Downplaying Our Beauty
So the other day in the car, Ryan and I were listening to a radio segment about beautiful people being treated differently.
And while the segment itself was completely absurd and light-hearted, I was amazed by all the people calling in and claiming to be beautiful and that it had caused them problems.
I briefly thought, “Who the heck would call in to this!?!”
But then part of me also thought, “Good for them thinking they are amazing looking and not being afraid to say it!”
Rarely if ever do you truly run into someone who believes they are beautiful and are willing to state it out loud. Most of the time instead women downplay their beauty and instead focus on their flaws.
It’s like they are scared to come off as cocky or overly confident. It is as if they don’t want to take a stand in case someone else doesn’t agree with them and instead sees their flaws.
Even when complimented often women will downplay things instead of just saying, “Fuck yea…I’m awesome!”
Why is it that so many women downplay their strengths?
Why isn’t it thought to be acceptable for us to state out loud with our head held high that we agree when someone compliments us and that we know we are awesome?
Is it fear of someone not agreeing with us that holds us back? Is it fear that we will come off as cocky?
Or is it simply that we don’t recognize our own beauty or our own strengths?
Whatever it is, today take a second and say out loud, “I’m fucking amazing and beautiful and today I will kick butt!”
Because, guess what?
Claim the day ladies (and that goes for you too gentlemen!).
Today recognize your strengths and encourage others to do the same!
To Strong Women Everywhere
I think most women are way stronger than they give themselves credit for.
I think we are taught from a very young age, intentionally or unintentionally, to be very humble, to be almost shy or even ashamed of our strength and abilities. We are almost taught to keep our strength to ourselves.
Far too often I hear females brush off compliments and downplay their abilities (sometimes they even completely deny them).
But we need to embrace our strength – we need to acknowledge our awesomeness!
It’s funny, but I really started thinking about all of this when one of my male clients said to me, “You are freaking awesome!” after we were discussing some sort of feat of strength.
Instead of blushing and denying it, I said, “I know, right!?!” (I was partially joking, but at the same time, I was PROUD of what I had accomplished).
And guess what? He didn’t roll his eyes or think I was cocky or conceited. He actually laughed and start to say to the client next to him, “Notice how she didn’t….”
I then interrupted him and said, “Didn’t deny it?”
He laughed again and said, “Yea!”
And I said, “Well I’m proud!”
And he said, “You should be!”
YOU SHOULD BE!
Ok…I’m not suggesting that we walk around saying, “I know!” when someone gives us a compliment. I’m just saying that we should start believing in ourselves and in our abilities.
We should start being proud of our STRENGTH.
Because, guess what!?! IT IS OK TO BE PROUD AND STRONG!
And right now you may be thinking, “Well I’m strong and I don’t have to go around bragging about it to be proud of it.”
Uhm well for one, I’m not suggesting your brag. And two, are you really proud of it if you can’t accept a compliment?
Are you really proud if you have to downplay your abilities?
Are you really proud if you are apologizing and excusing your strength?
Personally, I don’t think so.
Because how much can you truly BELIEVE in yourself if you keep telling yourself and other people you really aren’t that wonderful and strong?
We do start to believe what we tell ourselves and others. Our minds do hear the words coming out of our mouths. And our mind can be tricked into believing the lies….
I’ve seen a change over the years as I’ve gone from excusing and downplaying my strength, my abilities, to embracing them and maybe even, in some people’s eyes, bragging about them.
Heck, if saying “Yes. I am indeed strong” is bragging….GUILTY AS CHARGED….And very proud of it.
My point is that when I stopped denying and downplaying, I started to become even stronger because my mind wasn’t ever hearing that I wasn’t strong enough.
So take a second right now and think about it.
Are you truly proud of your strength?
How often do you recognize and appreciate your abilities when someone gives you a compliment? Or do you generally downplay what you’ve accomplished?
P.S. This post is dedicated to all of you wonderful women that inspire me every day with your strength inside and out of the gym!
It’s Never Too Late – Becoming a Beast at Any Age
I have many older adults that come to train with me who think that certain exercises, activities that they even used to do, are now out of reach….I find it is especially common among women.
But that simply isn’t the case.
Even as we age, our bodies are capable of so much more than we give them credit for.
Getting old doesn’t have to mean the end of being an athlete. It doesn’t have to mean accepting pain or not being able to do fun and crazy workout moves!
No matter your age, or even whether or not you were an athlete, you can become a beast. Yup…that’s right…you can become a beast at ANY AGE!
Really becoming a beast isn’t about developing more strength or even better movement patterns – it is about developing CONFIDENCE in yourself.
It is about not being intimidated and believing you CAN do it.
And for women, especially older women who may feel like there are things they can no longer do, the physical fitness realm can be intimidating, which doesn’t make becoming a beast very easy.
You hear fairly often how weight rooms are intimidating for many women. And honestly, for many they only become more intimidating with age.
Heck I’m sure many of you have experienced the dread and fear of walking into a busy weight room. I know I’ve seen it on many of the faces of women I train (before of course I win them over with my great sense of humor…just kidding…sort of…)
I mean…I get it.
Thinking about the gym I work in now, I could see how some of my older women are at first intimidated.
They walk in and there are professional MMA fighters and crazy people running around sweating and grunting. There are chains and tires and sledge hammers as well as other stuff that doesn’t even look like gym equipment lining the walls.
They see people doing handstands and swinging around gigantic kettlebells. And everyone is sweating profusely. (hey we don’t have air conditioning…there are very few people who don’t sweat even without air conditioning…I do know a few…but not many!)
Sometimes it just looks crazy. And there seems to be a lot of stuff going on that looks impossible to do. (And once the first shock is over, most of my older adults, especially the women, love the craziness, but that initial shock can truly intimidate.)
I mean…handstands at 60?
Heck many people aren’t doing handstands at 15 let alone 60!
But they aren’t impossible.
And the only reason I mention handstands is because that is one of those exercises that many women see and turn to me and say, “I can’t do that.”
I always respond the same thing, “Well have you tried to do one?”
The answer is always, without a doubt, “NO.”
Or better yet, “No. I’m too old!”
So they haven’t tried one, but there is no way they are going to be able to do one.
And somewhere along the line, they decided there is an age limit to handstands. (Even after all those videos of the 86-year-old gymnast!)
But doing a handstand, or any exercise like it, is truly all about confidence.
Yes, doing handstands requires strength.
But you would be amazed at the number of women who haven’t lifted that much and haven’t ever really done handstands that can do the second, or even third, level of the handstand progression on their first or second day.
And the best thing EVER is that look in their eyes when they are amazed at the fact that they can walk their feet up the wall and hold a true handstand.
It is all about confidence.
If we don’t believe we can do something, we aren’t ever going to attempt it.
We aren’t ever going to give ourselves a shot.
Yes, our bodies change as we age, but that doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we are restricted from doing a ton of things!
Aging doesn’t mean we have to accept immobility and pain. Aging can still mean running and playing! Heck, there are grandchildren to chase after!
There is no cap on improving your physical fitness. Aging doesn’t have to mean going downhill.
You can become a beast at any age and take on a ton of new physical challenges. I’ve seen it happen.
I have 60-year-old clients who have never been athletes, or really ever even worked out before, find joy in doing chain plank pulls (100 lbs chain plank pulls for that matter).
I bet you if you asked them if they’d ever be able to do something like that, they would have told you NO.
Or what about the woman who came in and lost over 50lbs and regained her ability to do cartwheels after not having done one since high school?
She wasn’t just always a super athlete.
Just because you aren’t a beast right now, doesn’t mean you can’t become one.
Give yourself a chance.
Tell yourself you CAN DO IT and start training today.
Age doesn’t have to mean we are limited! We can be beasts at any age!
If you have discovered your beastliness later in your life, share your story! Comment below and help inspire others to pursue their own “beastliness!”
Confidence – Victories Build Upon Victories
So you often hear New Years resolutions and people coming into the gym with a goal of losing weight, getting healthier, being more toned, feeling better.
But what is their REAL reason WHY?
Honestly, it really isn’t to look better. Or even to get healthier most of the time.
It is to be more CONFIDENT!
I mean why do you want to look better? Is it really just for the sake of looking better? Or is it because you want to FEEL better about yourself – be more CONFIDENT in how you look?
Do you really want to get healthier? Or do you want to be MORE CONFIDENT in you health – know that when you wake up you will have the energy to tackle the day and won’t constantly be falling ill?
Yup…Underlying just about every health and fitness goal is a person’s real WHY – CONFIDENCE.
And while I would say this is definitely the case for women, I think it is also true for men.
Even high level athletes train to have more confidence. Yes, they train to get stronger…But they really train because they want to be CONFIDENT that they can win.
A healthy lifestyle is all about confidence no matter what terms you actually use to describe your goal.
That is why having a measurable goal, which is broken down into SHORT-TERM goals, is so important.
A big part of confidence is seeing progress – seeing SUCCESS…no matter how small.
When we accomplish something, there is definitely a feeling of pride, a feeling of CONFIDENCE.
I know that is why I make a daily task list. I love the feeling of success and accomplishment that I get when I cross something off of my to-do list!
Even if it is something small. Honestly, I usually even start with the easiest and smallest task for the day because it is the least daunting and seems quick and painless. AND it gets the momentum going because once I’ve finished something and see the list start to get smaller, I feel even more motivated to continue.
Usually getting the momentum going is the hardest part, which is why it is so important to start with something small. Easy to accomplish tasks present a lower barrier to entry…aka they make it seem less intimidating to get started on a difficult task.
So while your long-term goal may be something that will take months or even years to accomplish (and may seem incredibly daunting at the moment), your short-term goals should be things you can accomplish daily or even weekly.
You NEED to have easy to accomplish short-term goals, especially at the beginning because those quick and easy victories will get the momentum rolling.
And when you start seeing success, no matter how small, your confidence will build. And as your confidence builds, you will perform better, feel better, and even look better.
So if you want to accomplish all those more “superficial” goals like losing weight, getting more toned, being healthier, you first have to target the real reason you want all of those things – CONFIDENCE!
P.S. By superficial I don’t mean not important…your health is VERY important and does drive people to eat better or workout, but if you build your confidence, those other goals don’t seem near as intimidating or out of reach!