By Janice McCurdy
I teach a lot of fitness classes through the week, so I rarely attend other instructor’s classes. On one particular day, I decided to take in a class so I could turn my mind off and have someone else lead me in the movement patterns. It was wonderful and I really enjoyed the class, but it was the first time in a long while that I had to face the dreaded MIRROR. I took one look at myself while I was working out and I really did not like what I saw. I felt like I was all hips and stomach. It gave me a bad feeling. Not only was I thinking “Is that what I look like when I teach the class” but, I was also aware that as a fitness professional those negative thoughts are toxic, and I shouldn’t be thinking like this. It was not a great moment for me. Thank goodness that’s all it was. Just a moment.
I think we all have self-doubt from time to time. We start comparing ourselves to others or comparing ourselves to when we were thinner or more muscular. We don’t like the person we are at that moment in time. I live to help people accept and enjoy the body they have, and I hope I inspire people to love themselves as they are. I believe in this very much but at this particular time, I had that fleeting moment where I gave in to the very negative thoughts that I help others overcome. After the class, I realized that I was being unnecessarily hard on myself and was able to put these thoughts out of my head and get on with being a positive role model. I want everyone to feel comfortable with themselves but if these feelings should arise as they will from time to time, how do you overcome these negative feelings? Here are a few tips to help you if you are feeling down on yourself:
• Make a list. I like to make a list of all the qualities that I like about myself. List all exterior AND interior traits that you love about you. Not only the exterior but the interior qualities. In doing this exercise, it may help you to realize that you a great person and it’s not all about the exterior but that real beauty truly comes from within. This will help to build your confidence, and, in my experience, confidence is the most attractive trait anyone could have.
• Be kind to yourself. Take a day and pamper yourself. Realize you work so hard and you deserve to treat yourself. Take a leisurely bubble bath, read a book, get a manicure or pedicure. Do something to reward yourself for being the person you are. If you treat your body well, you will start to know your worth and again it will build your confidence.
• Learn to turn your negative thoughts into more positive ways of thinking. Positive thinking is powerful. I enjoy googling quotes on the internet. I print them off and put them on my fridge. Feeling good about yourself is a state of mind. Thinking positive will help shed your insecurities
• Talk to someone. You may be surprised to learn that they may think you’re amazing just the way you are. No one is perfect but they may change your perception and you may start to see yourself through their eyes. They won’t be near as critical about you as you are about yourself.
I know being a woman is hard sometimes. Society dictates that we need to look a certain way. We have the media constantly telling us that if we aren’t tall, thin, and young that we don’t measure up. I am here to say that this is not the case. We are all here, we all matter. We are all different shapes, sizes and ages. We need to ease up on ourselves and accept the things we can’t change. We can find the inner strength to change if there are things we really need to. But most importantly, we need to learn to accept who we are at this moment.