Growing up in this society I was subconsciously taught the way I should look was already established for me. I was a victim of envying the women in magazines and on television because, for some reason, that transferred over to me as acceptable and beautiful. I had a Barbie doll like most little girls and I can tell you, I didn't look like her at all. Barbie had everything! The dream house, the convertible and not to mention Ken. Everyone wants to wear nice clothes, be wanted by women and men, and look good naked... but what does it mean to "look good"?
Well, my idea of looking good could mean something completely different than what yours does. I thought to myself where does this stem from? How come some people were brought up to believe being extremely slim is admirable, or having a lot of muscle appearance is beautiful. What is a women supposed to look like? Should I be curvy like an hour glass? Or have long legs like a gazelle?
The amount of stress and obsession women deal over body image today has gotten way out of control. It's not fair for women have these unachievable expectations of how we should look in order to take my shirt off at the gym, or wear a two piece bathing suit. I often hear or think "I can't wear shorts because I have cellulite" or "I can't wear a tank top because I look too bony."
One thing I get really upset about is women who think being healthy or fit makes you look like less of a woman. If you showed most women today a photo of Camille Leblanc Bazinet, 2014 CrossFit Games Fittest Women on Earth, or a photo of Kate Moss, world renowned super model, who would they prefer to look like? Just because Camille has outstanding defined muscle tone, can carry all her groceries from her car to her house alone, and can lift more than the average man apparently means to some she is less beautiful than Kate Moss? I mean hello! Women? Why wouldn't you want to understand your full capacity as a female? How come this idea of what you're supposed to look like doesn't carry over to men? Nobody takes a look at Woody Allen and a look at Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and says "Woody is less of a man because his muscles aren't as big as The Rock's." or "Woody looks like a woman." This is just one example or how women's beauty standards have been blown way out of the proportion.
I struggled with they way I "should" look since I was 14 years old. Unfortunately now these problems are starting to appear in girls as young as 7 or 8. My 9 year old niece shouldn't have to look into the mirror and question how she looks. It's just a unnecessary problem we've created for our youth.
We've also let the scale become a tool to measure our self worth which is the worst thing you could do. No machine should dictate the way you feel each day based on a number that appears below your feet. Unfortunately this idea of beauty has lead women to unhealthy and scary habits. Studies suggest that the total percentage of women in the U.S that are unhappy with their body image is 91% and the total number of women with some type of eating disorder is over 8,000,000. These facts are hard to hear. It's sad but we have to talk about issues like this because they are real. In order to change this, we must change the standards.
This unfair world we live in has decided for us what is considered an ideal body image but that doesn't mean you can't alter it. In reality we got ourselves here and it's been a long road, but within the past 10 years, it's been changing. We have been improving as a country of body positivity but still have a long way to go.
3 years ago I found Crossfit and my perspective for beauty changed tremendously. I started to believe being strong and independent was more beautiful then being thin and underfed. I was lifting heavy weights and eating peanut butter. I cared more about being healthy and fit than malnourished and a size zero. I started to follow and surround myself with women who wanted me to succeed. People believed in me and I now believe in myself. I no longer ask for help with daily chores and have found a new sense of independence that is more important to me than anything else. I don't have to rely on another human being to do my work and I care more about my health than my appearance.
I work for myself. This is self value. This is what we should consider beautiful. This is achievable by all women and men.
So I am here to tell you, it's not your fault, you have been brain washed by society and advertising. Now, if you're wondering what can I do to fix this? How can I erase the unrealistic image of what a women should aspire to look like today, well here are some steps.
1. Surround yourself with people you admire not only physically but personally can be a first step.
2. Have friends and family that support you and love you no matter how you look.
3. Stop comparing yourself to the women on the front of the magazine because guess what? She gets paid to do that for living and may have been Photoshopped.
4. Stop putting celebrities and reality stars on pedestals or use them as role models of how a successful person should look and act.
5. Inform yourself and question advertisements and commercials. Be aware of what the media is feeding you. The commercial industry is trying to sell you something. If you see a women sitting in a brand new Ferrari with a "good looking" man, carrying a designer purse in front of her multi-million dollar house, don't think that in order the get the house, the car, the man, you need to look like this woman. This is not true.
6. Stop shaming other women for the way they look. Think of every women as your sister. We are all in this together. Criticizing another woman because she's "too large to be wearing that outfit" or maybe "her butt doesn't fill out her jeans" shouldn't even be a thing. You are just adding to this negative expectation that you or her will never be.
7. Stop believing your self worth is measured by likes on social media. Last time I checked likes are free so there's no reason you should be associating that with any sort of value. Reality stars like Kylie Jenner have millions of likes because she has millions of followers. This doesn't make her imagery more acceptable in my eyes, only more known.
8. Take a step into your local Crossfit gym and pick up a barbell, you'll probably do some stuff you never thought you could, and then feel really great about it.
Everyone says they love to sleep; however, most of us don't make it a priority. How well and how often we sleep can have a major impact on our health so why not take it more seriously?
Good sleep can:
Most of us know we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to function properly but what are we doing to make sure the quality of that sleep is where it should be? Here are a few quick tips to help you get the most out of your sleep.
Give these few tips a try and you'll be amazed how the quality of your sleep (and your health) will change.
Yes, I have that T.L.C. song stuck in my head now too.
We've all heard the saying from Jim Rohn that "you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with" but how often do we actually take stock of those relationships and what they mean to us? Think about those 5 or 10 people you spend the most time with. Family, friends, significant other, co-workers, whoever. Are they a positive influence in your life? Can you tell them anything without being judged? Do they always want better for you? Are they ambitious? Are they happy? Optimistic?
Answering yes to most of these questions is a great sign! You definitely have a crew that has your best interests in mind, will support you and help you grow.
If you answered no to most of them, don't worry! You are completely capable of changing your situation. Since these people have such a profound impact on your life, it may take some effort but getting back on track is certainly doable.
Firstly, where are you meeting people? Look around at places you typically go as these people at least have similar interests as you. Your new best friend could be the girl squatting next to you at CrossFit or the guy you always see on the same running trails or the person you've bumped into countless times at Barnes and Noble. Common interest is already there so just strike up a conversation.
Next, choose wisely. Ask yourself if this person will help you become a better version of yourself. If not, keep searching. (I'm assuming here that you don't have it all figured out and want to keep growing? Hope so!)
Find a mentor. I've been lucky enough to come across a few in my life and they have changed me tremendously. These people will often see more in you than you see in yourself. This will help you grow and succeed and probably wind up with more great people surrounding you.
Last but not least don't forget the one person you spend the most time with. Yourself. How do you treat yourself? Is your self talk positive? Are you optimistic? It's great to be self aware but take some time to reflect on all the great things you do instead of only focusing on the bad.
In the end, you set your own course for how your life goes but with great people supporting you, you'll be surprised how great it can be.
Of course, I must mention Apache is an amazing place to meet all kinds of great people that come together and push themselves and in turn push you. Give it a try sometime.
I get it, working out is hard but it's not as hard as getting yourself to the gym when you're busy. Maybe you have to wake up earlier or sit in traffic to make it to the gym? There will always be an excuse not to workout. In order to make sure we are getting there, we have to change our mindset a little. Below are a few tips to get you on track.
Make It A Priority
On a scale of 1 to 10 how important is your health to you? Hopefully you said it's a 10. (if not, that's a whole other blog post) If your health is that important to you don't leave it up to chance. We all know the benefits of working out and how just a few extra sweat sessions per week can greatly improve your health so why not treat it as one of the most important things on your schedule. I know some people reading this will not miss an episode of their favorite television show that they have to watch at a scheduled time so nobody else spoils it for them. That's great! Enjoy that time! But if you can make that time for entertainment make sure to make some time for the gym as well. If your health and fitness isn't one of your top priorities it's not going to happen.
Don't want to wake up earlier so you're going to the gym right after work? Make sure to have your gym bag packed and ready the night before and take it with you to work. Change before you leave work to get in the mindset of "work is over, now it's time to sweat." Have to get to the gym before work? Make sure you have everything you need to get up and go. Lay out your gym clothes the night before and have your work clothes packed.
Make A Schedule
Some people thrive on checklists and schedules. Why? They work at holding people accountable. Try to schedule all of your workouts for the week on Sunday and treat them like an appointment you can't miss. We're able to schedule doctor's visits months out, hair appointments weeks away, concerts and sporting events 6 months prior so why can't we schedule a few workouts each week? Write a specific time in your written or phone planner and stick to it. At Apache we use an online scheduling system that will allow you to plan your week by reserving classes and even transfer those appointments automatically to your iPhone or Droid calendar.
Ever feel like working out after crushing a few donuts or some greasy pizza? Me neither! What you eat throughout the day will help you prepare yourself to get to the gym. When we eat that bad kind of fuel we are mostly happy just sitting around so make sure to eat well and you'll be more likely to want to work out. Also, if you can't get to the gym that day you'll be glad you at least ate healthy.
If you found any of this helpful or know someone who would like to make a change and start a workout program please contact us below. We love helping people become a better version of themselves.
I'm not the strongest person around by far and that's ok. I used to chase numbers in the gym and try to max out the weights as often as possible but I tend to be more concerned with functional strength. In other words, being strong enough to do the things I need and want to do.
We all know the benefits that come from strength training (improved mood, confidence, better sleep, injury prevention, increased bone density, improved metabolism, etc.) but how great is it when you can see your strength and fitness at work in your daily life?
What types of things do I need to do? Whatever comes up really.
In the past week I've had to do a few things that required a decent amount of strength. Last week, I went to Costco to get a large, industrial shelf. The box weighed 150+ pounds and it was quite a task getting it onto a cart, navigating it through the store, then loading it into my car. I kept thinking how some people would have a hard time doing this. Not a minute later I saw 2 guys struggling with the same shelf trying to get it into the back of a pickup truck. I was happy to help. I'm glad I'm strong.
A few days later I sold an old non-working motorcycle. The guys that came to pick it up had a small truck so we disassembled a few parts (front end, gas tank) so that it would fit. What was left together, frame, engine, back end, etc. had to be lifted into the truck. Doing most of the heavy lifting wasn't easy with such a large, awkward object, but I got it done. I'm glad I'm strong.
Little things come up all time that require some sort of base strength, i.e. moving furniture, carrying groceries, picking up your children, opening jars. Will you be strong enough for anything that comes your way? Not completely, but starting a strength program and sticking with it will make every task you complete even easier.
Not sure where to start? Talk to a trainer about how to get started with a routine. A balanced program like CrossFit will include lots of strength work to make your everyday tasks that much easier. Contact us below and we'll help start you on your path to lifting motorcycles and heavy shelving units.
"Squat, jump, climb, throw, lift." Greg Glassman