Love Yourself: Body Positivity + Self-Acceptance

Exercise and nutrition are a great way to nourish your body and give it some much-needed TLC.


Filling your body with real, nutritious food will make your body healthy by providing it with essential fuel, energy and nutrients necessary to carry out many vital functions.


Exercise will enable your body to move better, alleviate pain, help you feel stronger and more energetic.


But what you fill your mind with is a different area that can either facilitate or defer progress.


There is a fine distinction between working on yourself and setting some healthy, productive goals when it comes to fitness and eating vs. succumbing to societal pressure and relentlessly trying to achieve some unrealistic standard of beauty that is painted by someone else (…insert instagram model here).
What inspired me to write today’s blog are conversations with a couple of female clients I had this week, concerning their body image and mindset. While having our usual check-in conversations, both ladies in two consecutive days almost broke down crying, and expressed a complete and utter discontentment about they way they look and the numbers they saw on the scale. They both felt like they didn’t meet the criteria of what they feel they “should” look like, or weigh, and as a result their self-esteem and mood was down in the dumps.
The truth is that both of them are beautiful, smart, funny, successful, amazing women, who have made a shit ton of progress in and out of the gym, and everyone around them sees them as such. So why would they not be able to see themselves for what they are? The beautiful, smart, funny, successful, amazing women?! I began to puzzle myself with that question.
After some time passed by, I started carefully examining my own conscience and relationship with my own body. Even as a female coach who’s in great shape, I recalled many times when I was very critical of my own appearance, and compared myself to others. “I wish I had her long legs…” (…) “These jeans make my butt look so flat!”
While I pondered along some of my own unproductive thoughts, it became very clear to me that body image issues are REAL for many people (not only women), and as a leader in the fitness industry it is my obligation to start changing the way we perceive our bodies, and the way we define beauty.
After researching some statistics, I found a study from 2016 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which stated that: “Approximately 91% of American women are unhappy with their bodies, and don’t feel like they meet their ‘ideal’ body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.”
Though I don’t know all the answers nor am I an expert on body image, here are my thoughts on how we can start being more body positive, loving ourselves a little more and creating a healthy mindset when it comes to the way we look…
First, we need to accept who we are and the way we were born. As much as I would like to be taller or have darker hair, there are never going to be enough pairs of high heels or hair dyes that could actually make me taller and 50 shades darker. I believe in many things, but I know that no matter how much exercise or diet one implements they’re never going to be able to alter certain genetic features such as being more top vs. bottom heavy or naturally thin vs. muscular. This is just the way we are made and instead of focusing in on what we’re not, we should embrace who and what we are made of and love ourselves for it. Maybe the extra weight in our hips or stretch marks from having kids can be our own little trademark that we recognize, begin to love, and accept. After all, these features give us a character and even if we want to change a little bit of our aesthetics, we’re not going to love ourselves anymore if these things were to disappear.
Changing Inner Dialogue
When it comes to unhealthy body image, a lot of it starts with our thoughts, which in turn affect our beliefs and feelings. Challenging our inner self-talk is about recognizing these negative thoughts, and then turning them into more realistic and productive patterns of thinking. For example, if you get dressed in the morning and your pants are fitting kind of tight because your diet has slipped, you can either scold yourself for it, or simply recognize that life happens, you’re not perfect, and it’s never too late to start or get back into a healthy eating routine that has worked for you in the past. Whether you’re 5-10 or 15 lbs heavier or not, you’re still you, and just as you wouldn’t like someone else pointing out negative things about you, you shouldn’t do it to yourself either.
Taking Action and Setting Healthy Goals
Sure, there are always things you’re going to want to improve when it comes to fitness, nutrition and the way you look, to make you feel more confident. However, when setting goals and wanting to change something, you have to pick goals that are healthy and realistic. As I said before, you can’t change genetics, so if you think that by doing a 100 squats a day you will get booty like J.LO you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. In life, all you can really control is your actions, so instead of becoming obsessed with things like numbers on the scale, or gaining big muscles, focus more on the process and work towards goals that are realistic and constructive. More often than not you will find progress in other ways than just things like pounds lost on the scale i.e. the way you feel, what you have learned, how you have grown etc… and that is really a sense of achievement that NOONE else can take away from YOU.
For more information regarding nutrition, exercise, wellness and a healthy lifestyle email us at
– Coach Jojo

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