In between clients yesterday, I was happily tuning into Steph Gaudreau’s Women’s Strength Summit and was inspired to share some thoughts from it. What is this (FREE!) summit, you ask? It’s a series of interviews with world-class experts in the fitness realm that “was created by women, for women to help you get a stronger body, develop mental fortitude, and become the most confident version of yourself.” The goal of the summit is to give you “specific action steps you need to level up your strength of body and mind, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro,” which sounds pretty awesome to me (source)!
What struck me as I tuned in to Summer Innanen’s interview was the idea of the asterisk… Here’s a little example of the asterisk in women’s health:
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“I’m getting stronger! Working on my mental health and my body image! I ditched the scale! …BUT my jeans are tighter. BUT I gained weight. BUT I’m taking up more space.”
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As women, we are no strangers to the asterisk. We are often told to take up less space, to not speak too loud, and we constantly seem to be seeking out ways to SHRINK. But today I was encouraged to not be afraid to take up more space – in fact, that’s what strength training is all about! Becoming more powerful, growing in strength, changing our bodies (and minds! and lives!) for the better. So how can we celebrate strength and make changes for the better in our lives (moving towards strength in every way) without throwing that asterisk into our speech, our interactions with others, and our thoughts about ourselves?
You gotta be loyal to you.
(being loyal to our inner tigers at the Survive & Thrive Weekend HangOut last weekend!)
“You have to be more loyal to the way you want to feel than what you’re seeing in the mirror or how your jeans are fitting…and wear leggings and skirts instead!” – Summer Innanen
Man – it’s sure a conscious choice, isn’t it? To not let that asterisk skew our thoughts? How is it that so often we can feel great in the morning, BEFORE the scale, BEFORE putting our jeans on, BEFORE looking in the mirror, and 5 minutes later feel down on our bodies? We can choose what we will be more loyal to – our old beliefs about ourselves or how our jeans fit on our bodies. Let’s take up more space, physically and metaphorically, ladies!
I recently submitted my goals to Sohee Lee to get my macros calculated for me (it’s a one-time fee of $47 and does not include coaching, just the personalized calculation) and in the form about yourself, you have to write down what your goal is – training for fat loss, muscle gain, or maintenance. I submitted “fat loss” because – well, that’s what I’ve always been pursuing (in an effort to stay/get more lean!), but it hit me after I clicked “submit” that maybe it was time to shift gears (and it prompted my most recent post!). Why am I always pursuing fat loss? And sure, I’ve tossed my scale and worked on my mindset and view of my body, very much so embracing the strong revolution, but if I’m checking off “fat loss” as my main goal, I must not really be embracing the idea of pursuing strength. I’m choosing to shrink, allowing that asterisk more power in my mind.
So…I emailed back, asked if I could change my goal if it wasn’t too late, and waited for my macros to be sent back! Time to not just talk about it, but ACT on changing my mentality. And guess what? My macros (carbs, proteins and fat ratios for a day) came back and I’m embracing more calories, all real foods, not fasting and am fueling for performance and enjoyment – and loving it (even though I’ve said that before)!
I’ve also been walking more – just trying to follow the advice that I give my clients! – and enjoying even short, 15 minute walks in between clients, after workouts or when I have down time.
As I’m thinking about my bigger picture and “deleting” those asterisks, I’m feeling motivated by some other quotes too. I like Nia Shank‘s formula to “find your fit:”
(Eat Well + Move Your Body in Ways You Enjoy) x most days per week = YOUR FIT
That’s a great formula right there. 🙂 And some great words that Lindsay shared on her Facebook page resonated with me today too:
“Real fitness is not about six pack abs or boulder shoulders, it is about a better quality of life. Oh sure, getting shredded is a result of a good program and a good diet, but moving better, feeling better, and getting more confidence is ‘Real’ fitness. ” – Jim Smith
My fitness in the gym leads me to be able to enjoy life to the fullest, like in this above picture from our weekend hangout. To be able to laugh, love, enjoy friends, hike the next morning and interact with others. And I really believe this! But sometimes I, too, get wrapped up in the fitness industry and in the illusion of what fitness “looks like.” And you know what? That’s okay! It’s okay to meander here and there in your thoughts and views as long as you continue to grow and learn.
Keep living that glorious, epic story regardless of where you might be right now! We’re all on a journey and learning as we go!
Are you living with an asterisk right now? Is it one you need to get rid of? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Live well & be well friends,