How to Add a Dose of Body Positivity into Your Workout Routine
There are many definitions of body positivity out there. My way of defining body positivity is "a way of celebrating all bodies as worthy." This means, worthy of love, worthy of joy in clothing, worthy of representation in the media and in the fitness industry. Body positivity is inclusive of all frames, shapes, colors, ages, identities, and sizes.
The body positive movement is made up of persons who choose to intentionally challenge traditional ways of talking about and displaying bodies. With each person who begins to reclaim their body as positive and worthy, the social movement continues to evolve and become more inclusive.
In the gym or fitness setting, practicing acts of body positivity can be accomplished by seeing self-care as self-love. It is the recognition that we are not perfect beings. It is OK to aspire to be a healthier version of you, but still love your body in the present moment.
Here are a couple of ways I continue to push the boundaries of my own self-love:
Finding spaces in the gym where you feel comfortable: I have heard dozens of times that people often feel uncomfortable in some gym or group fitness settings. What areas of the gym make you feel most at ease? What classes make you feel included?
Talking about your body in a positive light: Think about a time this week when you described yourself either out loud or in your head. Was it nice? Was it self-sabotaging? Was it genuine? The things we speak out loud have an impact on our mental and physical health. This also matters about how you talk about others. Some people are empowered by words like curvy, strong, or healthy, while others are triggered by it. Ask yourself-- what are 2 positive words to describe my body? Also, ask people how they might want their body to be described.
Aging with attitude & understanding: As our body ages, we often see changes in our abilities in the gym. How do you handle these changes? Do you still do things you love as you age? Never let age limit you in your abilities, because you are ageless and timeless.
Honoring what your body is capable of & what it accomplishes every day: All bodies are capable of movement and fitness. No boundaries! I sometimes find myself thanking my feet during cool down (lol). But, in all seriousness, my feet take me all over town and consistently show up for me, even when I'm so exhausted or mentally drained. Integrate a practice of thanking your physical body during your cool down of your workout.
Wearing what your mind and body want (not what someone else wants you to wear): The choice to wear more clothing or to wear less clothing is up to each person. I am inspired by Muslim fitness professionals like Zehra who inspire communities to be who they are at the gym and outside of the gym. I am inspired by people who wear what they feel good in. I encourage you to find the workout outfit you have been putting on hold until you look a certain way, and wear it!
I am still a work in progress while still claiming myself as a masterpiece. Don't forget this is a journey, but you are already a masterpiece.
(@spiffsara & @boldbeatfitness)