Do you ever feel like you’ve been working on your health and weight loss goals, but the person you want to notice just won’t acknowledge your slack anyway? You’re not alone.
A few days ago, one of my group chats was abuzz about actress and SNL comedian Leslie Jones’ recent Instagram gym selfie.
It took a lot of courage for Jones to express her vulnerability on social media, and her caption got me thinking about how prevalent these feelings of unworthiness towards the body are. Her comment made me think back to when I weighed 30 pounds and was battling my own feelings of failure, asking myself, “What’s the point of trying?” Heck, I’ve had those thoughts…when I was at a healthy weight and just didn’t see the results I wanted, thought I should have seen, or wanted the world to see.
Leslie posted another article later in the day with the following title.
“Hey!!!! I want you all to know that I post how I really feel, because I’m a real person!!!! And I know I’m not alone. By the way, I’m also 50 years old and know that life is life! And there are times when we are down! But it’s good to know that I am loved by God!!!!! It’s important to respect your feelings as long as you’re not living there!!!! God Bless!!!!”
Regardless of your religious beliefs, Leslie’s thoughts are powerful – no matter who you are, there are times when you’re feeling low, so don’t live there and know that you’re loved.
As Valentine’s Day approaches and images of perfect, happy couples are everywhere, I’d like to leave you with a message. Stop trying for someone else and start doing it for you.
Even if you’re paired with a loving partner, you may still have those “What’s it all for?” The moment.
The next time you wonder what it’s all about, look in the mirror and say, “Me.”
Yes, I know this can be hard. For example, maybe you’ve been regularly checking in on someone at a spin class with zero glances, maybe you want your spouse to give you a hug when you get home from the gym, maybe you just want your work crush to notice that you’ve lost 7/8 pounds, or maybe you just want someone, anyone to comment on how damn good you look.
Drown out the need for external validation, just keep working at the gym, keep logging (and sticking to your goals), and keep yourself top of mind – you’ll see results. Here are some self-love tips to help you on your health and fitness journey.
1. find something you love to do.
Like most people, I love the post-workout glow, the endorphin rush after leaving the gym, but I’ll be honest: I don’t always enjoy the workout itself. So, think about what you really like about exercise. For me, it’s working out with my friend Alex. We always have the best time crushing stress at the gym. So, make sure you have that thing. It could be Zumba or a dance class. Maybe walking, yoga or tai chi is your thing. Or, you might surprise yourself and try something new like rock climbing, cycling or even golf.
2 Be with people who lift you up.
I was taught at a very young age that you really only need one good friend. To this day, that still rings true for me. Your group of friends doesn’t have to be big, but it should include people who elevate you and allow you to be the best version of yourself. Reach out to those friends who can help motivate and encourage you along the way. Try to find yourself a good friend who can support you in your health and fitness journey. My friend Disha recently started doing the 6am boot camp workouts and she started sending me notes to let me know she was on her way to a workout. Some days, I’ll wake up at 6:15am and see a text from her saying she’s on her way and that’s all the motivation I need to get out of bed and do my own workout instead of hitting snooze. The same thing applies to food – you may want to avoid eating with a friend who is known to go crazy at dinner (real talk: sometimes I’m that friend)…. But that friend might be perfect for a movie or a walk around the neighborhood.
3. Reflect on how far you’ve come.
If you’re recycling your daily workouts or tracking your food intake, remember that time when you could barely lift the dumbbells you’re using now. If you’re at the beginning of your health journey, think back to a time when you were too intimidated to even start. The fact that you’ve made the commitment to start eating better or exercising is the progress you’ve started to make. I often get a rush of self-love when I think about how I used to be afraid of sledding at the gym, but now I run up and push the sled – loaded with weights – through the gym like a professional athlete.
4 It’s okay to reach out for help.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, sad or stressed, reach out to friends and family for support. It can be a text message or a phone call. Better yet, tell the people who are important to you that you need their support: it may be as simple as your spouse giving you a hug or high five when you come home from a run.The MFP community can also be incredibly supportive – check out the community message boards for inspiration from other users. You can even introduce yourself and seek words of inspiration. However, if these strategies aren’t helpful or don’t provide the level of support you need, don’t hesitate to get help from professionals who are better equipped to help you explore the root causes of your grief, stress, or lack of self-worth.
5 Do it for yourself.
No matter what your health, fitness or weight loss goals are, you need to make changes for yourself. You can be inspired by others, but at the end of the day, if you don’t do it for yourself, you will be let down. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale and the compliments from the outside world, shift your focus to the energy you’ve gained and how good you feel when you’re a few pounds lighter.
Better than ever.
We’re all striving for health and a better life! Each month, this column brings you advice on how to feel and perform better than ever before. Each month, this column brings you advice on how to feel and perform better than ever before. Check out tips for improving every aspect of your health: from fitness and nutrition to sleep and recovery and everything in between. Is there a topic you’d like to know more about? Welcome here (I’ll check the comments!) Or connect on Twitter or Instagram. I look forward to hearing from you.