Let's Talk Body Image

Body image is defined as how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. The question is.. do you have a positive one or a negative one?

In today's society, there's a lot of pressure on people especially young girls to look a certain way or to be a certain weight. This is sad because there are a tremendous amount of other things that young girls (and boys) should be thinking about rather than what they look like, of course taking health into consideration. 

I've dealt with my own body image issues before in the past and still have days when I am not as confident, but I think everyone has those days! It's what you to do overcome them or to put the bad thoughts out of your mind that really matters. 

Let's put some things in perspective here.. usually when a body image becomes negative, it's because you might be finding your identity in something materialistic or in something that could fail you in the blink of an eye. Such things could be your physical body, your performance, your looks, etc. Putting value in those things is risky because at any moment, you could become sick or injured and lose the ability that you once had before to maintain those things. Then you lose your sense of identity when those things fade away and now you feel lost with a negative body image and overall perception of yourself.

Another thing that can cause a negative body image/perception is comparison. It is SO easy nowadays to compare yourself to someone else because of social media. People are online posting pictures/videos of their performance progress whether it's in CrossFit, weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, pictures of their life, their family, their body composition progress, selfies, etc. People are posting about their life and you're getting caught in a trap by comparing yourself to someone else's highlight reel. Not every part of someone's life is posted on social media. People don't want you to see the negative things going on, they only want you to see the good stuff. The social media comparison game can cause unrealistic expectations for things like your body, performance, or your lifestyle. If you're not into things like fitness, but more into art and design, you might could even start to compare yourself to other artists/designers. It all depends on your interests, but the comparison trap is always there.

It's important to not dictate your self worth on what you look like in the mirror or what your performance is like in the gym. I am speaking to myself here, too! There are so many more important things about you than what you look like or how much weight you can lift. In 40 years, none of that will matter! Do you have a good character? Are you nice? Are you caring... funny? Do people want to be around you? Those are the things that will be remembered about you.. not how much you can snatch or how many visible abs you have. ;) 

How do you obtain a healthy/positive body image?

Having a healthy and positive body image is a process that you have to go through. It won't just happen overnight with a simple thought. You have to learn to accept yourself, flaws and all. You're the only you on this Earth and I think that's pretty awesome that we are each our own unique individual. The only person that has the ability to look like you is YOU so own it! #wowthatwassocheerleader Accept that you won't have a set of 20 abs like Rich Froning or look like your favorite CrossFit athlete. 1) you don't have their genetic makeup and 2) their lifestyle is mostly what supports the way they look and perform, so if you want to compare your body to theirs, also take into consideration the lifestyle factors.

Also remember that just because someone looks fit on the outside and what society would perceive as "skinny" or "thin" doesn't mean that person has a healthy body image. This person could still have a negative body image and feel insecure. Just because you might think someone has a desirable body or look doesn't mean that person also views their own self that way. Body image can be distorted by so many things especially weight gain. 

You might go through weight gain and maybe it is intentional, regardless, you will not always be at your leanest because of things like getting older, new job, major lifestyle changes, having a kid, etc, and that's OK! You just have to let yourself believe that it's okay and remember that a smaller/leaner you is not a better you. LEANER IS NOT BETTER, it's just different! Yes there are cases in performance sports like CrossFit when being leaner gives some advantages to gymnastic and bodyweight movements, but who you are as a person doesn't change when the scale goes down or when your body fat percentage goes down. You could be a jerk at 200lbs, lose 50lbs and still be a jerk. Sounds like that person has more to work on than just weight loss.

I went down many avenues and tangents on this post but I'm just trying to be extremely raw here with you guys. This was an assortment of body image, self worth, self perception, identity, and things of that nature. I hope it gave you some insight and that you can take something away from it to help you. :)

Ashleigh Hubbard