Ever started a diet because you had a “bad” body image day? The way that we FEEL in our skin on any given day can be a result of SO many things.
Factors That Influence Body Image
Here’s a quick brainstorm of things that immediately come to mind:
- Current mental health status and stress load
- Current nutrition (dieting, maintenance, surplus)
- Goals and current aesthetics (compared to past // future)
- Are you fed or fasted? (are you hungry, are you super full or feeling super bloated, did you eat a super salty meal, etc)
- Are you in the middle of a brutal training program and consistently carrying around more inflammation?
- How is sleep? Is it consistently poor or not enough?
- How do clothes fit? (trying to fit into things that are too small for us can make us feel bad or feel “big”)
- Where we’re at in our menstrual cycle can have a big impact on how we look and feel
- Unsolicited body comments from others can make a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves
Now that we brainstormed, what is the point in reflecting on these things?
How we feel ABOUT our body or IN our body can change by the minute or hour. Making decisions on when to diet based on momentary feelings is probably not setting us up for success.
- Successful fat loss requires a certain degree of metabolic health and also requires a commitment to spending time dieting and eating fewer calories than you’re utilizing and expending on a day-to-day basis.
- Successful fat loss does not care that you really want to live in a smaller body in 6 weeks’ time.
- Successful fat loss doesn’t care that you really want to fit into those size ‘x’ jeans. It doesn’t care that you feel puffy or bloated.
- Successful fat loss ALSO requires you to understand how to eat and care for yourself in the time periods when you are not losing body fat (aka when you are maintaining).
Learning To Enjoy The Process
The muscle tone and definition that you want to “see” when you get smaller or leaner? It’s built when you’re less lean, intentionally eating more, and walking around with more body fat.
Different seasons require different bodies. The body that is the most ideal for you to maximize building muscle may or may not be your favorite or most comfortable to be in. The body that is your “favorite” aesthetically may be really, really difficult for you to maintain.
This is why I continue to invest my time and energy in helping clients appreciate the journey and the process. Transformations (inside and out) generally take a lot longer than we expect. Life happens. And there are more detours and obstacles than we expect.
If we are ONLY attached to the outcome, we likely won’t stay committed to the process long enough to actually obtain the outcomes we want. If we learn to appreciate the process, we get to experience the process! And that’s a gift 🙂
Need More Mindset Help?
At Paragon, we LOVE talking about nutrition and the importance of being well-fed and well-recovered. AKA, knowing your maintenance needs and eating enough to support your activity. Remember, the best workouts in the world can’t work their magic if nutrition isn’t also in alignment.
Want to learn more about how to use maintenance, mass gain, and fat loss phases to build a body you love? Check out more from Coach Tiana here!