(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace! Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started. Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)
Hi everyone! Welcome to Day 15 of the Love Your Body Challenge. I really hope you enjoyed Day 14 of the Love Your Body Challenge yesterday. The reason to love your body was,
“Because I’m not just, “strong for a girl.” I am just plain STRONG.”
We discussed how “qualifying” our strengths tries to set the bar lower for us due to age, gender, size, or marital/family status. And that’s garbage. Here’s what you had to say:
“’You’re pretty fit for a bigger girl.’ That’s something I’ve heard from others, as well as tell myself. You know what though? I’ve worked out with friends who most would naturally consider “fit” and pretty much ran circles around them when it came to strength and endurance. I am passionate about exercise and I walk, run, hike, kayak, bike, swim, do yoga, do Zumba, erg, elliptical, plank, you name it. I am fit. Period.”
“I find that I almost put words in peoples mouth when they compliment me, or act shocked at my completing a race or triathlon. I assume they are questioning those things because I am not exactly small and lean. I have said, “I know… even a big girl can do it,” or, “According to my Dr. I am as healthy as humanly possible, even big girls can be healthy.”
I will be changing my mind set and assume they are shocked at those things because they think its crazy and awesome, not because they have doubt in their mind. Even if they do have the shock for negative reasons, it doesn’t matter what they think, I will be proud, and know I am a freakin rockstar.”
I love reading about these revelations and positive mindset changes in you all! Yes, you are ALL freakin’ rockstars!
And now, Day 15.
Reason #15 To Love Your Body
15. Because it puts up with my antics, and still thrives.
I don’t know about you, but I have put my body through some major abuse in my lifetime. As a young girl I lived on fast food, soda, and anything beige (bread, potatoes with cheese, chicken flavored rice, ramen noodles, muffin and pancake mix — yes, the mix), and any other highly processed starchy or sugary carb that I could get my hands on. Between the ages of 7 and 16, I also alternated between periods of extreme activity (competitive gymnastics 16 hours a week to absolutely zero physical activity).
Once I fell in love with fitness, I spent years pushing my body to the limit training for figure competitions while eating very little food, and taking “fat burners.” I also worked long hours at a really popular bar during undergrad and grad school and while starting my business, often working 12-17 hours shifts until 3-4 am, and not getting to bed until 5-6 am.
Long story short, my body has been through the ringer.
And yes, it “broke down on me” when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and Adrenal Dysfunction. But my body was simply reciprocating what I was giving it. Because I was refusing to slow down, it slowed me down. And you know what? I couldn’t be more grateful for that. It was my body forcing me to slow down that helped me realize I need to not just value my aesthetics and performance, but my health and lifestyle as well.
And you know what else? Things could be a lot worse.
In the grand scheme of things, I feel really good. I feel strong, I have energy, I like the way I look, and I love my body.
I’m by no means perfect. I struggle with getting enough sleep at the right time, and I struggle with relaxing because I love my work so much, but today I take much better care of myself now than I ever have.
Mantra: “My body has put up with all of my antics and it still thrives. And for that, it deserves love.”
Repeat this (to yourself or out loud) 10 times right now, 10 times during your action step, and 10 times before bed.
Action step: Write down a list of the things you have put your body through in your lifetime. From inactivity to excessive exercise to eating the wrong foods to drinking too much to working too much — most of us have put our bodies through the wringer. Write all of this down, and then write down all of the ways your body still thrives; it’s strong, it’s capable, it’s sexy, it’s energetic, it’s compassionate, it’s nurturing… whatever your body does really well, write it down.
Then spend 1 minute feeling gratitude for your thriving body.
Psssst… speaking of a “thriving” body, one of my good friends Jen Sinkler of Thrive As The Fittest, is releasing her much-anticipated Lift Weights Faster workout library today. If you’re not familiar with Jen and her Lift Weights Faster philosophy, here’s a little backstory:
In a “Faces of MN” video interview that Jen did with interviewer Joel Carlson, he inquired about what she did for exercise. When Jen explained that she lifted weights, she went on to explain how often the follow-up question is, “Yeah, but what do you do for cardio?”
Her answer? It’s always, always, always, “I lift weights faster.”
Yes, it’s true. You can absolutely get a “cardio effect” from lifting weights. In fact, it’s one of the main ways I do cardio. Yes, I go for light walks, or the occasional hike, but for the most part, I engage in moderate strength training circuits for my energy systems training (i.e. “cardio”).
Look, we know that longer-duration, higher intensity aerobic exercise is not the most effective and fastest way to lose body fat and retain or gain muscle mass. Your best bet is to do a combination of heavy strength training, high intensity interval training, and moderate intensity aerobic energy systems work. Simply put, slaving away for hours on the treadmill or elliptical won’t give most of us the best version of the bodies we were given (yes, I’m taking a leap here and assuming you want a relatively lean, athletic, and muscular body).
One of the best things about Jen’s Lift Weights Faster workout library is that you can find the best of both types of workouts in there. You can find the extremely short, very high intensity workouts that are done in 4-15 minutes, or you can find the medium duration, moderate intensity workouts that last 20-30-ish minutes that will give you the “cardiac ouput” training effect you are looking for where your heart rate stays in the 120-150 bpm range.
And of course, you can always make your own modifications to the 130+ workouts that she offers in the library so that they fit your exact needs.
As a bonus, if you purchase Lift Weights Faster through my link and email your receipt to: GalbraithOnlineCoaching@gmail.com, I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win a 30 minute Skype coaching call with me for FREE.
This is a $90 value for FREE!
The way it will work is that each day I’ll choose one name from the first 20 email receipts I receive, so the more quickly you purchase it and email the link, the better your chances of winning!