Respect your body

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This New Year it has been quite interesting to see a backlash on social media to the typical ‘New Year, New You’ and ‘New Year resolutions’ rhetoric. As I heard about a year ago from a futurologist expert Morgaine Gaye, rebellion is a global trend that has just begun and will probably be around for many years. It is no surprise that the health and fitness industry had its own mini rebellion movement this New Year just as we get bombarded by messages telling us we need to get on a diet, loose weight and get fit.

I have been listening to many podcasts and reading lots of books and articles on this matter. I have spent quite a lot of time reflecting on it and what my position is as a health and fitness professional. I realise too I have been complicit in my past to support weight loss and perhaps diet culture where clients have shown an interest. To be honest diets and exercising to simply look better has never deep down sat right with me, but thats what many clients wanted in the past and what many magazines etc wanted you to write about.

I myself am not a regular dieter and I always enjoyed playing sport and exercising through the years. However; I know and have met 100’s of people who ‘yo yo’ from one diet to another and hate playing sport, exercising or even getting sweaty! I remember how upset my Mum got about her body when I was 16 years old. My Mum does not enjoy playing sport and was intimidated of the gym. I had just volunteered to be a ‘motivator’ at my local gym in exchange for free membership, so I bought her some trainers and workout clothes and took her to train with me! I can still vividly remember the positive impact this had on her and the realisation that you did not need to be thin or fit to exercise and reap the benefits. Perhaps this is where my passion for people to exercise and live well started??

Anyway, after all this reflection I recently deleted my blog which I wrote about 6 years ago on how I personally lost a stone of excess weight (just to clarify it was excess weight). Although I did this many years ago through a very healthy way and did not do it through any diets etc, in retrospect I feel that the messaging overall could be unhealthy to many people. As fitness professionals we do not need to add to the bombardment of body shaming, diet culture messaging or negativity towards our bodies.

Lets face it, weight gain, weight loss, bingo wings, flabby tummy, saggy bum, beer belly, knots in cotton are common phrases we use when describing our body. When you really think about it and write it down, that sounds horrendously negative and cruel! Would you want your child, niece/nephew or grandchild to describe their body in that way? It is almost like we have been conditioned to think the worst of our body.

Our bodies are amazing things no matter what they look like. They do so many magical things every single second of your life. Their capability is limitless and without them we would not be here! My simple message is that we need to RESPECT our bodies. If we really respect our body then we will listen to them, give them the care and attention they deserve and need to flourish. This in turn will achieve true life long health, wellness and body positivity. This covers the whole spectrum of bodies across the world – colour, size, shape, gender, ability, social class, privilege, environment.

To educate, inspire and empower yourself to be TRULY positive about your own body, follow these great women; Body Posi Panda, Anna Kessel, Laura Thomas Phd, Pilates PT, Style me Sunday, Mother Pukka, Everybody Yoga.




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© Copyright Rebecca Dalby 2015