if you peruse social media as much as i do (or at all, really) you've probably heard the phrase "body positivity". if you're new to the body positive movement, here's the quick rundown: it promotes being loving, kind, and, you know...positive (!!) to your body. now, it might not sound like a revolutionary concept, but once you start realizing how negative we can be about (and TO) our bodies every single day, a seemingly simple idea can start to change your whole mindset. at least, it did for me! i've tried to reframe everyday negative thoughts and change them into positive, or at least less hurtful, thoughts and feelings. a good mantra for me to remember has been - would i say this to a friend or family member? if the answer is NO, then why would i say it to myself?
at first glance, it might seem like the idea of fitness and being "body positive" are at odds, but that's the furthest thing from the truth! while it's true that many fitness centers, gyms, and studios prey on insecurities and negative feelings, there are so many places in the fitness world that take a positive and uplifting approach to health and wellness. i've had several great experiences with different pilates, yoga, and barre studios that have helped me see that you can work out because you value your body, not because you hate it! here are three ways that pilates can promote body positivity:
focus on feelings, not numbers: while it's true that seeing the number on the scale drop can indicate the results of hard work, that's not the only place you can see results. more importantly, pilates is about SO MUCH MORE than weight loss! more often than not, focusing on weight can create tunnel vision and you'll ignore other signs of progress: more muscle tone, better definition, a stronger core, less back pain, more shoulder mobility - you name it! there are so many benefits to pilates - don't get too caught up in one number.
same exercises, big changes: on that note, the beauty of pilates is that, while there are countless ways to change up the exercises, there are some basic tried-and-true movements that you'll continue to do session after session. i've had clients who had a very difficult time getting their feet into the straps during their first session. weeks later, they have no trouble at all. that alone shows how much mobility and strength that they've gained! by remaining consistent with the same exercises, you'll be able to notice how you've improved over time.
permission to modify: granted! one of the reasons that i fell in love with pilates is that it is never a "one size fits all" style of movement. if you come in with an injury or are new to exercise, there are always ways to customize your workout for your individual goals. your workout should meet you where you're at - pilates does this every time. maybe your core strength isn't where you'd like it to be, or you're frustrated that you don't have a strong upper body - that's okay! by having a personalized pilates session, you're working on it safely, and without stressing about keeping up with the person next to you.
it's absolutely normal to have things we'd like to change about ourselves - we all do! but so often, we focus on our physical attributes in the most negative way possible. by lifting ourselves (and others!) up, we can contribute to a healthy body AND mind. we can work out because we love our bodies and want to keep them fit and healthy, we can eat good food because we care about what goes into our bodies, and we can say and think positive thoughts because mental health is just as important as physical wellness. see you at the studio!