ONE WITH YOUR BODY | ESSAY BY IFBB BIKINI PRO, NASM CPT JENNIFER ELLIOTT
ONE WITH YOUR BODY
I know what you’re thinking. “How the hell do these Instagram fitness models get motivated to post home workouts every day? Do they have some special strand in their DNA that I don’t?” Nope. These are people just like you and me, trying to stay motivated! Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, it's safe to say everyone is trying to find their own unique escape doing what they love, trying to be the best version of themselves, and sharing that with others.
While your job may not require you to work out, you owe it to yourself regardless if you get paid or not. Two of the most essential practices of self-love are exercising and fueling your body with nutritious food. They are just as important as your career and loved ones. When combined, movement and wholesome nutrition make you more productive, happier, energized, and able to share more of yourself with others! In fact, studies show that regular exercise even makes you smarter because it increases the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. (1) Nice! Yet, even with countless research to support the benefits, exercise and nutrition always seem to take a back seat. Why is that?
Let’s just start by saying that fit bodies are an emotional trigger point for most women (and men). They can either motivate the hell out of you or send you into a dark place of self-sabotage. Fitness also gets a bad rap for being fueled by vanity, lust, jealousy, fear, ego, and “likes.” Why can’t it be empowering all the time? Who does that SuzieFit think she is? Or—why the hell am I lusting over SuzieFit again? That MuscleMax guy must be so full of himself. He’s probably on a ton of steroids.. there’s no way you get a body like that naturally! Sound familiar? Now, you’ve created this false belief that your fitness goals are unattainable. When you even think about working out and having veggies, your mind says things like, “Just start tomorrow,” “What’s the point, you’ve been this weight forever,” “You’re never going to look like one of those fitness models anyway,” “You have bad knees, you have no business doing those exercises,” “Don’t post your workout, whatever you do, you’re not qualified, and Jane might think you’re trying to seduce her husband.”
Hey…. you in there. No, thoughts and emotions, not you. You take a seat. Hey Consciousness… yes, you! The observer of thoughts, emotions, and past beliefs. The source of limitless love. The spirit that is wholly connected to the universe. Take a deep breath in, and feel your lungs expand. Notice how every cell in your body is working for you right now. Every cell is listening to your vibration in obedience. Envision you are in a bubble, and when you touch its edges, you feel a sharp pain. This bubble represents your current fears and beliefs about your body that no longer serve you. This bubble gives you a false sense of security. This bubble is all you’ve ever known, but today is different. Today, you will give yourself permission to go beyond the bubble, as painful as it may be. Why? You deserve it, and the ones who matter support you with all their hearts. Today, and every day for the rest of your life, you support you with all your heart.
Fitness and nutrition are so much more than aesthetics. Right now, more than ever, they are about vitality and pure self-love.
Just notice your workout equipment and yoga mat sitting there—your allies ready to help you reach your highest level of vitality. What body will you create with the limitless power and resources you have? Will it be painful? Yep. Good thing today is the day you love yourself more than that f**king bubble.
- Jennifer Elliott
(1) Godman, Heidi. “Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills.” Harvard, Harvard Health Publishing, 9 April 2014, health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110