“I used to be so much thinner.”
“I used to be so much stronger.”
“I never had this tummy before.”
“I never had to think about what I ate.”
“Fill-in-the-blank” statement…We’ve heard them all in the gym. No matter what it might be for you, we’ve all been there. We’ve all probably, in one form or another, gotten attached to what what we perceive as some “better” version of ourselves.
It’s easy to fall into the mental trap of constantly comparing ourselves to that person we used to be in the past, the person who didn’t have loose skin or had muscles for days or had xyz. Suffice it to say, I think we all struggle with body changes and something fitness pro Jill Coleman calls our “Level 1 thinking” (natural, emotionally immature, impulsive thinking) might tell us is that unless we’re at our ‘ideal’, we will never be good enough. It can make the work of positive body change a constant grind or paralyze us from taking any action b/c “what’s the point”.
Here’s the thing, though: OUR BODIES ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING. <– I read that statement from another fellow fitness pro I follow and it was like a weight was lifted. YES! Bigger, smaller, looser, firmer…it’s.all.normal. Our bodies are living organisms that are always in flux. When we live so completely attached to how our body looked at one single point in time, we miss out on the beauty and brawn it can produce now and in the future.
==> Level 1 thinking tells you that if you want to move toward positive body change, it can only be done because you ‘hate where you are now’. Using this hatred-for-self as fuel will only get you so far and almost always ends in a debilitated spirit and failed attempts at positive results. <==
Conversely, “Level 2 thinking” (elevated, emotionally mature, intentional thinking) helps us release those attachments and tells us that we CAN love who we were then, we CAN love ourselves especially now, and we CAN love who we are working hard to be, and the three don’t have to in constant fight against each other. It’s seeing and thinking on the good in our body and is a concept of body positivity, of loving yourself, that can actually be really freeing.
This mindset shift is so profound, it actually affects how we “show up” in life – and in the gym. I made the mistake of resorting to some Level 1 thinking one day while lifting, muttering something under my breath about my mummy tummy and how much weaker I am these days. I’m so glad Mike heard me because he whipped around, glared at me, and said “Don’t bring that
stuff (other word) here”. lol. It was a good reminder of why we all need coaches 🙂 and allowed me to re-frame my thoughts in a way that actually helped me perform my next lift with so much more power and feel-goodedness. And feel-goodedness is an awesome thing to have in the gym. 🙂
So, are you treating yourself – and your body – with compassion? Any type of positive body change starts with this gentleness toward yourself, with a sense of worthiness unhindered by ‘what used to be’. It’s changing out of self-love, not self-hatred, which takes slow and intentional practice but when we do this, we grow our “Level 2 thinking” muscle. We shift our focus on how exciting it is to treat ourselves to a workout that feels good, surrounded by people that make us happy, doing something that elevates our mood, our spirit, and our body. This change on the inside allows a change on the outside to emerge..because loving who you were and loving who you are helps move you forward to love who you are becoming.
Level Up, friends!
Jess + Team Valeo
I want to Level Up my thinking + fitness. Hook me up with more info about Valeo.