Across mental health awareness week there were so many great articles, posts and programmes covering so many aspects of mental health. This year’s theme of body image really resonated with me as an individual who has struggled over the years with their own image. I wanted to share with you some of my own thoughts on this so anyone feeling the same way knows that they are not alone. These are just my thoughts but there is lots of help available for people who suffering which can be found online or by contacting your GP.
Doing the work that I do, I am constantly surrounded by the preconception that all Personal Trainers will look like Joe Wicks, The Body Coach - but I will hold my hands up and admit that I don’t. For starter’s my hair isn’t curly! I’m not a PT that focuses on you getting a six-pack, if that is what you want of course I will help you to get it, but what I like to focus on is how you feel, getting fitter to help your health and well being, reaching goals that you thought you couldn’t achieve and most of all feeling more confident in yourself. Health and fitness is about more than just the physical look of your body.
As an active child I was always fit and healthy, never overweight and always burning lots of energy. As an active adult I have always struggled with my own perceptions of my weight and have yo-yoed over the years.
If I am having a spell of feeling that I am carrying some extra weight I find it very hard to pick myself up and can't stop focusing on the things that I don’t like about myself. This can spiral out of control and I can get into a dark place. Throughout the years, I have found ways of coping with these thoughts but it has taken a lot of work to do so – in the past I have focused too much on increasing my work outs to try to overcompensate which in itself has then created problems, I have cut out meals and taken extreme diets – what I know now is that a lot of what I see is in my mind and not actually in my physical appearance.
I find that if I get into this space the best thing for me to do is to change things up a little bit. I might have a week where I focus on meal prep to make me feel like I am making changes even though what is in those meals stays the same. I sometimes change my workout so I don’t feel stuck in a rut and sometimes I just have to accept that I am having a bad few days and things will get better.
I understand a negative body image and can feel and that is why I love being able to help people to overcome this can use my own experiences to do so.