learning to shift gears: bullying is not a motivator

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in the week since the superbowl i’ve seen so many women online comparing their bodies to jlo & shakira’s. truly–so many. most were beating themselves up about their bodies, which they felt were “bad” in comparison, or shame-talking their fitness and food habits.

heartbreakingly, we’ve been taught that bullying, whether ourselves or others, is a motivator. think hazing on sports teams or in the military — it was normalized because it was believed to foster achievement & excellence. so no wonder bullying is embedded in diet culture–which relies entirely on external cues–and shows up in how we speak to and treat ourselves.

when we use a diet culture lens we are more likely to be motivating from a place of fear & shame than from one of acceptance & hope. energy that could be dedicated to discovering and working toward our most authentic aspirations for ourselves first has to push through negative self-talk.

what if instead of starting with this energy deficit we were committed to giving ourselves a leg up? what if we spent this extra energy *encouraging* ourselves to explore & pursue our goals?

what if what women said to themselves after seeing these celebrity bodies wasn’t “i suck” or “i have to do better” or “it’s hopeless” or “it’s not fair”? what if they said “wow, jlo looks strong! and she moves with ease! and i think shakira’s really enjoying what she’s doing! i’d like to feel that way, and i’d like to explore how i can move my body & nourish it in ways that will support that goal.”

an invitation to reject diet culture is not a condemnation of wanting to feel fit & strong — it is an opportunity to find & align with a compassionate, sustainable “why” and “how” of doing so. with an awareness of how diet culture has framed your approach to food & fitness, it’s absolutely possible to shift gears from a lens of judgement to one of inspiration!

amazing fitness professionals like @barbellblondie (whose photo you see above!) have been doing this work and are changing the field. follow her and other body-positive fitness accounts for inspiration, education and motivation 💛

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