Last week it is mental health awareness week (14-20th May 2018), and for the past month I have been thinking very much about body confidence and how important it is for a healthy relationship with ourselves both physically and mentally. Every day on my social media ( I only have time for facebook and Instagram....single mother, running a business blah, blah) I am bombarded by inspirational quotes, posed selfies, progress pics, foodies and advertising coming out of my earholes. Most of the time I feel engaged and inspired but just lately I feel a little overwhelmed.....intimidated even. I feel so saturated by this concept of being physically healthy and body beautiful that it is affecting how I am looking and feeling about myself.
Of course the simplest and most logical answer to this is just to stop looking.
But instead of retreating, I am instead compelled to respond.
In my business I talk to a lot of people about their journey through life, how they came to choose their path, what makes them tick and the reality that most of us struggle with similar issues throughout life. It is how we choose to deal with those issues, our own individual mental toolkit ( if you will), that determines our own individual response. One of the profound things that I have learned from my clients, and their journeys, is that owning yourself. Owning one's body, one's mind and every decision you make allows you to take control of your life.
"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" - William Ernest Henley
So....back to body confidence, as that is the topic that is currently haunting my mind. For in my mind self criticism (the opposition of body positivity) is deeply related to things I have learnt and absorbed and mirrored back to myself as truth. The self criticism you face inside your own head was not something you were born with...you have learned it. You have learned from your parents, your peers, your culture and by society at large....in fact constantly bombarded by it... which brings me full circle to the social media transmission I am currently struggling to mentally repel.
I want to explore the world of fitness and how it impacts upon body confidence.
I have been asking my fitness peers about their individual journeys and their own state of body confidence...., and it seems to me that most of us suffer from body confidence issues, and they affect us in different ways. How does the competition circut mess with your mind, how do they struggle with body confidence, how do they get over it? What do they get out of it? So beginning next week I will be publishing some of their answers as a part of the wonderful celebration that is Transformation Tuesday...…
I am going to start with the powerhouse that is Sara Harpin. Who recently at BodyPower won the Gold medal in her class, broke 3 British records, qualified for the worlds and the Olympia and finished with a 535kg total...the 2nd highest raw female total in the UK. BOOM!
Chrissie Nicholson-Wild / Bespoke bikini and themewear designer.
Studied as a fine artist, trained as a fashion designer, honest as a Northerner. When she's not covering her world in sparkle she's scribbling in her journal.
Invictus, William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.