Loving Our Bodies in 2016!

The number one reason I hear for beginning a training routine is to "tighten and tone", followed by "I want to get rid of this roll here (grabbing belly), and get rid of this here (grabbing skin under the arms)". I have never, ever heard "I want to workout because this is my body and I love it, so I want to make it as strong and healthy as I can."

We all seem to come to exercise from a point of hatred for our bodies. We look at what is "wrong" with them. Ladies, I am here to say that there is NOTHING WRONG WITH OUR BODIES! 

I got into fitness as a teenager, not because I loved my body, but because I wanted to look like the ladies on the aerobics program. I was always a thin kid. My parents, however, were overweight, and I was afraid I'd become like them. I wanted to look like the skinny girls on The 20 Minute Workout, in the fashion magazines, and in the videos on MTV. In my mind, I could never get my body to look like those "ideal" body types. I ran, jumped, stepped, and lifted like crazy. I stopped eating, and if I did eat, I'd run, jump, step, and lift some more. I was never satisfied and never felt like I had the "ideal" body.

But what is ideal? And why does society, Hollywood, and the weight loss industry get to dictate that? They shouldn't.

I am highlighting this video from Mike Howard of Lean Minded because I think he says it all.

Now that we are in the new year, those weight loss resolutions are being made by millions. Rather than making that common weight loss resolution, how about we make 2016 the year we begin to love our bodies as they are. How about we look at exercise and healthy eating, not as a punishment, but as a way to honor our bodies. Think about it. When you love something, you want to take care of it. You love your children, so you do what you can to take care of them. You love your pets, so you do what you can to take care of them. You love your nails and the way they look when they are manicured, so you take care of them. Why not love yourself, body and all, as is, and take care of you? 

Only after we make the mental shift to loving and honoring ourselves can we truly make change happen. Make 2016 be the year you love your selves and see what amazing things can happen!

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.
— Amy Bloom