Soothing the Beast of Self-Criticism
I’m taking the day off for my birthday! (Stop laughing. I’ll eventually get there.) Before I set business matters aside, I wanted to share some contemplations.
The past year has brought a tremendous amount of change. My delightfully sweet and considerate fiancé proposed this spring. We would have rather held the wedding next summer, but with his father’s health it seemed more important to have the ceremony sooner.
When Egan first proposed, I felt good about my body. I was proud of how I didn’t feel the need to lose or gain weight, or even “tone up” to make certain areas look better.
I found my wedding dress with SURPRISING ease. It’s gorgeous and perfectly cut, looking like it was already tailored for me! Then the voices of self-criticism started seeping in. “Better be careful to not GAIN any weight this winter… like you always do!” The past month or so, that voice has become even more insistent. I refuse to let it mess with my head too much.
At the pole studio, I’ve observed my jiggling skin, cellulite dimples, and noticeable LACK of firmness. It’s hard not to, when surrounded by so many slender, perky, toned young bodies. I’m a strong and active physical trainer, right? Why am I not ripped and shredded, with taut skin and a “hard” body? Uh, duh… because that isn’t always where I’m at.
Today, I give myself the gift to love my body exactly how it is. The stretch marks, cellulite, and loose skin don’t SHOW the truth of what my body has undergone. It also doesn’t show the fact that I can almost do three pull-ups in a row, that I can attend back to back pole fitness classes (2.5 hours of training) without dying. I feel strong and fall ill only a fraction of the time I used to. My pain levels have significantly decreased, and I’m able to do more with my functional time. I heal and bounce back from what life throws my way. My body is strong and resilient, and my fiancé loves me through ALL the phases my body goes through… and I love him for it.
So for my birthday, I hope I can share this gift with you. As a trainer, I might not be able to give you a hard body, but I can and will make you stronger, move better, and hurt less. Our bodies are something to work with, not on. You’re awesome just the way you are. Just like I’m continuing to learn for myself.
Here’s to what the next trip around the sun brings!