A couple things happened over the last few days that got me thinking about how we view ourselves, and judge ourselves.
A few weeks ago Barry's Bootcamp teamed with BodyFatTest San Diego to give clients and trainers a chance to get measured now, and again in 90 days. It's the most accurate way to find out body fat vs. lean body mass percentages, and I believe, much more important than the number on the scale. I've pretty much entirely given up stepping on the scale, because it means nothing to me these days in comparison to how I feel, and how my clothes are fitting. And I honestly had no idea where I might be, body-fat percentage wise.
I know that may sound strange coming from a fitness trainer; so many peers in my industry know their exact weight, body-fat, macronutrient intake in any given moment. But for me, a lot of the journey from being overweight and unhealthy in my twenties to where I am now was about letting go of the numbers, and learning to listen to my body, listen to my instincts. I learned to tune-in to what my food choices and exercise routine were communicating to my body. When I stopped punishing myself with "low-calorie" foods and long, tedious workout sessions as payback for eating, things began to fall into place.
So there I am yesterday, all “body fat test tomorrow, no worries, I know I’m not a bikini model but I’m also feeling good about myself, so, whatevs.”
That afternoon I got to go out for a stand-up paddle session with two of my favorite ladies. We had a deliciously fun afternoon. We snapped some pictures of each other, laughed a lot, solved several problems of the world.
Then I got home later and scrolled through the pics we took. Nothing quite like seeing a picture of yourself in a bikini, upside-down, to give you a little reality check, I thought. Even though the fun of the afternoon stuck with me, I couldn't help but notice that voice in my head that went something like "uh, you're WAY bigger than you thought. You certainly DO NOT look like all of those fitspo butt models on Instagram. Fuck. Did you see your thighs? Yikes. Your body fat percentage is gong to be a doozy."
But as I walked up to the body-fat testing truck, I had another thought.
Fuck that voice.
That voice comes from an old, broken perception of myself. That voice comes from comparing myself to everyone else. That voice comes from thinking I need to fit a certain standard. That voice comes from seeing - daily - hundreds of images of women that are meant to create a feeling that I need something else to be complete. That voice comes from thinking that I am not enough.
So as I dunked into the water to measure my density (which sounds so funny) I attempted to ignore the voice. Instead, I thanked my body, and assured it that this number was merely a teeny part of what I am. That the number would represent simply a mile-marker on my body's journey through lots of adventures. It doesn't mean I can't strive to improve my level of fitness if that feels good... but it means I go into this knowing I'm happy as-is, right now.
My body-fat percentage was not as high as I thought. I honestly estimated myself to be about 10% higher than I was in reality - what does that say about the lens through which I view myself?
I don't know how exactly to fix that lens, but I know it starts with ignoring that voice that tries to tell us we are anything less than gorgeous. Acknowledging that it's there, but discounting those thoughts. It starts with knowing that how you look to anyone else is basically, none of your business. It shouldn't affect your day. That those who know you see WAY more than your outer body. It starts with believing that you are enough NOW - no matter where your fitness goals lie. It starts with knowing that how you FEEL is everything!
Keep up the fight, my lovelies, YOU are WORTH IT!