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Don't let body image hinder your fitness & wellness goals!

Let's discuss a topic that affects quite a bit of us in our journeys toward fitness and wellness. Not everyone is starting their journey in a place where they are already feeling proud of where they are. Sometimes, starting in a mental space where we feel like we're in a deficit already can hinder our fitness and wellness journey. I'll highlight some of the issues that can slow-down or hinder your progress.


  • We have set goals to have a body that may be unrealistic. Having unattainable goals can become a detriment to our fitness journey. Of course, not all goals to change our bodies are unrealistic. However, a lot of us compare ourselves to individuals while not taking into account how unique each and every one of us is. It isn't the most logical approach to compare your body to that of a celebrity who may have several different factors that affect their body structure, such as different genetics, body type, a live-in chef, or even plastic surgery in most cases. How can we achieve the look of someone else when we, ourselves, are also SOMEONE ELSE? I have had female clients who have asked me if there is a way they can have the figure of a certain female celebrity with an augmented frame and "booty," and I always advise respectfully that we can achieve the best version of their individual frame through diet and exercise, but I cannot make their frame look augmented or like that of someone else. Keeping these comparison goals in our mind will hinder us from making real and impactful changes to our bodies. We must set the focus on our own individualization. How many bodies do we see on social media or in movies that we think look great? How many fitness influencers are you following? Chances are there are many... which proves how beautiful so many different people can appear to us. You yourself are beautiful and although it may be challenging to believe it, you have to realize that the fact that you are the only version of yourself out there is your superpower.


  • Expecting results right away. Although you may be discontent with your body image at the time, expecting results immediately will not help you progress in your journey. Not giving yourself a realistic time frame to see physical changes in your body will lead you down a road of frustration and you won't enjoy the journey! Yes, a lot of us want to see physical changes, BUT, internal changes matter as well and are even more of an investment than what you see externally. Try to fall in love with the journey, versus focusing solely on the destination. Those who fall in love with the process of fitness and wellness will tend to stick to it longer and in turn, will enjoy the fruits of their labor. Choose a style of fitness that you really love and enjoy. If you love cycling, do that. If you love Zumba, do that! Whatever allows you to stick to it long-term. A lot of those "fitness influencers" that you see online and on social media have been at it for yearsssssss. They did not start a journey in fitness and then three months later achieved their goals and stopped. They are consistent and they created a habit that will be part of their daily life long-term. The truth is that this is a life-long commitment.


  • Don't forget to love yourself and celebrate the small wins. This ties into the first set of advice, but even more so reiterates the idea of loving what you currently see and your individuality. For example, you're a mom and you brought into this world a child, what a beautiful win and something worth celebrating your body for. Most of us tend to look in a mirror and pick out our "flaws." Focusing on our flaws can lead to a negative reflection of ourselves that can limit us from seeing the amazing achievements that are right in front of us. And I am guilty of this. I tend to look at those areas that aren't quite where I want them to be. But I notice as I hone in on those flaws, they actually reduce my motivation, my drive to continue on my journey because now I'm in a headspace of self-deprecation. I may have set a personal record on a run or a lift last week, but now I am focusing on these stretch marks from my pregnancy. I lose the ability to really celebrate my body's achievements and utilize those achievements to really love myself. We have to set a goal to celebrate our wins. Isn't that what fitness and wellness is really about; achieving these amazing feats that we didn't know our bodies were capable of, creating aesthetic and internal change, longevity for our loved ones? Every time you pour into yourself and go out there and work out or do something physically challenging, remind yourself that despite those negligible "flaws" that you are focusing on, you DID THAT! Stretch marks, scars, loose skin, acne, whatever is bothering you externally does not change how powerful you are and how powerful you can become. It requires consistent work to show up for yourself and love yourself. It will not be an overnight fix, but once you start seeing yourself in a different light, your achievements will be limitless and that in itself will become addictive. Let's stop letting our negative self-talk, our perception of what society wants us to look like stop us from becoming this powerful version of ourselves that is hitting tons of goals to include the goal of totally loving who we have become. How would you talk to a good friend of yours or a loved-one? Would you tell them, hey who cares that you just ran a marathon because you have stretch-marks! Could you imagine?! But we do it to ourselves. Just consider that next time you look at yourself and the next time you achieve something positive toward your journey toward fitness and wellness. Give yourself a hand and keep pushing forward toward self-love.


At some point we have all struggled with our body image. Don't let body image be a detriment in your journey. Fitness and wellness are two of the paths to self-love and the rest will follow. You are unique, beautiful, and powerful and it's time to enjoy this journey and celebrate what our bodies are capable of versus focusing on the flaws we see!!! - Viv



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