It doesn’t matter what exercise you are doing, or not doing, stop judging your body and you will get so much more out of it!
I hear it from clients a lot, “this is my bad hip”, “this is my ‘lazy’ leg”, “my knees are atrocious”, “my back is a mess”, “I have no core”. Just harmless comments right?
Wrong. Being in a habit of judging your body can really get in the way of your health goals.
Here are some reasons why you need to stop judging your body. Body judgement is not helpful to anyone. Here are some of the things you miss out on if you are in the grip of body judgement.
Judgement kills curiosity
Curiosity is one of the greatest tools you have to build a loving relationship with your body. If you are judging one body part or your whole body, this can really kill your ability to be curious.
For example “I have atrocious knees” is a judgement. There isn’t really anywhere you can go from that judgement. If we reframe that thought to:
“I have pain in my knees when I bend them like this, I wonder why they hurt when I do that?”
This gives us an opportunity to learn more about our body. It opens us up to trying new things that might change how we experience our knees.
Sitting in judgement of our body makes discovering new experiences in our body more difficult.
Mind body connection
The mind body connection is the link between a person’s thoughts, attitudes and behaviours and their physical health.
In movement practices like Pilates, Yoga and TaiChi, the flow of the movement and our focused intention creates a deeper sense of connection of the mind with the body.
Awareness of breath is a part of these practices, calming the nervous system, helping to quiet mental chatter by focusing on the movement, bringing us into the present moment.
Judgement of our bodies can really hold us back from this wonderful inner connection with ourselves.
If we are constantly worrying if our leg is high enough or we are doing the exercise exactly right, we can miss what’s going on inside.
Seek out a teacher who holds a safe space for you to stop judging your body, connect with you breath and get into flow.
Developing self esteem
Self esteem, or feeling good about yourself regardless of your outside achievements is a foundation of wellbeing. This foundation is there for you if you are injured or you lose a loved one or life deals you a blow completely outside of your control.
Developing self esteem does not come from working really hard for your dream body! It doesn’t come from working so hard that everyone in the office can’t do a thing without you.
Self esteem comes from appreciating what you have and who you are, and that includes your body. As she is today. Self esteem is the understanding that you are worthy of being here in the world without having to prove a thing.
For women self esteem can get very tangled with body image issues. I know because I have had this confusion myself. Since I could remember I have wanted to be a different shape than I am. I was taught to diet early on and I have confused developing self esteem with trying to have a different body many times.
I now know, I have the body I have. I am better able to care for the body I have if I feel loving towards her.
Role model for the next generation
Learning to appreciate and love our bodies as they are isn’t just good for us, it’s good for everyone around us. Especially our children. Children learn pretty much everything from us so we are in a great position to model love and appreciation of our own bodies to instil that in them.
When young women see older women of all different body types continuing to be physical as they age, a world of possibilities is delivered to them. Embodied women change the world just be connecting with their own bodies exactly as they are right now.
I am deeply passionate about supporting women to find a way to build strength and mobility by connecting deeply with their own body as she is today. Through Pilates, Yoga and functional movement I love to teach women about the miracle of their body and help them see themselves with new eyes.
I am Brigid Pearse a certified Pilates instructor, Pregnancy and Post-natal Exercise Specialist, an ex-dancer and a mum. I run a fully equipped Pilates studio from my home in Lennox Head and I run community Pilates mat classes in Byron Bay, Ballina and online.