Over the years, one of my greatest challenges as a gym owner, exercise scientist and conditioning coach has been to help my clients keep the ‘body stuff’ in perspective. Many of you will know exactly what I mean. Either first hand or as an observer. On the one hand, I want to help people create fit, strong, functional, high-performance bodies but on the other, I don’t want them to become body-obsessed, insecure, weirdos who can never be lean enough, fit enough, light enough or sexy enough. And yes it happens.
One mindset is healthy, logical and empowering while the other is unhealthy, emotional and disempowering.
A Fine Line
When it comes to the sometimes-tricky matter of managing our bodies, the gap between discipline and obsession, self-control and self-abuse, productive and destructive is often a very small one. A fine line. I’ve seen many people turn a healthy behaviour (regular exercise, for example) into a totally unhealthy addiction in a relatively short amount of time. And as we all know, chasing acceptance, approval and connection through our physical appearance is slippery and never-ending slope. We never get there.
Wherever there is.
When an individual’s self-esteem and identity are totally dependant on their physical appearance, insecurity and anxiety will be the result. Healthy self-esteem works from the inside-out because the body is not the person but rather, the temporary home. Some people erroneously believe that where they live is who they are. To recognise this and to consciously move beyond this paradigm is one of the greatest challenges of our appearance-obsessed culture.
Your body is to be valued, appreciated and cared for. It’s an amazing gift.
But it’s not you.