Wellbeing series: Looking after our bodies - Being Unique with We All Fit
I cannot remember one start to a new year where I have not berated myself about my body in more than 18 years. That fact has shocked me. 18 years?! I can’t even begin to add up the amount of hours I have wasted investing in wrong thinking about my body and who I am. I have recently got back into journaling again; I find freehand writing is a really good way to order my mind and to spend a bit of time seeing what is going on for me. I found some old journals from a few years ago, and they all seem to say the same thing over and over again. “I wish I looked different”; “I’m so stupid, how did I let myself get like this?”; “Why can’t I make this happen for myself even though I really want it?”; “I am really fat / ugly / horrible / the worse person that walked the earth”; (take your pick on this one); “This year, is the year I will lose a stone, I’ll go running, stop drinking, stop eating pizza,” stop this, that and the other.” It felt like my mind was a constant ticker tape of blame, shame and inadequacy. I can view these times with more compassion and acceptance now. I was completely and utterly lost, my confidence was shot and I felt like no matter what I tried to do I just couldn’t find something that sparked me to make the changes that I so needed, and believe me, I tried A LOT of things, none of them successful from a long term point of view but some of them did provide short term fixes. I think my biggest issue was not really my weight or my unhealthy habits, but that I hadn’t made the connection that unless I sorted my internal self out, there was no way my outer self was going to match it.
If you go around telling yourself how much you hate yourself, your body, what you look like, what you say, your actions, behaviours are stupid, then inevitably you are going to believe it and own it in your life. I’ve said horrible and hateful things to myself, my inner voice can sometimes have them on a really loud loop that is constantly chattering in my head. It was so debilitating and made me feel so ashamed.
Some of what I said to myself during those dark times, I actually no longer want to repeat out loud. I know though, that I am not alone in this struggle. I believe most of my body and wellbeing issues arose from different experiences, but especially accepting myself after a trauma in my teens; but my weight issues really intensified in my twenties. I was running away from myself and who I was, engaging in unhealthy behaviours to try and make myself feel better, and was always chasing something that gave me a release to forget what was going on in my head. A very vicious cycle. What I was seeking was inner peace and calm, but I hadn’t developed the tools to help myself to find the calm seas I craved.
A sustainable change
At the end of 2019, I started going to a free boxfit class with Our Parks in London. I had tried various boxfit classes over the years, and had run out of most of them (like literally ran!) feeling like I wanted the ground to swallow me up although that was generally the case for me in any physical activity as I always felt so awkward and like everyone was looking at me and judging me. I was not gifted with a sporty nature and struggled from school age with feeling comfortable and confident in sports and exercise. I tried various things over the years, mainly dance based fitness and running, with a smattering of yoga but not things that took me out of my comfort zone and really got my heart racing. I’ve realised that I’ve had to go back to basics to teach myself about what my body can do; even doing a simple lunge properly has been a challenge! Something clicked this time though, and I felt ready. I didn’t want to go back to running and decided to find a personal trainer that could help me with my new curiosity for boxing. Anyone who knows me, will know that ordinarily
me + personal training + boxing
would not normally go in the same sentence. I was finishing a masters, which was stressful and not encouraging good self care habits (I had a serious M and M habit going down while I was studying), and I had reached the limit of going through the same spirals and vicious loops, asking myself surely there is more to life than feeling this bad? I was ready to put the work in to start making the changes in my life so I could embrace who I was with loving kindness and acceptance. I was fed up with being fed up.
I found We All Fit on Bidvine and really liked their kind and compassionate vibes. Dani really helped me feel less nervous and checked in with me after my first sessions to see how I was getting on. The first time I met Mihai I could barely make eye contact. I felt so super self-conscious if I could have crawled into a dark cupboard and hid there I would have done. It took every ounce of me to be able to get me through the door. It also took some time for me to let myself go, and believe that I can do it, but at every step of the way We All Fit supported and encouraged me. It’s not just been about fitness for me, it opened up a whole new mindset and curiosity into spirituality which I am committed to exploring. I have new goals and dreams now, and know that I am on the right track to embrace the wonderful, uniqueness that is me. Working with We All Fit, has been an incredible experience for me and such a gift. A few months ago I even said the words, "you know what I'm actually quite proud of my body". That is something I don't think I have ever thought, let alone said out loud.
Photo: Me a bit sweaty after a boxing sesh
For me, this is really about self-acceptance and owning who you are. It's no secret that movement aids our mental health. There are many unhealthy messages about body shaming, faddy diets and pressure to be constantly exercising. What I hope for you to find is whatever works for you, in your own unique way. No one else can prescribe this for you, but there are people like We All Fit who can help get you kick started in a lovely way if you're ready to start owning your body and your mind. I can promise you, that the results will show up in all aspects of your life if you let it.
I am not suggesting that boxing is what will work for you, you have to find your own way through this, but I know how many people struggle with self-acceptance and in particular how they feel about their body. I've only just started on all of this, and have got a long way to go but the process of discovery is really fun, and who knows maybe I'll be sparring next.
The Loss Project has partnered with We All Fit to offer you exclusive access to their 21 day Fitness programme, discounted from £105 to £55 for The Loss Project audience.
To find out more and start your unique journey with them today use code tlpfit21 here: https://weallfit.co/21-day-fitness-course/.
I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.
Believe in yourself.
You got this.
Interested in The Loss Project's wellbeing services? Click here to find out more: https://www.thelossproject.com/programs-1