How many of you are super pumped to see that the styles for this season are flowy, loose, chunky, and far from body-hugging? Now that it is mid-June, many of the women I talk to have resigned themselves to the beach towel, covered up, watching their kids have all the fun. They feel awkward and exposed in a swimsuit. I hear ya’, sister!
Rather than being excited about a weekend at the lake or the beach, so many of us dread shedding the outer layers and revealing what lies beneath. Bloat, love handles, cellulite, and ill-defined upper arms haunt our dreams. There doesn’t seem to be anything to do about it! Some of us have been bloated for so long that we don’t know any different.
Worse, as we age, exercise doesn’t do for us what it used to do. In my late 30’s I was a runner, attended Pilates and strength training several times a week, suffered through spin class, sweated through Zumba, got my yoga on, and ate what I thought was a balanced, healthy diet. I frustratingly remained at the same weight, which happened to be the heaviest I had ever been aside from my pregnancy. It wasn’t muscle, either. I was also buying bigger pants, my go-to power outfits now fit me like shrink-wrap, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone mistook me for a pregnant lady.
What was the deal? If it all was about calories in, calories out I should have been winning the game. Instead, I began to lose faith. Rather than giving up completely, I refused to believe that I was just getting old. I would not quietly accept buying bigger shorts every summer and staying on the shore in a cover-up while my kid had all the fun. I was going to figure this out. I was worth the time and effort it took to focus on my health.
The problem isn’t just vanity. If this was all about outer appearance and concern over other people’s opinions, I would be writing about having a healthy body image and embracing your shape whatever it is. Our outer appearance reflects our inner well-being. Truly having an indomitable sense of self-worth means relentlessly striving to improve from the inside out. Yeah, I want to look good in a swimsuit, but my biggest concern is being healthy and happy.
Naomi Whittel, author of Glow 15 wrote a fantastic blog that says much of what I wanted to say here. In beautiful synchronicity with my own thoughts, she describes how running was making her fat and what she did to fix it. I have adopted some of her concepts into my health coaching program, but rather than paraphrasing her I thought I would let her speak about autophagy in her own words.
Without further ado, here is Naomi Whittel:
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