Why do we all want to be the same shape?
Watching the Lincoln 10k yesterday and talking to my husband about it after, we both remarked that out of over 8,000 bodies, no 2 were exactly the same. Not one of us is perfect – and that is awesome!
All were amazing in what they achieved yesterday.
They were all different shapes, sizes, heights and abilities.
And that’s the same across the whole population, isn’t it.
None of us are the same as any other.
So why do we set our standards by how other people look?
When we set out to “get fit and lose weight” there’s often an aesthetic driver behind it….to look smaller, thinner, leaner.
We’re comparing ourselves to others and setting our standards by them – whether they’re celebrities, photoshopped models, or someone down the road.
Thing is, if we’re all different…are we chasing an imaginary state of perfection and setting ourselves out to ‘fail’ by doing so???
This is what OptiMum, Olivia Denham had to say on the subject:
“We are all perfect…perfectly ourselves and as such unique.
Trouble is were all striving for someone else’s version of what perfect should be although that also changes with the current fashion.
Thigh gap, whiter straighter teeth, hair colour make up trends.
The list goes on.
Why do we feel the need to be sheep, clones, mirror images of one another.
When did it stop being okay to just be yourself???
If a government initiative was set up where we all, as a nation, wore the same clothes as a uniform; all had to have the same haircut, the same “look” – most would object quite strongly with cries of “what about our right to individuality?”
So we should be that, individual, unique and quirky….not what the latest cover model suggests we should look like
I guess I’m saying there is no standard perfect, no one size fits all to happiness. You find your own perfect and be happy with what makes YOU happy!
And as for being the perfect wife, the perfect mum, the perfect child, the perfect business woman… Well that’s just a lot of pressure to add to an already busy life.
We’re all works in progress doing the best we can and sometimes your best really is good enough”
What do you think? Are we as a gender putting too much pressure on ourselves to be ‘perfect’? What does that actually mean?
We want to lose weight to get to that perfect dress size, or to fit those jeans or because we think all of our worries and insecurities will magically fade away with the weight we lose.
We’ll talk separately about how reaching your ‘goal weight’ can affect you – positively and negatively.
Today let’s focus on that decision to start a ‘diet’ or new fitness regime. You may plan it to start from a particular day of the week (traditionally a Monday – but why not now?). You manage Day 1, sticking to all the right foods, drinking what you’re supposed to and getting the required amount of movement in.
Day 2 goes well….you’re winning!
Are you at war with your body?
What does winning actually mean? Sticking perfectly to what you define to be appropriate on your diet or training programme?
There’s that perfect word again….
So what happens when you get to day 11 and eat – pause for sharp intake of breath – a chocolate muffin????
Perhaps you thought you were doing so well you “deserved” a cake?
Clearly you’re not “winning” any more….that must be a “fail”.
The trouble with all of these words and phrases is their negative undertone.
Winning and failing describe opposite ends of a spectrum without any room for dealing with hiccups along the way….maybe you get a cold or your child is sick or it’s “that time of the month”*.
Maybe one of the reasons your diets have failed in the past is that you set out with a rigid plan to stick to perfectly and define any deviation from that as a failure….
You ate a biscuit – “FAILURE”
You had 2 glasses of wine instead of just one….”FAILURE’
You get the gist.
What if though, we looked at it differently from the start?
You are NOT at war with yourself or in competition with your body and this type of “inspiration” isn’t really that inspiring.
You’ve decided to improve your health – awesome.
You’re making changes to choose more balanced, nutrient dense, natural food and drink options as often as you can.
You’re integrating more movement into everyday, as part of your normal routine – tremendous.
Some of the time you’ll make other choices – that’s cool. That’s all it is – a bit of a side step. Overall your direction is changing for the long-term.
Eating one cake or pizza is not a “failure”.
Going 21 days subjecting yourself to a restrictive diet that you don’t find tasty as is making you feel miserable is not “winning”.
Rather than being at war with yourself, or seeing your body as “competition”, you appreciate what your body is doing for you today and do your best to support it, for tomorrow and the day after and the years after that.
Wouldn’t that be perfect?!
* Your “time of the month” may well affect your energy levels, intensity during exercise and hunger/satiety levels….understanding ways to amend the way you eat and move over your monthly cycle can improve adherence to a healthy lifestyle immensely (drop me a line for further information)