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The other day I was running with a friend who mentioned she feels badly about herself because she is "really out of shape." My immediate thought was how ironic this was because we were running at a fast pace. Clearly, she is in great shape! However, our conversation got me thinking about the way we talk to ourselves when we feel like we aren’t living up to our own expectations.
Let’s use my recent experience packing on a few extra unwanted pounds as an example.
In most people's eyes, I am a fit and healthy marathoning mama. When I say out loud that I "feel a little fluffy" many well-meaning people are quick to tell me I am crazy.
But here’s the thing. I AM a little fluffy right now! And I think it’s okay to say that out loud...as long as I’m operating from a place of self-love when I do so.
Hear me out.
I am a speedy, in-shape athlete by most people’s standards. But I don’t live by other people’s standards. I live by own. So, in my eyes, by my personal standards, I am a little “fluffy.” In my friend’s eyes she is “out of shape.”
We all have individualized expectations we set for ourselves. We have goals we are striving to achieve and an overall vision for the way we want to live.
We're not wrong to admit when we're not in a place that we’d like to be. In fact, it’s a very healthy thing to do. However, it’s how we talk to ourselves when we are in such places and what we do about it that matters.
That’s where the difference lies. We can choose to be proactive and productive instead of falling into a rut or being hurtful to ourselves with negative self-talk.
Can you relate? Are you also feeling a little fluffy or out of shape? Here’s what we can do about it.
Shift the Self-Talk, Sister
1. We can ask ourselves where we want to be and why we want to be there.
Using my example, I know I feel empowered when I see a little more definition in my muscles. I work hard to keep those bad boys around and I enjoy outwardly representing my dedication to health-centered living.
When I am fueling my body with good nutrition, I feel like I am living in alignment with my values and beliefs as an athlete, public health professional, strength coach, and physiologist. I am better for myself and others when I am “being the change I want to see in the world.”
2. We can be real with ourselves and share where we currently are.
Some Things I Did: I recently raced a marathon (hello inflammation!). I optimized performance by adding in some extra carbs (hello water retention!). I combined this with a vacation in a place that I love, where I enjoyed a fabulous array of foods outside of my usual clean eating and strategic nutrient timing practices.
The Result: The above, combined with a few of my recent health issues, resulted in my clothes fitting not-so-great, a 5-pound jump on the scale, and my body feeling overall inflamed and out of whack.
Saying this out loud doesn’t mean I hate myself, it doesn’t even mean I’m being hard on myself (see why in step 3!).
3. We can assign a proactive and self-loving meaning to our situation.
Recognizing that feeling puffy and uncomfortable in my clothes is not a place that brings me joy, I know it may make me feel a little off some days.
HOWEVER, when I start to go down the path of being mean to myself because I am not in a comfortable place, I can instead choose to focus on the fact that being fluffy at times is also part of my journey. This fluff is joy-filled fluff and represents many aspects of living in my purpose!
My "fluff" represents an excellent marathon performance and good times spent with my husband and friends. It represents enjoying different foods in one of my favorite places in the world.
It does not mean I am worth less. It does not mean I am less of an athlete.
I can certainly put some steps into place to address my fluff, but I also choose to love it along the way.
4. We can take action.
I choose to dedicate some time in the next few weeks to revamping my athlete vibes.
When I show up to the starting line (and the swimming pool) in the next few months I want to feel like I outwardly represent all my hard work and dedication to my health and performance-centered lifestyle.
It’s go time to dial it in the nutrition and be intentional with my training. It won’t always be easy, but by starting from a place of honesty and self-love, I know I am set up for success.
Bottom-line: Insist on loving yourself - Every. Damn. Day.
If you feel a little fluffy or out of shape, what meaning are you assigning to it? Maybe you recently brought a beautiful new life into this world. Maybe you just had the time of your life on a dream vacation. Or, maybe you have a few years worth of enjoying life represented in a few extra pounds you'd now like to lose.
Whatever lead you up to this moment, embrace it - the good and bad. You are perfectly capable of taking action if you are not in a place you'd like to be. You may not have your ideal fat loss or training plan yet in place, but I’ll tell ya one thing - getting your mindset right is the first step in producing your desired outcomes.
Start small. Get on track. Deliver results.
You got this!
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