The Naked Truth: When Is Our Body Finally Good Enough?
It’s time for another Naked Truth! If you’re new here, this is a series where I share all, open my heart up and bare all. Hopefully you can relate to these and enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy (though sometimes there is a fear) writing them.
Previous Naked Truths:
- My Body 10 Pounds Heavier
- The Struggle Between Fitness & Starting A Family
- Why Is Happiness Embarrassing?
Now for today…
Last week one of my clients/friends approached me with a personal topic that she felt deserved a blog post. I couldn’t agree more.
Basically, she said that when she first started boot camp she had a goal of losing “x” amount of weight. When she accomplished that goal, she felt awesome for a while, prideful even. But then after some time, the newness wore off and she began criticizing her new body. It wasn’t good enough, it needed to be better, tighter, stronger. She no longer saw the accomplishments, only the flaws.
So again she worked hard and the results showed. Yay, right?
But then the same thing happened. The newness wore off, a feeling of disgust and dissatisfaction set in and before long she was pushing for even better.
-I purposely used this picture to keep her identity secret –
She shared this with me because she:
- Wanted to know if I ever felt the same
- Thought that lots of other women have been in the same place
Yes and Yes!
The Up Side Of Wanting More
Of course, it’s a a good thing to want more out of yourself and to improve.
It’s a GREAT thing to set goals and push forward. When one goal is achieved, it’s natural to want to make another one, expected even.
Plus, as we achieve one thing, it’s really powerful to realize that we can accomplish more than we thought. When you’ve been working so hard for something, then achieve it, there can be this state of “limbo” where we feel stagnant and bored.
It’s here where we make the decision that we’re not ready to stop.
The Down Side Of Wanting More
Going after perfection… not great.
Things can go from great to bad really fast for those of us with a classic “A” type personality or those of us who have long criticized their bodies. I just happen to fall into both of those categories.
When looking at how far you’ve come turns into how far can you go, that is when the problem arises. When it becomes more than just trying to lose 10 lbs, and instead trying to lose as many pounds as possible.
It’s a downward spiral. And it’s not just with weight loss.
Never toned enough, never fast enough, never satisfied with just being fit, healthy, and in a state of maintenance.
It becomes a never ending battle and no matter how many people tell you, “you look great!” it’s not enough.
The Drive To Be Perfect
I mentioned above that I’ve been here before.
The truth is, I still battle with this cycle. I don’t think that comes to a surprise to anyone, but hey, this is the Naked Truth, so it’s the time to just state it bluntly.
Of course the worst downward spiral of all was during college during my weight loss.
I wasn’t able to have a clear picture of myself to determine when enough was enough.
And, I never celebrated the triumphs.
Fast forward to today…
There are days when I see a picture of myself and think:
“Wow, I set out to increase my tone and I’ve done it! Go me. Now let’s maintain this and increase strength. If my body changes with that, it’s fine. But I’m happy with where I am!”
Then there are days I look at myself or other women and think:
“Ugh, I’m never going to get rid of the pooch. These thighs? They’re too jiggly, too big. What can I do differently?”
Luckily, there are more of the good days than the questionable days. But that’s only recent.
And to be honest, I had quite the heart to heart with Dan the other night about my training and getting so sick.
Naked Truth: Though I said I didn’t think I was pushing too hard, too fast, he calmly told me otherwise. He asked if I was falling back into my old habits (exercise addiction), and if we needed to back out of any of our upcoming races/events to create a better balance.
Getting sick (oh goodness was I sick) was actually a blessing as it made me chill out and look at the bigger picture. I promised Dan I would stick to my training plan. We had a few other compromises, but those aren’t important.
For years I compared my body to others, questioned my abilities and tried far too hard to be perfect.
Guys, I’m not sure if you’re aware but perfect doesn’t exist and it can really wear you down if you try and obtain it. Trust me.
Why Is Maintenance Hard?
What I want to know is why is it so hard for many* to set goals, achieve them and be satisfied? Why can’t we say, great! I did it, now I’m in a state of maintenance. Life is awesome!
Because we’re our own worst critics!!!
When we get to that state where we think we’ll be happy, we might hang out there for a day, a week or a month but then the happiness will wash away and we’ll see flaws that need to be taken care of.
And we long for that excitement of hitting a new goal.
I really point it all back to the media for pushing images of perfection that are not achievable. The media makes us feel insignificant in order to push products. The media makes money by making us feel imperfect.
It’s sad. And yes, clearly, I’ve been affected.
Another thing… those we circle ourselves with.
I am a strong believer that the people we associate with has a large impact on the views we have of ourselves.
As a fitness studio owner and trainer, I am around women all the time that want to change their lives. Of course, I want to lead by example. I want to give the impression that my program will work so I try my best to look the part of a healthy trainer.
Do I feel pressured to look fit? Ummm… HELL YES I do!
When I’m at a race, I want to be faster than the chick beside me. If I’m not, then I think about what I can do differently to have a different outcome next go around. When I’m on Instagram and see someone lifting more then me (who appears my size), I’m filled with a desire to prove that I can do the same.
It’s flipping EXHAUSTING people.
Which is why we need to take a step back and look at the big picture…
Be Happy Today: What Do You REALLY Want?
This picture always makes me happy.
When I was in college, it was about gaining control. I wanted to control everything and I was able to do that with my diet and exercise.
Now, it’s about being a successful business owner, inspiration, and athlete.
But it’s important to look inside yourself to decide what’s really fueling this drive for perfection?
When you figure that out, you might realize you’re where you need to be, right now. You might just be able to embrace yourself and your body for the reflection you see at this moment and realize…
You are good enough. Right now.
Here are the few rules I truly aim to follow:
- Always celebrate goals! Big and small! Don’t be embarrassed to feel proud.
- Look in the mirror and tell yourself 5 things you love about your body
- Make an effort at least 1x per week to get a little dressed up. I am always in fitness clothes, so putting on make-up, doing my hair and throwing on some cute clothes helps make me feel more feminine and allows me to see my figure better.
- Remind yourself that the ladies on magazines aren’t real. No matter how much you want ot look like them, they don’t even look like them! You are perfectly imperfect.
So let me ask you…