitness and weight-related goals, are we taking steps to ensure that we are guarding our hearts and minds?
As a trainer, specifically a women’s fitness specialist, it breaks my heart to hear my clients say things indicating a lack of self-love. All throughout our lives, we pick up various ideas about we how are supposed to look. As we collect impressions through social media, television, and magazines, we start to piece together what beautiful means. We read through a sports magazine and begin to play the comparison game. Thoughts like “wow, she has a great physique. I wonder how I can get that!” or “oh my gosh, my smile will never be like that.”
This is ALL NORMAL. Prior to starting a fitness regimen, it is common to list out external changes that you are looking to achieve. you could be trying to tone up, achieve that six pack or build up those arms. Now, don’t get me wrong. - Setting such goals is not the problem. There are so many other factors to consider. When setting goals, what is your mindset? Do you affirm for yourself that you are beautiful? Do you love your body? Most importantly, do you love yourself?
As someone who dealt with body dysmorphic disorder and orthorexia for years, I struggled with these thoughts constantly. Orthorexia is the term for a condition that includes symptoms of obsessive behavior in pursuit of a healthy diet. Body dysmorphia a psychological disorder in which one picks up imaginary thoughts of their appearance. Looking back on my journey, I know exactly what the root of my problem was: I hated me. I couldn’t see anything beautiful about myself, and that self-loathing became toxic. After years of spiritual training to get myself to a healthier place, I was able to fully grasp that I was loved and born to be my RAW SELF, not the imaginary version of Pegah I had built up in my mind.
It is so important for each of us to know that we are beautiful and unique. We were each specifically HANDCRAFTED. From the shape of our noses and the color of our skin to our birthmarks and sound of our voices. Your true beauty comes from within. If you do not believe this about yourself, it is more difficult to accept who you are on the outside, no matter how hard you go in the gym. The way you think about your body has a huge effect on the actions you take. Finding total peace with your body is not easy, but it is ACHIEVABLE. I hope that the advice below is helpful and encouraging!
TIPS ON ACHIEVING SELF-LOVE:
Speak KINDLY to yourself. What you say and think about yourself is important. Speak love to yourself. If that means doing it alone in the mirror, do it! I’ve also written quotes on my mirror as small reminders.
Say GOODBYE to comparisons. Each body is different. Each journey is different. As they say, “comparison kills”. Let’s be real. Our lives will not match up 100% to each other.
Find an accountability buddy. Your trainer is an awesome go-to, but surrounding yourself with friends that can hold you accountable is even better. I have found that using social media channels in a positive light has been so fruitful in this area. I have connected with many BoPo (body positivity) individuals via Instagram. Maybe this means creating a separate, self-love and fitness account, blogging about your experiences or joining a specific facebook group.
Set non-fitness goals that will provide spiritual benefits. For example: this week I will show as much love to my co-worker as possible or this month. I will attend a charity event and help those in need.
RELAX. Get a massage, get your nails done, watch a movie. Self-care is crucial. (“HAIR DONE, NAILS DONE, EVERYTHING DID!” RIGHT?)
Friends, if you do not express love to yourself and how you are in the present, you will have a hard time achieving fitness goals in the future. We only have total control over our own bodies and minds. As much as we make it a priority to go for that run or to meal prep for the full week, we need to also be prioritizing self-love and activities that will provide inner peace and growth. By adopting this frame of mind, we can achieve more than we thought possible, and that is such a BLESSING. Beauties, I hope you know that you are remarkable and a peculiar treasure. You were made to be YOU, so stay strong. You are wonderful and IMPERFECT PERFECT.