Our founder’s body confidence journey
I have now been exclusively working with women for over 6 years and in those 6 years you girls have taught me so much. I’m going to share a few of the best things I have learnt over the years working with women, but firstly I want to share something with you that is quite personal, that I think will help you.
MY PERSONAL STRUGGLE
I am 32, 5’7 and a size 12/14 jeans (the ass doesn’t like size 10’s unless they’re stretchy!). I eat healthily, I exercise, and I weigh 163 lbs…which is just over 11.5 stone! I weigh the same as my dad!! Even when I used to dance, I could not get my weight below 9 stone – for a dancer that’s a bit of a lump. I was a size 6 back then, but still nearly 2 stone heavier than everyone else. No-one wanted to lift me in dance pieces, and I was always conscious of my weight if a guy ever offered to give me a piggyback (as a teenager that was quite often for some reason!).
Truthfully, I developed body confidence issues through not looking at the larger picture, I dug myself into the ground wishing to put my body in a place where it didn’t fit.
I grew to have seriously low self-esteem because of this. But the fact is my body is not designed, and it won’t ever be, light. I have giant thumbs, and my thigh bones are larger than the average man’s. If you’re starting to think I might actually be a man, I’ve posted a photo of myself dancing (9 stone when everyone else my size was 6/7) and what I look like now (nearly 12 stone) to show you that this really isn’t the case! Please be kind, I do not like uploading these sorts of photos of myself!
Think round peg, square hole. My ideals were never going to be my reality, because my focus and reasoning was wrong.
The same has been true for so many women I have trained and known. Weight can be helpful as a method to track progress, but too many people put emphasis entirely on weight and that shouldn’t be the case. Direct your focus to how you feel, the girth of your tummy, arms and legs or your fitness level. Take photos! Lots of them…this way you will clearly see the differences that you wouldn’t normally notice over time.
Weight is a number, but numbers shouldn’t be your focus when trying to lose it…
I can get leaner, healthier, fitter and drop dress sizes…but still weigh the same. So, why not start looking at fitness differently? Judge results based on how you feel.
Do it for more energy and leaner abs, do it for better health and to get into a smaller jeans size. Do this for you, and don’t do it for reasons tied solely to weighing less. These are better, more achievable focuses than dreading numbers on a scale.
I want you to try and think about that when it comes to your own goals, and what you want from being here at Beattitude. We want to support for you girls, just ask any of the team and we will help you 100%.
MAIN BEHAVIOURS OF WOMEN ON THE WARPATH TO WEIGHT LOSS!
Over the years I’ve spent supporting women in health and fitness, I’ve noticed some repeat offenders when it comes to behaviours us women fall into. Let me share some things to keep an eye out for to help you move gently away from these sorts of behaviours and into a better line of motion for this journey we call health, fitness and weight loss (and happiness!).
- We take action once it’s urgent. Holidays, weddings, going on a date – these things can catapult us into the mindset that “something needs to be done RIGHT NOW, and it needs to succeed FAST because I have this REALLY important thing I need to look slim for”. Enter the yo-yo diets and up and down weight loss patterns. This is probably one of the main reasons why our mindset towards weight loss is so negative. When we leave it until the last minute, we stretch our willpower so much that weight loss represents hunger, stress, tiredness, restriction and resentment. Instead, appreciate that your nutrition and training can work around your life and that by keeping it consistent you can steer clear of the mad dash lead up to the holiday ‘diet of doom’.
- We rely solely on the trainer to push us. This is more common than you think! Trainers are here to support you, to help you with technique and motivation, and yes to help drive you, but you know in your heart of hearts whether you could do 1 more rep, or a little more weight, or if you can jump a little higher. So, when you are in class, take control of your progress and push yourself to achieve it. Ultimately you are the only one that can make that change!
- We assume it’s a sprint when in fact it’s a hurdle race. We set out with the goal: lose weight and think by restricting food and adding exercise it will be simple…but then we face hurdles. We don’t lose as much weight as we wanted to, we get injured, or feel exhausted, or the kids get sick. The hurdles are many and varied. It’s not as simple as going from A to B. Like anything in life, there are always mini hurdles to get over. You need to prepare your mindset for this. You have a bit of a run and then another hurdle approaches. If you’re aware this is the race you’re running, the hurdle will be something you get over then put behind as you continue, if not it might be what stops you and gives you the excuse to throw in the towel.
- We face the ‘2 week itch’. This follows on so nicely from point 3 and it’s so common! I even had to change some of the emails in our BeBikini 30-day program because of the experiences I had with so many of you! Week 1: You’re on it, you’re focused, you have weigh in #1 with awesome results and you’re happy. Week 2: For some reason, there is a dip of motivation and by weigh in #2 you have convinced yourself you haven’t achieved anything and you’re certain it’s all too hard. I have no idea why this happens, I am not sure whether it’s because of the sprint VS hurdle viewpoint, or whether it’s because you put 110% in week one, not realising that maybe you need to start giving 80% so you can keep it up. The goal is to be consistent so beware of this one!
- We don’t bother recording the progress. I have been a sucker for this one so many times in my life! Setting out on a plan, putting all the effort in and not taking any measurements before, during and after to monitor how I am doing. Diet and losing weight are 100% outcome based so if you want the outcome, don’t go into the process blind. You need to know HOW you are doing, and if you are starting to plateau. Knowing this can prevent you going on that downward spiral and instead guide you to look at altering something to keep you on track. It also works to maintain your motivation. Nothing drives women further than seeing results!
- We don’t allow ourselves to prioritise ourselves. It is really important that you allow yourself some priority over work, family, relationships and even the kids, so you can do what it is that will help you get to where you want to be. Even if that place is having some time out from everyday routine life. If it makes it easier, we give you PERMISSION to prioritise yourself.
- We don’t tailor ‘when we workout’ to our personalities. This is a big one. I bet somewhere throughout your life you’ve had that one friend who got up and went for a run, early morning, come rain or shine. And you wondered why she could do it and you couldn’t resist hitting snooze. Perhaps you thought it was something to do with her being more motivated than you…well it’s not! Some of us are morning people and others are evening lovers. Scheduling your workouts at times that suit your personality type will reduce the amount of mental motivation and energy you use to convince yourself to do something outside your tendency. You’re never going to stick to something if you don’t enjoy it, so try to time workouts at the best time for you that way you will work out harder, and have more fun with it.
Siobhan and the team
TALK TO US…
If you would like more help to tailor and plan your workouts give us a call or message. We have a large range of classes focussed 100% on women. If you are looking for a bit of a push, or simply to get back on track, we have core, circuits, pre and post natal, boxing, flow and yoga classes.