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Feb29

Fat Loss Is Okay.

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My philosophy will always be deeply rooted in body embracement – feeling confident, worthy and whole in your current physicality.

Health and fitness, to me, is not constant strict dieting, using exercise as a penance or tying your self-worth to a number of pounds and constantly feeling like you need to fix your body. And I do believe fitness is for everyone – no matter what shape, size or ability level.

I’m grounded profoundly in the idea that fitness is more about physical capability than what size pants you wear. Being fit is having the strength and capacity to live a more bold, abundant and adventurous life and the ability to be in control of your body.

So the recent blossoming of body positivity in the fitness world has me JAZZED.

Promoting a message of strength, quality movement, a wholesome, sustainable way of eating and living in tune with your body rather than constantly fighting against it, has not been easy. People want to be sold quick-fixes and “hardcore” approaches because if something is endorsed as simple and reasonable, it must not work, right?

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Something I’ve been heavily reflecting on over the past year and half, through two of my own fat loss phases and watching my own clients’ and other women’s goals and mindsets shift, is that women are beginning to feel almost ashamed at having aesthetic goals and are uncomfortable admitting that they’d like to change their bodies.

While I never want any woman to have the experience I had at a younger age with dieting, and a very unhealthy relationship with food and exercise for years, I also don’t want any woman to feel less authentic for having appearance-based goals because she may have misunderstood the intentions of “body-love fitness.”

It’s easy to get the notion that loving and accepting your body is synonymous with resignation. It’s easy to think that you can’t simultaneously love and desire to change your body, and by wanting to lose fat you feel you are putting your self-love on the line and being untrue to yourself.

Wanting to change your body or improve yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t still love and accept your body where it currently is, or that you deem yourself less worthy based on how you look. Nor does it imply that you intend to go to unhealthy measures to achieve a certain physique.

You can achieve fat loss with a healthy, smart, sustainable approach, while relishing your body every step of the way. And you can do so without letting it consume you.

This is the secret to sane, sustainable body change – loving, listening to and appreciating your body through the ups and downs.

Accepting your body actually acknowledges that you have the power to change.

And it’s okay to want to do so. You don’t need to explain your goals or pursuits to anyone. You know what’s best for you. You know your body best and what feels good – physically and mentally. Own it.

It’s essential to understand that if you are using negative perceptions about your body as your sole motivation for wanting to change, your efforts will nether be viable or purposeful. You just can’t hate your body into fat loss and have it end favorably.

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Sane, sustainable body change that is rooted in self-love doesn’t mean that the journey will be easy. We can’t just declare our love for ourselves and expect our bodies to morph into the shape we desire without changing some habits and getting a little dirt on our hands.

However, it does mean that it won’t be an obsessive, restrictive and agonizing journey. Instead, it brings you a sense of purpose, fulfillment and clarity and leads you on a path of self-discovery.

When your fat loss is anchored in healthy purpose, you are strong in your worth and know that your body fat percentage does not define who you are. You have embraced the introspective work necessary to change inside and out and you welcome struggles as opportunities to learn rather than failures or matters to fear.

I’ve spent so much time promoting the idea that there are hundreds of other reasons for women to be in the gym besides chasing a smaller pants size, and that plenty of women work out for strength, confidence and health. I will always want for women to stop chasing diets and quick fixes, chase health and sustenance instead and break society’s stereotype of what women “should” look like.

…But it is still okay to want to pursue fat loss, and you can still do all of the above, appreciate, nourish, strengthen and honor the heck out of your body while pursuing it, without being ashamed of your objectives.

Whatever path you choose, always make sure it encourages value in your life and builds you up, not tears you down.

Yes, a fulfilling fat-loss journey is possible with a little bit of self-love, soul-searching and hard work…and wanting to start that journey is a-okay.

 

Reach out to learn more: Erika@hurststrength.com.

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