I'm going to repeat that: FITNESS IS MORE THAN WHAT YOUR BODY LOOKS LIKE.
We are inundated with pictures of super fit men and women who are showing off their 6 packs, curves in all the right places, and not an extra ounce of fat on them.
Then it becomes this comparison game in your head and you just end up disappointed, frustrated, or angry at yourself for not looking like these other people. Or you tell yourself they are the elite and there's no way you could ever accomplish anything close to that so why even bother?
This is where you need to put on the mental brakes and screech to a halt. First of all, you will ALWAYS lose the comparison game. There will ALWAYS be someone more fit, better at something, smarter than you, and the list goes on. This goes both ways, though. You will ALWAYS be more fit, better at something, and smarter than someone else. Comparing really isn't a constructive way to spend your time or work on yourself.
If there's going to be any comparison at all it should be with your past self. That's it.
First, you need to accept and love yourself where you are at right now. If you continue to focus on the things you don't like and tear yourself down in the process, then you don't leave room for working towards changing those things and building yourself up instead. At the same time you're not letting yourself acknowledge all of the amazing things there already are about you. You are so much more than what your body looks like because it isn't just about your body. It's about your whole self- mind, body, and soul. They all go together to make you who you are.
Let me take a minute to share my thoughts on what these areas are:
MIND- this can be intellectual, emotional, and your inner dialogue
BODY- your physical appearance plus how you feel and move which ties into diet and exercise
SOUL- this is about your connection with the world, living your purpose, and feeling fulfilled
There could be a guy that's super fit and has a six pack, but he doesn't handle stress well and he feels like he has no purpose in life. A woman could have the best glutes out there, but talk negatively to herself because she thinks her stomach should be flatter.
On the flip side another man could handle stress in his life like a champ because of his strong meditation practice, but getting up off the floor when he's done meditating is a real struggle. Another woman could have a strong connection to her work and feel like she is making a meaningful contribution to the world, but she gets winded just walking from her car to her desk each morning.
The above individuals are doing great in at least one area, but they definitely have some work to do in the others.
Being strong in mind, body, and soul will make you absolute FIRE! A force to be reckoned with!
It's continuous work, though. You can't get a 6 pack and start living off of pizza and expect those abs to still be there a week or two later. You can't define what your purpose is and then not take steps to live your life in line with it.
So you may be thinking- how do I figure out how I'm doing in these areas?
This takes self-reflection and introspection. And you have to be honest with yourself.
Here are some questions that could help give you some insight:
Do I physically feel good?
Does what I eat leave me feeling bloated and sluggish or do I feel more alert and energized?
Do I talk to myself in a positive way or do I berate myself for every little thing I don't like about myself?
How do I manage stress?
When is the last time I learned something new?
Do I feel like I'm contributing to the world in a meaningful way?
Do I feel like I'm living my purpose?
Take some time to actually sit and think about each of these. Use them as journal prompts if you like. Your answers might pleasantly surprise you or possibly leave you feeling a little flustered. That's okay! It's the first step to fitness in mind, body, and soul!
REMEMBER: You are more than what your body looks like. Throw out the negative self-talk. Time to show yourself some love.
Get a pen and paper and do these three things:
Write down 3 things you love about yourself (these can be physical-but not only physical!). Maybe you have an awesome sense of humor, your hair is a really pretty shade of auburn, you're really smart, etc.
Write down 3 things you are really good at. Maybe you can easily speak in front of large groups of people, you can paint beautiful landscapes, or you're the go to person for advise for your friends, etc.
Stick these somewhere you will see them every day and make sure you read them!
Take the time to appreciate all of the great things about you. When you come across things you don't like, instead of criticizing yourself, consider positive changes you could make to improve. And don't compare yourself to others!
Fitness is about more than what your body looks like. It's about how you feel and move. It's about how you treat yourself and handle what life throws at you. It's about your connection to other people and your contribution to the world.