“There is no place for guilt in the pursuit of perfection…”
P. is a gifted being. She’s a clever girl – with a strong will and a high temper. She is better worth looking at than most works of art.
P. is a middle-aged woman of many fitness theories. Her imagination in that respect is remarkably active. She has a fixed determination to regard sport as a place of brightness, of free expansion, of irresistible action. Now P. knows that it is detestable to be afraid or ashamed of her body. This life-changing understanding came with physical pain and spiritual tension.
Every moment of life is a little eternity. Guilt and a sense of worthlessness are needless matters and have to be eliminated. Negative self-talk puts you on the dark side of life. The feeling that you ‘need’ to work out should not bring an evident distress. Sport, when putting you in the full vigor of your personality, does not diminish you spiritually. I know so many women who keep their weight at a certain point of personal satisfaction, not giving any consideration to the opinion of others. And I know so many women, who lost pounds of ‘extra weight’ and whose inner glow had faded with it.
Whatever else is gone, you have to keep the fire of life. There is no need to work yourself up to such a pitch that you endanger your health in the pursuit of some body ideal shape that was not even intended for you. To work your body and spirit to the breaking point day in and day out is a path to quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, wooings, agonies, and all sorts of impossible nonsense.
The whole fabric of inventions and conventions in the sports industry should be true to you, be of your world and your history. Then, and only then, it will become your reality. There is just the right thing for YOU. It is not the same for everybody and there’s nothing wrong with that. You may need some push and self-assertiveness, in the short term, to get ahead in your healthy life routine. But, in the long term, it is your body and your health and your choice. Let exercise help you to control appetite, boost mood, and improve sleep for you. And be the one for whom the faculty of becoming healthier is much bigger than the desire to shape yourself to the taste of the crowd.
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1) Being Hard and Uncompromising on Yourself Can Lead to Injuries
At the beginning of P.’s career as a fitness trainer, her enthusiasm had led her into a thousand of ridiculous zigzags. Her desire to look very well and to be even better, her determination to see, to try, to know as much as it was possible in the industry of healthy diet and physical exercise caused a disastrous injury to her back.
P.’s combination of the delicate, enthusiastic, flame-like spirit and the eager desire to get well again made her reevaluate her life experience. She decided to never again be an easy victim of negative self-criticism. Her reputation of a spotless fitness queen hung about her like the cloudy envelope of a dense chokedamp fog. She was in constant need to keep her attitude at a high temperature, motivate people around, be a role model for them. The weight of this responsibility made the poor woman hate the label ‘perfect’ and still be chained to it by expectations. To her true self the term had always suggested something grotesque and even sinister, and people using it – offensive or alarming.
The experience of having an injury can be a delicate torment and you may end up working different muscle groups for some days or stick with as little resistance as possible. Other injuries, though, can force you to allow yourself a time off. To listen to your body and recognize when you need a break is normal. This major inconvenience may serve as a learning process, an opportunity to express self-respect.
Your muscles are your wonderful friends that are true to you if you give them time to repair, strengthen, and grow. The gym room is invaded by beautiful women and dashing men, you are one of them. Some experience problems learning what to do with one’s hands and workout tools. Some are pleasantly familiar with the surroundings and seem to be just in the right place.
People around, whose feelings you cannot penetrate, can look IN shape and in the reality be OUT of hearts. They keep lifting heavy weights and wrung their heart. The muscles of our souls are so thin and far-away at times, so clap-trap and yet so heart-breaking. Overtraining your body muscles you risk to inflict a serious injury and complications later down the road. More significant damage, though, can be from the clouded, obscure, elliptical picture of your inner state.
You need to learn to take some rest when your body is asking for it. To do that once or twice a week is not only a good thing, but a necessary one. Our body isn’t designed to be pushed without limit. Personal growth happens outside of the classroom and, likewise, you gain muscle outside of the gym. You can express vividness of self-value by listening to your body and taking easy at times.
2) ‘Ideal Weight’ Is the Weight That You Slip Quietly into and Feel at Home In
That experience of professional injury struck P. as food for deep reflection. She appeared to enjoy that time of real excuse from the strenuous rhythm of exercises. That feeling was unfamiliar, as if she was not accustomed indeed, to keep her spirit free of bolts. She eventually became thankful to make use of that time alone. P. could see without judging the depth of her nature. She realized that sport was taking a lot of her life, but not all of it. She was more than that. Her flexible beautiful figure could turn itself easily this way and that, but her alert mind could do more, could invent her own way of doing all that she did in her professional life.
P. became aware of a step forward in her self-awareness. Her gratitude was growing with her understanding of herself. She came to the point when no criticism could break the sunshine of her life. She accepted imperfection as a gift, some degree of weakness and free pass as a sign of self-love and not a failure. She stopped feeling herself in bitter waters of competitive environment, where she needed to be on top of her niche and fight for every client. She felt at ease. That new state of emotions told her to seek for her personal unique way to be successful and still involved in her beloved sport with love and self-acceptance hand in hand.
‘Ideal Weight’ – this term can be applied to so many different aspects of well-being. It is the state when your body is appreciative to what you do and gives a favorable interpretation to all physical activity you WANT to perform. It is a feeling of energetic enthusiasm, and a desire to put in new steps and slides into your daily routine. In YOUR perfect body you are able to dance against and around the hard-and-fast beat of life. If you are breathing hard – you may have some extra couple pounds to work on, but if you are a cheerful and lovely plump beautiful lady that is not out of breath – so be it! – You Are in Your Perfect Shape!
3) In the Undergrowth of Sport Is a Body-Positive Attitude
Needless to add, but P. saw a happy face in the mirror more often now with her spine still in pain every now and then and her movements restricted. The weight she lifted was too heavy and almost made her an invalid, but it also freed her spirit. She was full of volcanic energy and desire to tell her story of personal mental transformation. P. improved spiritually and physically under strain that would have killed a weaker nature.
What followed is enough to uplift any person. P. was quite ‘blowing the trumpet’ for the people who went to the gym to preserve the shape that they had learned to love and respect, accepting that some things were better the way they were and to inflict any drastic change in some cases meant to endanger the health. Nature does not make mistakes. There are times when extra pounds for one person are an undesired thing and a complete necessity for another.
Self-worth teaches you to live in the atmosphere of endeavor, of expectancy and bright hopefulness about the way your body looks like. It is a state of mental awakening, when you are able to introduce yourself to a more rounded concept of fitness. Every individual taste, every natural aptitude is different. You should not live under a tyranny of gym if you do not feel like it is your cup. Ecstatic dance, immersive Morning Gloryville, or hula-hoop hip-swinging and waist-twisting fun – one of these alternative fitness programs may have a peculiarly engaging quality for you.
If you focus on lifestyle and attitude and not as much on aesthetics, you will go to the gym because you feel great and you want to prolong this feeling as long as you can. You will exercise because you feel as if every inch of you is charged with energy that makes itself felt for a long time afterward. You should not be negative or perfunctory about your body. Your self-acceptance, a body-positive attitude, will guide you on a way of healthy eating and working not as much on the shape of the body, but, rather, on feeling good.
Read more: Self-Compassion as a Powerful Way to Avoid Destructive Patterns of Fear, Negativity, and Isolation
4) Ability to See Beauty in the Body-Context
The whole new life for P. was now an unutterable mixture of healthy lifestyle and healthy attitude toward herself. She went through the recovery process with patience and meditation. She was saying things to herself that touched her heart to the quick. All her behavior changed and was indicative of thought and power. She felt blessed in her life. P. reasoned well, and her wit was bold.
She started afresh and her imagination was getting on fire. P. was driving at a new understanding of fitness culture. There was a method in everything she was doing. The rudimentary idea in her mind was about the strong nature of every person and the need to get to know it. Without this essential aspect any work was inwardly against a person’s health.
The cultural conversation around the body is like a revolution. Now every woman on the images we see are often telling their own story and it sounds like a festival of truth and self-love. These women acquired celebrity by sharing those stories and awakening awareness of what they’ve experienced. We are not tossed down blindfold on any pretty cover anymore. Now we can see beauty in the body-context.
When you don’t want to be someone else and are entirely happy and complete in your body, you feel the exultation of victory over unattainable beauty and weight ideas. It is a great transfiguration, embracing diversity in shapes, skin types and physical conditions. People in fashion are not able to dictate one particular model of fashionability anymore. Social media influencers throughout different channels rouse the old ideas of perfection from the torpor in which it seemed to live.
Every step that modeling agencies like Zebedee Management are taking toward relieving the world from obligations, added to it in order to restrict expansion and individuality, is bringing fashion industry up to date. We are no longer content to ‘feed upon opinion’ of a small select group of people. More and more models are spreading the message of embracing what you have and telling the true story. Our own narratives, their unique connotation through the impressions of other people, invite us to see beauty in strange and turbulent, fantastic and plaintive.
An absolutely open mind, an iron self-belief, a temper of the cheerful and uplifting kind, self-understanding, and toleration of imperfections, regarding them as blessings, and the kindliest and truest attitude – these form of equipment for the workout P. encourages every person to get. Her all-embracing sympathy is working for her good and the good of every client in her private gym.
Her teaching began to manifest its potency. People are holding P.’s services dear. She is helping many of them to bear up, to get through tough times. Those who came to hate their body for the lack of response to the strenuous training, finally saw their victory in self-acceptance and their mastery in love and respect to the body that was now a true friend and a beloved companion.
P. is admitting everybody, down-facing nobody. If one cannot fully agree with her new way of thinking, she accepts the fact that there are things in life that you cannot out-argue. In time, people get tired from a sick feeling of suspense, expectance of a failure, a day when you are not able to say ‘I have to do that’. In time, their heart becomes attuned to their inner nature.
Fashion has a big scheme on hand. It wants to talk more about diversity, about enjoying the feel of movement and dance and less about sweating and counting calories. Now we are focused on nurturing body-respect and self-worth, becoming more familiar with it for our own comfort and peace of mind.
We should have a strong will to roar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice. When you become familiar and confidential with your looks, with your body, that makes sport no labor at all. And it is a sad spectacle to see some people bruised and injured when in a state of obsession, ever pressing themselves upon the image of ‘perfect beauty’.
Your cheerfulness is unbounded when it is matched by your love to yourself, acceptance of your looks, and self-awareness. Lend yourself to a sport of your choice with no regret for the brake if you need one. Your soulful and poignant longing for a better you is wonderful. And even more delightful is the state of happiness from being alive and breathing, from the feeling of union with the sunlight, the color, the odors, and the luxuriant warmth of the day. This state is possible only when you embrace your personal context and feel no shame if people are able to read it.