Crossfit – one of my many exercise plans. I’m the one with the giant tire 😉
Diet and exercise have always gone hand in hand. Each of my weight loss attempts included a nutritional plan and an exercise plan. When I fell off one plan, I fell off both plans.
So when I gave up dieting, I inadvertently gave up exercising.
When I would exercise, I would inadvertently start dieting, or at the very least body obsessing.
My challenge has been this: I like to move. I like to be strong. I like the independence of carrying my own water jug to the car.
“Okay Kerri, I’m confused here – where is the challenge?”
The challenge is that every time I would re-connect with my true goals – health, strength, endurance, mental clarity – I would start exercising again. And I would love it. I would feel so good. Happy. Strong. Then inevitably within a few weeks, someone would say, “You’ve lost weight.”
Those words, meant as a body compliment, would send me into a tailspin.
Somehow, that simple acknowledgment that my body had changed, would spin me back into negative body talk and obsessing over my body again. I would get all riled up about how people are so shallow and how our society puts so much emphasis on the body, blah blah blah. So, I would stop exercising again. Never on purpose, I would just get too busy. Other things would take priority on the list. My excuses became my reality. It would take weeks and sometimes even months to regroup; to come back to my true motivators. And so the cycle would continue.
One day, when I had just cut my hair, a patient said to me, “You got your hair cut.”
It triggered something in me. Why didn’t a comment about my hair cut send me into a body image frenzy? My hair is part of my body. I realized that I placed more value on one compliment than the other. That’s on me. Not on our culture or our world. I place more value on a comment about my hips than I do my hair.
That was the day that I decided to value all of me, equally.
I also admitted that day, that it was ridiculous of me to think that I could start a fitness program and not expect to receive comments. That if I wanted to have a fitter body, I was going to have to suck it up and start saying, “Thank you, yes my body is changing as a result of my fitness routine.” Otherwise, I will never get what I’m really after.
My job is to be healthy and treat my body with respect. Other people will say what they will. I cannot control that. What I can control is how I respond to them.
What happens to you when people comment about your body? How have you handled it? Do you accept compliments?
Please share your comments below.
Until next time,
Live Life. Love Food. Be Free.