Fitting In While Getting Fit – Part Four: Be Nice
If there is one thing I’ve noticed about my time spent at the gym, it’s how nice everyone is to everybody else. Maybe I just go to a really polite gym, but people seem to be so kind when they are working out. When I first started doing the Body Pump class (great class, not for me though) I was amazed at how many people were willing to help me get the equipment I needed to get started. Same is true with the weight machines. I know very little about those but there is always someone willing to answer my questions when I have one.
So that is the inspiration for week four of Fitting in While Getting Fit. Be nice. Only I’m going to suggest that in addition to being nice to your fellow gym mates, you should be nice to yourself. A few years ago, I attended a conference shortly after my first child was born. I wish I could remember the speaker, but I was blown away by her words of apology to her body. She completely changed the way I think about my body.
For my entire life, I had always been able to find something wrong with my body. Whether it was my height, my weight, or my skin tone I was complaining about it. However, after listening to this speaker, I realized that I owed a huge apology to my body. I was saying things to my body that I would never say to a good friend. In fact, I wouldn’t even say these things to my worst enemy. These things were so hurtful towards other people, yet I felt justified in saying them to myself.
So at that moment I decided I was going to start being nice. I was no longer going to be verbally abusive towards my body. If I wouldn’t say it to my best friend, I wasn’t going to say it to myself. Instead of getting upset that I no longer fit into my favorite pair of jeans, I was going to take a look at what might have been the cause of it. Perhaps the bowl of ice cream every night was no longer a good idea. Can I blame my body for suffering the consequences of my poor decisions?
As I approach thirty, I’m beginning to realize that my body isn’t 16 anymore. I need to stop treating it like it is. Does it stink that I can’t eat half a bag of M&M’s and drink 5 Dr. Peppers in one sitting anymore? Sure. But that’s life. Our bodies are not iron statues that will stay the same forever and weather any storm. They are a product of the environment they are placed in.
I find that when I’m being nice to my body, I’m less likely to place blame on it and more likely to accept the responsibility for the poor choices I’ve made. Would I rather fill up on cookies and bread at Christmas parties? Yes. Do I realize that my body would benefit more from a plate full of veggies and cheese? Yes. For you nutrition experts out there, please refrain from comments about the negative side effects of cheese. I’m already trying to stay away from the sugar and chocolate at parties, please just let me have my cheese.
So I hope you’ll join me in taking a stand against the emotional abuse we put our bodies through. We would not allow ourselves to treat others that way, why should we be allowed to treat ourselves that way?