There will be a large proportion of you who will know me from or remember my Body by Vi days. I was a promoter for what was essentially a weight loss system (think Herbalife and you kinda get the idea) and although we talked about the health benefits of the vitamins, minerals etc. there was a heavy emphasis on weight. I don’t think like this anymore! I don’t have any regrets, it was where I needed to be at the time, business-wise and personally. I learnt a lot and it was instrumental in taking me on the path I am on today and for this I am grateful.
I did a presentation for my business networking family last month and in this, I pointed out that the whole weight loss terminology is BS! You could weigh yourself naked, having cut off all your hair, starved yourself, taken a diuretic and had a big poo and your overall body weight will have gone down – are you happy now??? Probably! But this isn’t really what you are talking about. You want to lose body fat and this is a whole different subject.
If your overall body weight has a dramatic effect on your happiness I want you to consider why? Chances are it’s aesthetic and social acceptance and norms projected onto us from everywhere. Body image issues are not just reserved for teenage girls! And please don’t think for one second that I am writing this free of any of these feelings – far from it, but I am very aware of unpicking them and seeing them for what they are and then guiding myself back to a healthier perspective. Or put another way, having a better perspective of health (not bodyweight – you see where I’m going).
I think body composition monitoring (fat %, muscle mass, hydration, visceral fat etc) has its place in fat loss and muscle building but those numbers on the scale mean NOTHING about YOU! If they go up or down, this is no reflection on the person you are yet we internalise the numbers to mean if we have put on weight then we are a bad gluttonous person with no will power. And you notice again the word weight – it isn’t even accurate, this is overall body weight and this is affected daily by your mood, menstruation cycle, hydration, sleep….. Why would we be so reliant on a result that has so many variables !?
Fat loss for those that are carrying too much for a body to sustain healthily is necessary, but unfortunately, this doesn’t feel the same way as when a vet directly tells you that your dog is not a healthy weight and you do something about it for its wellbeing, not because the other dogs in the park think it looks fat in its new collar! I would adore for humans to think of fat loss like this but I feel it’s fairly unrealistic. Instead, the message that I would love to champion is one of getting fit, having fun and feeling alive in your own body. Celebrating what it can do, striving for fitness, strength, endurance and feeling goals rather than numbers on a scale and if you truly embodied this feeling of love, appreciation and acceptance of your incredible body (& you are and it is INCREDIBLE!!) then the numbers will look after themselves. The fat loss, the muscle gain, the looser trousers etc will become a favourable byproduct of loving and looking after your health
Just to cover all angles here I appreciate I have focussed on fitness, however, the importance of working on your self-image, not how you think the world looks at you but how you look and feel about you (Eeek!!) is as important, if not more and obviously great nutrition to sustain all this. However, just starting with moving your body and seeing how good it feels is a great catalyst to all these other things. You’ll find you feel good so you want to make the “right” food and lifestyle choices for your body and mind. And when you have done a kick-ass class or a luxurious Pilates session your posture and demeanour changes; you stand tall, you are confident and proud of what your body and mind can achieve and you start to see yourself differently from the inside and this will reflect on the outside. This then produces a beautiful ripple effect, positively infecting the loved ones around you.
I know you certainly don’t want your children, loved ones, other women (and men) around you to feel that the numbers on the scale have a positive or negative impact, at best, on your mood and at worst on your self-worth. So be that shining exuberant example of health and life that you want to be – ditch the bathroom scales (literally throw them away!! Please!!), find a style of fitness that you want to do and don’t settle for that $*1t you tell yourself that exercise just isn’t for you, if you are human, exercise is for you!
Everything written here is written with love and without judgement, as much as is humanly possible. If anything here touches or triggers you please get in touch and tell me about it – I would love to hear from you!
Big Love, Catherine.