Along my recent self-care journey I have learned to notice when I am participating in acts of harm instead of love and kindness. This has become evident when I am driving in the car and someone makes an unsafe move that in my eyes is extremely selfish and just out-right rude. I notice unkind thoughts when I see people who may or may not look like they are going to the club while at the gym and hog equipment. I feel these icky and entitled feelings when I witness someone who has clearly not yet taken any time to grow and evolve out of their current self destructive states, yet continue to complain about there situation. The craziest thing about this is that I too have done all of these things many times. Well, maybe not so much the full make up and coordinated outfits for working out, but I have planned special socks or my favorite shirt when I have chosen to show up (and blow up) at CrossFit. #subucrossfit
The more and more I break down these acts of unkindness, the more and more noticeable they become, the most shocking of which is when I am unkind to myself. The most recent example of this was while I was at the gym working out. I was warming up on the treadmill planning my workout, and in my head I was saying things like "Well, since you had extra alcohol and junk foods over the holiday weekend, you need to move your fat ass and really get after it," and "Ugh, I feel so bloated and squishy, go faster!!!", and "Why the hell did you eat beer cheese?". As I was saying these unkind things to myself, it dawned on me that I would never speak to any of my clients in this manner, so why did I think it was acceptable to do so to myself?
It all comes back to a little concept that I learned in yoga teacher training last month, the concern for looking good. This doesn't specifically mean in a physical manner, although this is how I noticed it this particular time. What this concept really means is the fear of not living up to standards, the fear of not looking like a professional, the fear of looking stupid or clueless, the fear of messing up, the fear of not looking like I have my shit together 24/7. If you dial back most things that we do not enjoy or that we come at in an unkind way, you will probably find some sort of concern for looking good.
When it comes to my body and my body image, I have good body image. I have things that I wish I could have removed, lasered, plumped, hoisted, and smoothed but when I get hung up on these things I take a moment to appreciate the good. I am beyond grateful that my body shows up every morning and works hard for me everyday. I have now fostered a love of taking care of my body and making changes, sacrifices, and time to reward it for all of that hard work. So what's the big deal then? Why so unkind to myself?
Well, even though I know about this little concept, it doesn't mean that I don't still struggle with it, I will forever be a work in progress. My hang up is in comparing myself to the self imposed standards of being a personal trainer, standards that I automatically assume people are thinking when I'm in a bathing suit. I get caught in the same traps as others, wishing for different and stressing about being good enough. I beat myself up when I stray from my plan and I go overboard sometimes to "regain balance". The best part of this is that I now notice when it happens. I recognize the nastiness and I snap myself out of it rather quickly. By taking the time to check in and ask myself why I'm having particular thoughts I am able to get one step closer to preventing them from happening. I remind myself that we are all one, no one person better or worse than another, we are all equal as well as amazing in our own right. This might sound hookie and earthy-crunchy but I double dog dare you to start to look for unkind words, whether to yourself or others. Once you begin to see it you can change it.
"Experiencing our body through our ego's eyes will always kick up feelings of inadequacy and separateness." - Gabby Bernstein