Corinne Austin | Personal Training

It’s Not About Getting Your Body Back

There’s a universal myth that sabotages our existence. It’s one that tells us we should reclaim a body shape that was once ours (i.e. pre baby, pre 20 somethings, pre marriage). Or it might even be one that has forever escaped our clutch, but that we believe is rightfully ours regardless.

This myth is underpinned by two lies that must be extinguished (as their presence denies us happiness). They are: 1) That our bodies are meant to remain the same over time; and 2) That our worth is found in the way we look.

Herein is my response to the first lie – just as everything else in life evolves, so should our bodies. Stories we are fed by the media, and that get saturated across society, have us believing that changes in our body shape across time is a failure on our behalf. We are not meant to look the same as we did in high school across the decades. The extra bumps, blemishes, and burrows should be taken as signs that we are indeed living beings – for we are not a slab of stone! There is a fixation on appearing youthful and fit throughout life, and much of this pressure is on women. This is nothing short of demoralising and distressing, and essentially demands women to pursue a goal that is unrealistic and therefore harmful to their confidence and sense of purpose in this world. The gift of aging – wrinkles, rolls and all – is a privilege not gifted to everyone. What if, instead of seeing the changes associated with aging as unsightly, we were grateful for higher powers gifting us more time on this planet?

Any my response to the second lie – we are so much more than the sum of our aesthetics. We need to take our eyes off this impossible vision of perfection – for no amount of perfect will ever guarantee happiness or health. Our value is not found in blemish-free complexions, size 10 jeans, or the visibility of our abdominal muscles . Fixating on body image, and chasing a so-called perfect body not only drains you of energy, but it can also steal valuable time that you could otherwise be devoting to pursuing your passion, your relationships, and any other things that make life great.

Don’t get me wrong, we all need to be able to put our own self-nominated amount of time into looking good and feeling great. But what we mustn’t do is chase ideals that only exist because of decades of persistence from the media and a mislead society that so wrongly suggests that appearance is more important than intelligence or compassion. Wanting to look good is great. Wanting to be the best version of yourself is even better. But when we are seeking change, or perfection, as a pre-requisite for accepting ourselves or finding happiness we are setting ourselves up for discontent.

So let’s jump off the hamster wheel that we’ve been on for too long. Let’s alter our conditioned response in seeking the greener pastures of our own physical self. Let’s acknowledge and accept who we are today – warts and all. Because our true value is found in the sparkle in our eyes, the meaning we find from life, how we present ourselves to others, the quality of our relationships, and the way we boundlessly pursue our passions.

You are loved just as you are. You are enough just as you are. Now go and live a happy and fulfilled life, with the confidence that your aesthetics can’t determine your unique experience of life.

– Corinne Austin
– Health Coach & Movement Motivator