The other day I was looking at my arms and shoulders in the reflection of a window thinking, “wow they’re really big and muscley, I definitely look like I do CrossFit”. I remember thinking, “I really want to focus more on my strength and getting better at CrossFit but if my arms look like this now, what the heck are they going to look like if I start doing more?!” I let my thoughts continue into, “Ahhh maybe I shouldn’t go too hard with it, maybe I should do more running instead.”
It wasn’t until about an hour later that I finally caught myself. WHAT. THE. F***. COURTNEY?! Are you bloody kidding me?! You’re talking yourself out of something that brings you great joy and satisfaction, something that gives you health, vitality, something you can measure and aspire to, something that is community focused and teaches you willpower, determination, and adaptability!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!? You’re talking yourself out of this in exchange for something that you think you should do and that might help your body be more “accepted” and “desirable” to the public, to the opposite sex?! Girl, you cray!!!!!!
So here’s the thing ladies, just because I run Body Love NZ and try to teach you the importance of loving yourself and your body, does not mean I am 100% content with myself 24/7, and this doesn’t make me a hypocrite, it makes me human. The difference between who I am and what I have learned today, compared to who I was three years ago is huge. Three years ago, not only would I have thought those self-hating thoughts but I would have believed and acted on them. I used to attach my self-worth and beauty to the opinions of others, I bought into the idea that there was one ideal and that if I didn’t fit into it or keep up with it, that I was “lazy” or “letting myself go”. My energy was consumed by what my body looked like rather than what it was capable of.
So I am grateful that I could catch myself the other day and notice the negatively influenced opinion I had of my body. I’m grateful that I have the strength and self-confidence to redirect my thoughts and remind myself of what is important.
If you are by any chance reading this and thinking, “Ahhh please Courts, you look great, I’d love my body too if it looked like yours”. Please don’t. You cannot judge somebody’s self-confidence or happiness based on what they look like. You can’t look at a skinny person or somebody with an “ideal” body type and assume that they have it easy. You cannot discredit the way somebody feels about themselves just because you view them in a certain way.
This is a major part of the problem when it comes to body image. People think that “Ohhhh once I get to this weight, once I achieve this look, once I get a flat stomach, I will be happy and men/women will find me attractive and I will have more confidence and life will be easier”. NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO.
YOU WILL BECOME HAPPIER, MORE SELF CONFIDENT AND LOVE YOURSELF BETTER WHEN YOU MAKE THE DECISION THAT YOU ARE WORTHY RIGHT NOW TO BE LOVED. THAT YOU ARE ENOUGH, THAT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, AND THAT YOU ARE DESERVING AS YOU ARE IN THIS MOMENT. Once you make this mental commitment to yourself (not just once, but regularly, daily if you can), THEN you can focus on the physical journey to greater health, energy, and happiness. Then you can start working on getting fitter and stronger, or developing yourself intellectually, or putting yourself out there in the dating world, or with whatever it is that you’re wanting to focus on! When your intentions behind what you’re doing are fuelled by love and not by guilt or hate, then what you’re doing and who you are will blossom. Those things you are choosing to do will be more sustainable and you’ll enjoy them and life a whole lot more.
So you know what? I’m gonna go hard in CrossFit!! I’m going to be motivated by my love for it and by the progress my kick-ass body is making. I will detach from what others think of the way I look (whether that be positive or negative), I will remind myself that what we look like on the outside is one minuscule aspect to beauty and that there are so many other magnificent qualities to me than just what you see in front of you. I will remind myself that the people who matter to me are the ones that will love and support me no matter what. And lastly, I will remind myself that this body is a gift that I'm lucky to have and it should be treated accordingly.
Love Courts xx