By Jen Gendron: Health & Wellness Coach
What does being strong and healthy mean to you? In today’s society, so much pressure is put on people, especially women, to look a certain way. Body image issues are a growing concern and we are bombarded in the media by images of the “perfect body” which pushes many women to want to meet an unrealistic standard. Working in a fitness centre every day, I am fortunate to be surrounded by women of all shapes, sizes and body types and my hope for each and every one of them is that they are coming in to work out not to attain some ideal body, but to improve their overall health, and to be strong both inside and out.
It saddens me when I hear snippets of conversations of women striving for “beach bodies” and what they will do if they can only get to “x” weight, and it is my hope that we can start to shift the mindsets of all women towards recognizing that we are beautiful just the way we are and that being healthy does not mean being skinny or looking a certain way.
I am extremely blessed to work with an amazing team of women ranging in ages from their 40’s all the way up to their 60’s and each and every one of us has our own body type, shape and size. While we all share the common goal of remaining fit and healthy, we do not compete to see who can fit in to the smallest pair of jeans! We embrace each other’s strengths and lean on each other for guidance and support where we need it but always in a way that lifts each other up and does not make us feel like we are competing.
As a Health & Wellness Coach, my message to all women is that you are absolutely perfect just the way you are! Focusing on your health is important and should be a goal for all of us, but it should be about feeling good about ourselves both inside and out and not about numbers on a scale. What are the things that mean the most to you in your life? Do you want to be able to remain independent in to your later years? Would you like to have more energy to keep up with your kids or grandkids? Do you want to feel good so that you can accomplish all the things on your to do list in a given day without running out of steam? These are the things we should be focusing on when we drag ourselves to the gym each day, not on how many ounces we have been able to shave off since our last visit.
Let’s focus our energy on being proud of who we are and all the wonderful things about us. Let’s embrace every wrinkle, every stretch mark and every blemish that make up who we are and let’s let go of all the negative thoughts about how we look and the size of our jeans. Workout to feel good and to gain strength both inside and out because that my friends is BEAUTIFUL!