The Naked Truth: I Kind Of Hate The “Love Your Body” Trend

*This post contains my personal progress pictures and real time workout shots. Not to discourage others or to compare one body to another but to share my experiences, thoughts and personal progress. I thought this post would be more “real” with pictures I keep of my own personal journey. I hope you agree.

2016 kicked off a new movement for women and body image…

The: “Love your body” movement was born.

The premise, as I am sure you’re aware of…

…is to love your body right now.

Whether you’re the fittest woman on the the planet or if you have 200 pounds to lose.

Love your body.

No matter what our size is, there is something beautiful in the reflection it gives.

Loving our bodies is about loving ourselves, unconditionally… inside and out. Forget about why your pants are tight or how if you tilt your head down, a double chin forms. We are more than imperfections we see. We are amazing creatures that are strong and capable.

Yes, all of us!

And our bodies DO NOT DEFINE.

It’s a powerful message, right?

One that I love, and respect.

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But I also kind of hate it. A lot.

Hear me out on this one before I receive hate mail from beautiful women all over the world…

The true meaning of the movement is awesome and when taken as it’s meant to be, a perfect motivator to better yourself.

Yet… we’re human and often times we take it for what we want to take it as. Whether it’s out of laziness or “settling”…

And that’s the “Love Your Body” angle that I am not happy with.

The Settling For The Current

nov-15

This flaw in the movement is not with everyone, of course.

But I have witnessed it first hand as a gym owner, a fitness advocate and someone that just reads shit (blog comments are oh so fun sometimes).

It seriously needs to be addressed. Like now.

The problem is that some women are taking the meaning literally.

Love your body how it is RIGHT NOW and ACCEPT it.

This saddens my heart.

50 pounds overweight?

Well… I’ll just love myself 50 pounds overweight and settle. I’ll accept that this is my body and though it’s not healthy, it’s perfect as is because it’s mine. And my body is perfect. This is they way I’m “supposed” to be.

Um, that’s not quite what the love your body movement is about.

And can I quickly address this “supposed to be” argument? I’ve heard it time and time and time again. Who made the rules and pointed at each person announcing:

“This is the way you’re supposed to be! Get over it and accept it!”

No one! You are in charge of that decision.

It’s not about settling. It’s not about letting go. It’s not about being satisfied with where you are.

I don’t remember the quote, but it goes something like, “When you stop striving to be better, you give up on life.”

pullups-with-alex

Yup. I think that’s 173% true.

A life without progress is extremely boring. That pretty much equates to sitting on the couch all day binge watching Netflix and eating a bag of chips.

What is it about?

– It’s about loving yourself enough to want to be better.

– It’s about accepting where you are today, but not where you can be tomorrow.

– It’s about SELF love as opposed to obsessing over the girl next to you on the treadmill. You know the one… she’s thin, doesn’t have a single cellulite dimple and is toned from squatting MAYBE 15 lb dumbbells. Trust me, she’s comparing herself to you and picking out the things she wishes she had.

– It’s about creating your own individual journey with self motivation, goals, and reasons.

Accepting Your Body Today But Not Tomorrow

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I heard a metaphor a few weeks ago in the book, Practicing Mind, that I can not get out of my head.

It’s like a Taylor Swift song, except instead of yelling, “get out of my head”, I’m praying that it stays there…

I’ve shared it with boot campers, friends, in emails, even in a previous post but today I want to elaborate on it a bit more.

Your body is like a flower.

At what stage is a flower perfect?

Ever stopped to think about it?

When it’s a seed, it’s perfect at being a seed. It doesn’t sit under a layer of moist dirt doubting it’s abilities to sprout. It doesn’t say, “how the hell am I going to get out of this mess? I’m so small and the dirt is so heavy.”

No, it just does it’s perfect little thing to become a perfect little sprout. Then it grows taller, stronger and becomes a perfect bud.

From there that bud turns into a beautiful flower. That is in fact, perfect.

youreaflower

Once the flower blooms and spreads it’s pollen, it’s perfect at becoming more dirt for the next little seed.

Every stage of the flower is perfect… and you are too.

If you’re out of shape right now, you’re perfect at being out of shape.

That feeling of being out of shape helps you to push to be in better shape. It’s where you need to be right now to have the drive to be better!

As you get in better shape, you begin to see just what your body is capable of. You experience the exercise momentum and find that you can set even B-I-G-G-E-R goals.

That’s the place you’re supposed to be at that moment.

If you eat crap all the time, that’s okay for today.

Because the feelings of low energy and sugar headaches encourage you to tweak your diet for tomorrow. Knowing what it feels like to live off a poor diet, makes you appreciate a clean one 100x more.

Each step of our path to a better body and better lifestyle is laid out how it’s supposed to be. Each day take one step forward.

If I Accepted My Body

hardworkout

If I accepted my body for the way it is, I would just sit back and do the same workout every single day.

Why improve when I could put minimal work into maintaining what I have now?

If I accepted my body for the way it is, I would have no goals.

I wouldn’t have signed up the Tactical Strength Challenge (holy smokes did I really sign up for this?), I wouldn’t have signed up for 2 50 Ks and I sure as heck wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard as I did yesterday with the soreness I am feeling today.

And I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to encourage other women to strive to be a better version of themselves.

I wouldn’t be able to do my job. Live out my passions. Live my fitness.

That’s boring and shitty.

I will never accept myself the way I am today.

I APPRECIATE who I am but know that tomorrow is a new me and a new opportunity to be BETTER.

How To Love Your Body

egg-nutrietion

Let’s end on this…

You can love your body by treating it the best you can.

You only get one so make it last.

Love your body so much that you take it for workouts.

Love your body so much that you fill it with foods that enrich it and make it feel better. If you’re curious the egg bowl above is the Bomb.com! Brussel sprouts, teeny tiny potatoes, onions, 2 eggs and some hot sauce!

Love your body so much that you don’t settle for where you are right now.

Love your body so much that you show it respect, rest and love.

Why is it that we wouldn’t think twice about our dogs… we walk them, we give them special foods and yank away food they get ahold of that we think are bad for them?

take-care-zoe

Yet, when it comes to our own bodies we have such a hard time treating it love and care.

And that brings me to the final thought and magical word.

CARE.

Loving your body means you care for it.

Think about it.

What is something that you’re striving for right now?

I just finished week 4 of training for my first kettlebell/weight lifting competition! I’m striving to do 20 pull-ups, 120 snatches (5 minutes) and a 275-lb deadlift!

Like this post?

Feel free to catch up with my other “Naked Truth” Post!

But before clicking around, make sure to share with your friends!

Naked Truth: Obsessive Fear Of Weight Gain During Injury

Naked Truth: What It Feels Like To Be The Gainer In The Relationship

Naked Truth: Is Fitspiration Doing More Harm Than Good?

Naked Truth: Why Is Happiness Embarrassing?

Naked Truth: 5 Steps For Handling Disappointment

Naked Truth: What It Feels Like To Be Called “Real” All The Time

Comments:

  • Jen

    Yes. Agreed. Praise hands emoji!!

    • Haha, thanks lady! Have a wonderful weekend. I’ve been loving your social media shares!

  • Amen! I could not agree more!

  • Ok, so I have to say that you look awesome! You have definitely built some bad ass muscle, and it shows. Also, I totally agree with you. I am all for women not comparing themselves, their bodies and their progress to other women, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not healthy to be overweight. I feel like there’s FINALLY been this shift in fitness, particularly for women, where it’s stopped being about purely losing weight and getting skinny/shrinking, and more emphasis on getting STRONGER and FITTER and HEALTHIER. Being overweight and having a shitty diet is unhealthy, and while aesthetically that might be ok to some people, I don’t think it’s ok to be ok with treating your body like a garbage can.

    That’s my $.02. Loved this post, and once again, you look awesome and BADASS!

    • Thanks Becks! Yes, comparison just takes us down a hole that is never beneficial. I agree 100% with everything! And please always feel free to drop your $.02, love it! Have a great weekend!

  • as always, i love your honesty. keepin it real

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  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    I don’t think loving your body is about settling for being unhealthy and unhappy. It’s important to remember that not everyone is interested in constantly improving their physical form- there are so many other lifestyles and purposes for a person’s life. I love exercising because it’s fun and I do like improving my fitness, but not everyone feels that way and if they’re healthy then why would need to? I think most people see it as removing shame if you don’t live up to a standard of “perfection,” whatever that may be to someone.

    • I agree 100%, however in my profession I have seen and read of women settling and embracing the “this is me”. I don’t think they want to be unhappy, but I think they do want an excuse to justify their unhealthiness. You’re right, not everyone wants to improve their bodies, again 100% agree… however that’s a side affect. Doing the same workout every single day will not give you the same results for your body, mind or health. Walking 3 miles may have caused a great energy high at one time, caused happy endorphins to pass through the body, but doing over and over again the body grows accustomed and those benefits aren’t there any longer. It takes doing a bit more, working a bit harder. I agree with you with everything, this isn’t for the people that are healthy and happy… this is in regards those I see wanting a miracle and justing excuses. It’s sad and it happens a lot. You’re an inspiration to so many and we can only hope that we motivate others to live a healthy, long, honest life 🙂

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  • Ruth Deaton

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I had not thought of this angle on this fit trend. Hopefully readers of this post and women who admire this fit trend will see your optimism and encouragement. This perspective could be applied towards many aspects of one’s life and I hope that others use this as encouragement to achieve any goals!

  • Oh boy, this needed to be said. Thank you! It’s so sad to see unhealthy women celebrating their unhealthy bodies and habits. Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you have to love your unhealthy body. In fact, I’d say that if you allow yourself to settle on being unhealthy, that isn’t loving yourself at all.

  • FABULOUS post – I wish more people would be this honest.

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  • Lyndsay

    I can not express to you how much I love this article. If you love something you take care of it. Your kids, husband, dog, house, body. All of these things when you love them you do whats best for them. Loving your body is not settling, its wanting it to be the best it can be. Everyone has different goals. Not everyone wants to be a fitness model, including me. That is great! Health however should be important!

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  • sarsarmas

    I think that this applies if you’re a gym owner and a fitness advocate like you are. However, I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist- I work in a UK hospital. For me accepting and loving my body as it is certainly doesn’t involve sitting at home and watching netflix! I don’t do workouts or consciously control what I eat but I walk to work and naturally maintain a healthy weight, partly because I do accept my body as it is and am not really thinking about it! I don’t think that constantly striving for a different body is a particularly useful way to spend time as this article suggests.

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