In today’s show I’m discussing a disturbing phenomenon that I was going to say girls inflicted on each other with greater gleeful zest than boys… and then I started to think of all the male personal trainers I’ve worked with over the years and their relentless ridiculing of each others physiques… from calves (or lack there of) to flat butts and increasing guts… nothing seems to be a no go zone.
And then, just to reiterate that Body Shaming is alive and well among both the guys and the gals I remembered the only guy a close male buddy of mine has set me up with – or I should say tried to set me I with – it went so far as instant UN-attraction, and although my feedback was a diplomatic “yeah, he’s just not really my type” the gent in question described me as:
“A Big Girl”
It’s stuck in my mind years and years on,
Partly because I was size 6-8 and max 16% body fat at the time… AND obviously still not that secure in my body or it’d wouldn’t have even been worth remembering.
ALSO due to the shock that my friend was stupid enough to pass on his mates exact quote!
In todays weigh-in show: Body Shaming.
A potentially super hurtful, confidence eroding and isolating judgement we pass on:
and also, OTHERS.
That we partake in both:
and also, UNCONSCIOUSLY.
That we can dole out unsolicited with both:
and also, NEGATIVE INTENTIONS.
When it comes to avoiding Body Shaming in all it’s forms I have 5 key considerations:
One: So far as others, when in doubt, DON’T.
So, even though that judgement on how someone’s body is looking is intended as a compliment, unless you’re pretty damn sure they’ve been trying to lose fat and they’d appreciate acknowledgement that their effort is paying off and they’re looking smokin… it’s still dangerous territory to navigate!
The old, “Wow, you’ve lost sooo much weight!” …really can make you consider, just how huge you must have been before.
Two: Remember everyone has different BOUNDARIES.
So, even though you might love to hear “That new dress makes you look so slim!” …oh, what so how exactly do I look in ‘normal’ clothes??”
And anyway, personally slim is not what I want. I want ‘Hot’ in a dress. I want ‘Sexy’ in a swimsuit. I want ‘Ripped’ in gym-gear. …and that’s just me, and just me today!
So how could any of us know exactly where someone else’s body boundaries lie?
Equally, even when you’re coming from a pace of support – of perhaps wanting someone you love to experience the health that perhaps is relatively new to you, unsolicited advice along the lines of “How about you join the gym?” or “Do you really need that cake?” is flat out a boundary invasion. Step away from that boundary line and be satisfied with setting a positive – judgement free – example and also ready to offer support if it’s asked for.
Three: Let go of GOOD or BAD.
Everyone has a different natural body shape and also different goals and priorities.
The naturally lean chick is going to love hearing “Real women have curves” or “Why don’t you just eat a burger?” about as much another chick wants to hear “You’re built for comfort not speed” or “You’re just big boned.”
Whether you’re talking to someone else or to YOURSELF, focusing on good or bad implies that there’s something wrong with the person that doesn’t meet that standard of good.
I’m also not a fan of the “you’re so good” when I choose not to eat dessert. I’m not good for declining the dessert that I don’t feel like… I’m not even good when I decline the dessert that I feel like that doesn’t support my goal.
You know what IS GOOD about that? It means you’re not bad when you eat the dessert. It’s just a choice. Let go of good and bad and focus on doing what gets you the result you want.
Four: Let go of COMPETITION.
Why is it such a natural instinct to turn everything into a competition?
In health I think it can bring out the worst in us more than the best. When we’re all starting with different building blocks and working towards different goals, why compare apples to pears (so to speak!).
An abundance mentality allows that everyone can be happy and healthy… there is no ‘winner’ and ‘loser’, so there is zero value in rejoicing in another persons struggle.
Equally minimising another persons success is a sign that you need to reflect on your own insecurities. What could it mean about the things you’d like to change about yourself.
Finally putting someone else on a pedestal is over-kill. Certainly find roles models to inspire you however don’t elevate them to the point of unattainable results that make you un-inclined to even try! Look for the aspects of what they do that you could implement into your routine and enjoy similar results.
Five: Understand that putting off something because of the way your body looks is re-enforcing there’s something wrong.
You know, the holiday you’ll go on. Or the clothes you’ll buy. Even the night out once you lose such and such weight or fit back into your skinny jeans…
I’ve even been at the other end of the scale where I resisted going out after I lost 6 kilo’s in a eek with an evil bout of gastro.
Although, I’m down with working towards a healthy reward there’s a fine line to walk between that reward and a restrictive, limiting, punishing and UN-fun mindset until you reach the reward.
I always bring myself back to gratitude for what I’ve already got as the foundation from which I’m constantly looking to progress and improve.
That’s the action step to focus on today.
What is ONE part of your body that you’re absolutely whole-heartedly grateful for?
Possibly because of how it looks or maybe because of the way it works for you or potentially and awesomely simply because it’s uniquely YOU!
That’s it for me today, I hope you’ve found this show of value: to Body Gaining not Body Shaming right?!!
I’ll be back tomorrow with the Thursday Training show and: a Case Study, From 24-17% in 3 months.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Smart Simple Weight Loss: Define Your Goal.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.