In today's day and age, with everyone showcasing everything on social media, it is very hard for women and men not to compare themselves to others. It's important to focus on what is important, about being the healthiest version of yourself, not the skinniest or having the most muscle. Happiness, well-being, active lifestyles, good heart health, reduced stress and eating nourishing food should all be miles ahead on our priority lists than what we look like.
We are our harshest critics, but make healthy choices and nothing else should matter. If you are a busy mum or dad with young children, always remember that your habits will help to develop the habits of the little people looking up to you.
In today's digital world, we unfortunately require a thick skin to withstand some negative comments that can appear online -curvy, skinny, normal, different. It's interesting how much a complete stranger can have to say about someone's lifestyle. It is pleasing to see that as time goes by, many celebrities and health/fitness bloggers are becoming better at not letting trolls get them down -and so are we!
Popular actress and singer Selena Gomez wrote: "The beauty myth: an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfil society's impossible definition of flawless beauty. I chose to take care of myself because I want to, not to prove anything to anyone. Wind in her sails."
Revie Jane Shulz offers meal and training plans for women of all ages, and although at TSIC we should stress that these training plans should be specific to your individual needs, we admired the way in which she used her platform recently to inspire women. Her post read:
"I opened my laptop for the first time since I had Lola over the weekend and delved through my inbox. It was a jungle to say the least but I had one pestering email, who had chased me up THREE times in the 11 days Lola had been alive. A company endorsing flat tummy supplements. I felt rage, I felt annoyed and then I felt sad. I felt sad to any woman who may feel further pressure from companies and society with this pressuring message. I felt sorry for the first time mummy I was 2 years ago that would have felt sad looking at her postpartum belly because it wasn't flat yet. In no way would I endorse this kind of message to my fellow mummy's, in fact here is a message to my mummy tribe. I am wiser and stronger now. My priority is not having a flat tummy, my priority is the health of my babies and the mental and physical health of myself. My priority is building a strong, healthy and fit body so I can chase my babies, throw them in the air, push them in the pram and carry them for hours on end. I will achieve this with healthy food, staying hydrated, functional training, resting where possible and most importantly being KIND to myself and by giving myself TIME. In my experience, it wasn't for a few months until my tummy settled down. It carried a baby for 42 and then 39 weeks. It's okay for it to take a few months or more to readjust. For some Mama's it happens sooner, but it's okay if it doesn't. So here is my tummy, far from "flat"...This body has grown two healthy, magical beings and I'm thrilled with my beautiful postpartum body."
Everyone's bodies respond differently to exercise, stress, food intake, etc. from one another. A celebrity's Instagram page "weekly workout" may be just what Martha or John who lives up the road needs but for you it may be completely unrealistic, unnecessary and not what you need.
An Exercise Physiologist will be able to help you set realistic goals, and work with you on your specific health and fitness needs, no matter what stage of life you are in. Being happy and healthy is the goal, not the image. Be kind to yourself.