Here I am, 1 week after a bikini competition and technically in 'the best shape of my life'. But was I happy and comfortable in my skin? Here's the truth...
Being a personal trainer, I work with a lot of people, especially women, who are unhappy with their bodies. That’s why they come to me after all, right? Well kind of. They think that’s why they’re coming to me, but generally there’s something a little more emotional going on, which can be fixed once they achieve a shift in their mindset.
They say things like ‘I’ll be happier when I’m slimmer’, ‘I feel fat’ and ‘I hate my body’. While this is uncomfortable to hear, these are the types of people I love to work with, because I can relate to the way they feel, and I know I can help them through nutrition and exercise. No one should have to feel like this and while society has put pressure on us to look a certain way, this doesn’t mean we need to hone our bodies to within an inch of it’s life to feel comfortable with what we have.
Throughout my life I’ve been several different shapes and sizes – from being the fat kid at school who got teased, to being a bikini bodybuilding competitor on stage with just 13% body fat. However if I’m honest, in neither of those situations was I at my happiest and most comfortable in my skin.
For me, the times I have felt most comfortable in my skin are simply when I’m being kind to myself. Working out regularly, nourishing my body with the foods it needs, and feeling strong and energized are when I feel at my best. This has a direct impact on how comfortable I feel with my body. I have learned to reach a state of acceptance with my body. If I am treating my body well on a day to day basis, then this is how I am meant to look! Being comfortable in your own skin is only partway related to the physical appearance of your body, it is mostly in your mind.
In my personal training company, Empowered Fitness, our purpose is to ‘Empower you to discover a new lifestyle where you love your body inside and out, and feel amazing’. This isn’t about loving your body with a sense of arrogance. This is about showing your body you love it by taking exercise regularly and feeding it with nutrient dense food – which increases our levels of happiness and sense of achievement – all the while helping to make that important mind shift to becoming comfortable in your own skin.