Most women dislike at least one aspect of their appearance. Your doing the pre-stretch warm up in your Pilates class when you notice the woman in front of you can get all the way to her toes! Outrageous, your inner critic says to you, well if you didn’t have so much belly flab you could reach your toes too! Ugh!
Each and every day 97 percent of women think negative even hateful things about their bodies
according to a national survey of more than 300 women. Further studies, from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, found that 85 percent of women and 72 percent of men dislike at least one aspect of their appearance. This represents a national body image crisis
that may contribute to an over active, and unchecked voice of your inner critic
. Pilate’s instructors hear these comments almost daily.
In my Pilates studio clients often ask of me “how do I get rid of this fat?’, “how often do I have to workout?”, and “how long will it take?”.
Why are we so hard on ourselves?
One reason is society has taught us the ideal for being beautiful or attractive
is an unattainable standard. The continual images of tall, slender, large breasted, tight, firm young bodies is what we are bombarded with. Ask yourself are you tall, small boned, naturally endowed, tight and toned, ever given birth, how old are you, is there any form of stress in your life? So the downside of the desire for the tall, slender “perfect body” is it is not realistic. And when a client asks how long will it take to get the perfect long, lean Pilates body, a popular term used in the Pilates world, what will we tell them?
Negative self talk has negative self-effect. Research shows that if you continually say to yourself for instance, “I’m so fat and ugly”, it will eventually drain your self confidence in all aspects of your life. It can also have a physiological effect: you may start slouching and begin carrying yourself in a sloppy manner. More information on this subject can be found at the Renfrew Center a woman’s mental health Center and Adrienne Ressler.
Not only can disparaging thoughts affect your psyche, but they can take a toll on your physical health too. Turn that around with positive and accepting self-talk which has been shown to improve well-being. When men and women learn to appreciate their own unique bodies and start to feel more comfortable in their own skin
, they are more likely to treat themselves with kindness and respect.
Look for my next post when we address these issues.
Author: Stacy A. Price-Darkis, CPI, BCES.
Studio 59 Pilates Fitness, LLC