Discovering a Love for Your Body through a Weight Training System

By on August 2, 2011

By Jill Demby Guest–

Like so many women, the idea of fully loving my body was a foreign concept.

Love my body? Who me?

I could admit to loving parts of my body, but in total, never. It just wasn’t something I could embrace.

There was always some imperfection. Bumps on my hips. Thighs too big. Midriff bulge. Post pregnancy paunch. Cellulite. Stretch marks. Lumpy knees. Calves too wide. On and on. It was a never ending cycle of self-sabotage.

The more I thought about these bodily imperfections the worse I felt. All the constant little digs at myself were sending me down a rabbit hole of negativity.

Sound familiar?

ASK YOURSELF:

How many times a day do you silently sabotage your body?

How often do you tell yourself you’re fat?

How often do you tell yourself you’ll go on a diet?

How often do you compare yourself to others?

How often do you complain to your friends about your body problems?

My Story

I struggled with body image from the time I was 6 years old. Not only was I the tallest girl in the class, I was also the heaviest. Criticism from my parents, brother, teachers and other kids only made it worse. I was the outcast. All I felt was shame.

When I reached my teens, I dieted myself to a decent weight. When the weight reappeared, I became a yo-yo dieter. Up and down 20-40 pounds every couple of years.

I tried everything from dangerous pills to the grapefruit diet, Atkins, Weight Watchers, shots, Lindora, Diet Center and many, many others. I left no trendy diet untried. And while they all worked in the short term, they were never long term successes.

I began to ask myself WHY nothing was working.

Finally, I recognized the problem that was gnawing at me.

Even during my thin periods, I never really “felt” thin. No matter how many people told me how good I looked, I just didn’t get it. I couldn’t embrace my new shape.

Constant anxiety about gaining the weight back or binging uncontrollably, brought on by some emotional crisis I didn’t know how to manage, kept me in “yo-yo” land.

It was a never ending cycle ending in despair. And I still hated my body.

I know my story is not unique; there are millions of women who suffer from low body self-esteem and unmanageable eating disorders. This story is for you with hopes that you, too, will find the joy of breaking this vicious cycle.

Eventually, I made a conscious decision to give up dieting and turned to exercise as a way to feel good about my body.

Long distance running produced feel good endorphins that went a long way to making me feel better. Taking ballet classes and modern dance also made me feel graceful, playful and creative with my body. In addition, I sought counseling to help manage my emotions in a more healthy way.

Weight Training Turnaround

But what really began to turn things was around was learning a weight training routine. I enlisted a personal trainer and started a weight training routine with two other women. The system we created gave us continual support and buddies who could see our results. Soon I began to experience increased power and strength in my body.

The Commitment

We committed to training three times a week followed by 30 minutes of aerobics. An hour total.

Goals

We each had a goal in mind. I wanted to lengthen my muscles and sculpt several “spot” areas and lose weight as a byproduct.

Visualization

As I continued to train, I focused on one muscle group at a time, visualizing with each repetition what the transformation would look like. I held that picture of my body in my mind: a graceful, powerful dancer’s body with long lean muscles.

As I closed my eyes and breathed in and out with each rep, I saw each area coming into definition. First my arms, then my thighs, waist, butt, abs and calves. It was nothing short of a miracle. One step at a time.

Nutrition

Eating a moderate carb/protein diet was also key. Carbs before a workout, protein after was the recommendation

Benefits

Not only is weight lifting beneficial in building strength, muscle and facilitating fat loss, it also aids in preventing bone disease. And as menopause hits, it’s a real mood enhancer. The power you begin to feel as you see your body transform will promote confidence and improved posture. You’ll begin to notice a certain glow along with the empowered feeling that you can take on the world.

In addition to the “feel good” endorphin high you get from any exercise, there are so many other benefits to a weight training system:

• Gaining lean muscle helps burn calories even at rest
• Lose body fat
• Increased strength, endurance and energy
• Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
• Enhance Moods
• osteoporosis prevention

Results
In three to four weeks time, basking in our results, my British trainer, Marco, commented, “You’ve got a great bum!” as I walked by. When I turned to look in the mirror, I heartily agreed. It was the affirmation I had longed to experience and now it was mine to embrace.

And that’s really the word. Embrace. Celebrate your wins. Honor them. Put gold stars on your forehead. Do a happy dance. Whatever it takes to really feel the thrill of triumph.

No longer afraid to look in the mirror, I actually found my body beautiful. For years I’d watched men in the gym falling in love with their bodies as they sweated and pumped. Now it was my turn.

I may not be perfect but I feel like a “10” and that’s what matters. As a friend once remarked about some lumps and bumps on her body, “Lumps are life,” she exclaimed. “We’re all imperfectly perfect.” Just as we are.

Now I never sneak into a room trying to hide my statuesque 5’10” frame. I “take” the room with power, grace, ease and love. And so will you.

Jill Demby Guest is an entertainment industry integrated media writer, producer, celebrity TV interviewer, audio-book producer and digital content creator with expertise in strategic planning and marketing of niche market blogs. An anglophile, foodie, weight lifter and racquetball player, she loves everything to do with mid-life reinventions and living a “feel good” life. For more about weight lifting and loving your body, find her at http://thefeelgoodlife.com/weightlifting.

About Jill Demby Guest

Jill Demby Guest is an entertainment industry integrated media writer, producer, celebrity TV interviewer, audio-book producer and digital content creator with expertise in strategic planning and marketing of niche market blogs. An anglophile, foodie, weight lifter and racquetball player, she loves everything to do with mid-life reinventions and living a "feel good" life. For more about weight lifting and loving your body, find her at http://thefeelgoodlife.com/weightlifting.

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Discovering a Love for Your Body through a Weight Training System