As we sit at the edge of our chairs, watching the Olympic athletes compete, I wonder, is there a lesson that we can learn from their hard work?
I believe the answer is, YES!
Something that I feel is really important to ruminate about as we watch the Olympics is that we all have the capability of greatness and the ability to strive towards mastery. Unfortunately our society is caught up in the notion that greatness and mastery look like super toned physiques and heroic exercise.
Therefore, we believe that we too need to look super toned, lean, and lift tons of weight or run and bike unfathomable distance.
I got totally caught up in that excitement. I’d see the attention that elite athletes, physique competitors, fitness models, and younger more fit looking women would get.
I fell into the trap of feeling not good enough. I started to equate not looking a certain way as not worthy of attention, praise, or love. I was convinced that if I looked like a physique model, I’d be attractive and adored. So down the path of extreme exercise I went, along with strict control over my food choices
As a society, we seem to have forgotten that physical strength is ONE of millions of ways to be great and masterful. The result is that we are laser focused on the physical, and push aside talents and gifts that are beyond the physical musculature. As I see it, we women are suffering because of it.
We suffer because we sacrifice SO MUCH to attain what we think will finally bring us what we desire.
I sacrificed my body, my relationships, my ability to have a normal relationship with food, and I lost much of my passion and joy for life and things that once brought me pleasure. Working on my body became my priority, not Life nor those closest to me.
There has been too much value placed on the way that we look.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t take pride and care in self care, dressing for confidence, and adorning ourselves in flashy, fun things. What that does mean is that we have a skewed vision of the reality of the human form.
We women are taking drastic measures to morph our bodies into the impossible and causing insurmountable physical and emotional damage by doing so.
There is a reason why only a narrow margin of people ever get to the Olympics. Not every one can be a world class athlete, but we all have talents. We all have gifts that are calling to be practiced, mastered, and expressed.
The invitation that is before us, as we watch the Olympics, is to admire and support those who are competing and then reflect upon our own lives and start exploring our greatness and what it means to work towards mastery beyond sculpting the body or putting the body through intense exercise that doesn't serve our body.
We need to be aware of using exercise as a symbolic substitute for something else that better serves us and lights us up. The pressures to look a certain way have taken focus off of developing one's gifts. Physical perfection will most likely never take the place of, nor fulfill you in the way that your true passions, gifts, and callings will.
Looking a certain way does not guarantee you anything, nor will you be able to sustain the energy that is required to look perfect your entire life.
Yes, I believe that it is important to have a life full of joyful movement. The body thrives on movement and there are thousands of reasons to keep yourself from sitting on the couch all day.
I see nothing wrong with setting physical goals, but let those goals not stem from the desire to look perfect. Perfection is a myth, and even if you attain the body you had envisioned, there will always be something else that you want to change. Plus there is always a cost, something must be given up to maintain the desired physical state. You have to ask yourself, how much am I willing to give up?
If you are excited to see what joyful movement feels like; what eating for pleasure feels like; what loving your body looks like; and find those passions and gifts that light you up, then you are also ready to attain your ideal body weight.
I’d love to help you in your journey. I was scared and skeptical at first too, but opening myself up to the possibilties and walking the jouney myself has gotten me to a much happier, healthier, and stronger life with a body I love to be in. If I can do it, I believe you can too.
I do hope you enjoy the rest of the Olympic season and remember that you too have gifts and talents that go far beyond the physical.
If you are interesting in taking the first steps towards finally feeling comfortable in your body, attaining your ideal body weight, all the while enjoying food and exercise, I'd love for you to try out my strategies in my free ebook: