My body is more than my appearance

Our lives are often spent in comparison - comparing ourselves to other people and places, and also comparing ourselves to what we were previously.  I too often hear clients reminiscing on old times of looking a certain way, weighing a particular amount, or getting back to their pre baby/wedding/university weight. Then, because we are busy looking back, we don’t often realize the capabilities our bodies currently possess and where they may be heading.

In a society where we receive instant gratification and almost always based on our appearance, it makes total sense that we may feel insecure when those things change. Think about your first moments of an interaction with someone else. It is usually spent saying how great they look or how amazing their hair is that day. Compliments based on appearance are not bad, but it can become a problem when that is the only thing we feel valued for. 

Your value does not lie in how your body looks.

Over the last several months I have made a conscious effort to ask people how they are feeling, to ask about their career or even simply how their day is, rather than always taking the easy route of complimenting appearance. These small steps are simple reminders to the person on the receiving end that they add more value than simply their appearance to this world.

From a fitness professional perspective, I know a lot of people get hung up on the weight, the size of the pants, or the way they look. My goal is to make people aware of their bodies as being more than just an appearance. Take a moment to thank your body for having the capability to move - something we often take for granted. Every day you wake up and choose to move, whereas some people unfortunately don’t have that luxury. Can you lift heavy things? That is pretty awesome! Can you hold your own body weight up in a plank? Amazing! All of these things to be grateful for and none have to do with your outward appearance. We don’t move for a quick fix, we want to be movers for life.

Life is not a straight, steady line. Throughout the lifespan our bodies change and as such your appearance changes too. It does not mean that it is bad or needs to go back to how it was before. No one ever mentally or emotionally thinks of living in the past so why think we need to physically get back to that past time. Your body adjusts to protect you and allow you to give your best effort for what you need at that given time. It is time be become proud of the current body we are in as it functions well for us to be exactly where we need to be at this moment.

This week, I challenge you to take five minutes to yourself and create a list of things that make you proud of your body, none of which can relate to physical appearance.  When you can shift your focus from appearance to gratitude, you will learn to love your body more as you begin to realize all that your body enables you to do. Love your body - it is the only place we have to live.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


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