2 Spuds in a Pod

Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing.

Tag: body image

Mirror Image

This is an interesting topic. We decided we would continue along the body image theme for another blog as it is such an important subject. Mirrors conjure up all sorts of feelings and questions. How do I look? Why does this outfit not make any sense? Wow, I have toned that area working out in the gym. And so on.

Mirrors and I

I was very anti mirror for many years and unfortunately, I cannot put my finger on why that was. I would guess it was because I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I just know that mirrors and I didn’t seem to see eye-to-eye. Rosie comes from the background where she does get on with mirrors. Rosie was brought up doing a lot of horse riding and at the riding school to correct posture and technique there was a mirror. She didn’t really have an option not to like them, so she just got on with it.

There are mirrors everywhere!

It’s true, there are mirrors everywhere. They are in your bathroom, in the gym, in the department store changing room, in your hallway, in an art gallery and many other places. We often have to walk past them to get from A to B. Sometimes we run past them, so we don’t see ourselves properly in them. Sometimes we walk with our heads turned to one side so again we can’t see ourselves. But why is the question?

Why?

Why indeed. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with who I am and make friends with the mirror. Today I use them to check out an outfit I am wearing if I need to be smart. I use them to check my hairstyle is playing ball that day. I use them to check how that spot is doing on the end of my nose the day before a big event. What I am saying is forget what other people say about mirrors and get to know it on your own terms.

Fun mirrors

There are of course fun mirrors which you can find at the fairground or in those “can’t believe it” exhibitions. The ones that make you look like a giant or like you have 3 bodies in 1. Now those mirrors conjure up smiles and laughs as you try out each one. Why can’t a normal mirror do that?

My point

And that is my point, mirrors do not need to be scary monsters that we avoid at all cost. They are there to be our friends, to make us look and feel amazing as a human being. Of course, they also help us correct our squat technique in the gym but that is a story for another day. All I am saying is make friends with it. Be amazing and let yourself shine.

Burpees

In other news Rosie has challenged me with full stop burpees. Let me explain, when I was at school, I was always taught to do 2 spaces after a full stop. Rosie does 1. Every time she looks at the blog, she has to correct mine. So, the challenge has been set. 2 spaces after a full stop equals 1 burpee. Now if you know me you will know that burpees and I do not get along. They are those annoying exercises that personal trainers like to throw at clients to make them work harder. However, in my exercise classes it is a punishment if you are constantly on your phone. Therefore, this is quite a challenge. I am having to change a habit that has been in existence for several years. At present I am on 7 burpees and the challenge is running till the end of May. I will keep you all posted.

-Helen

[#mirrors #bodyimage #bodyawareness #happy]

Body Image

It is a hot topic at the minute with this being Mental Health Awareness Week. The Mental Health Foundation only yesterday announced that it had done a piece of research on it. According to the report 4,500 UK adults were asked, and about a third of them were anxious about their body image. Another 1 in 8 were experiencing suicidal thoughts about it. (BBC News website)

The very thought of the words body image can make someone jump out of their skin. It will have people running to the mirror and asking why me? Someone may read this blog and think I have tried every diet but why am I still big or why can’t I put muscle on or I wish I could lose that baby weight and so on. Here’s the secret: there is no magic formula. The truth is your body belongs to you. You oversee it. It is unique. 

Your body can tell a story

It is very true; your body can tell a story. It is the life of you. So, the story of me is as follows. I have a small scar across the bridge of my nose from where I decided to nosedive into a table at the age of 2.  I also have 3 keyhole scars on my abdomen from 18 months ago where a cyst on my ovary bust, caused a right issue and had me in emergency surgery to sort it out.  I have facial tics which depending on my stress levels can be very visible. My left hand holds two rings, my engagement ring and my wedding ring. I recently cut my hair really short and got myself an ear piercing.  My toes are webbed (no I still can’t swim well), I have fat around my belly which due to a medical condition makes it hard to shift but I keep trying. I wear glasses, I had teeth braces as a kid and for a female I am taller than average. I work hard at the gym doing my own workouts so I stay strong. I also love nothing more than running around in jeans and a t-shirt. There you go, a small version of my story.

The other side of the story

People have mocked me in the past, bullied me, people have said why can’t I lose weight, why were my teeth like a bunny’s and why couldn’t I dress more feminine. Some of those words hurt, I had to listen while people said these things but did I pay attention? The short answer is no. It has taken me a while to realise that I am who I am. Some people will like me, and some will not. However, at the end of the day I cannot please everyone with the way my body looks. The only person who needs to be happy with it is me and I am more than happy with my body image. 

The media

I personally think the media has a lot to answer for. As a personal trainer I often get a person coming to me for their consultation, showing me pictures of someone on Instagram or other social media. It comes with those famous words; I want to look like this. Now bringing in a picture gives me a good idea of how you would like to look and what exercises to give you to get you there. However, most people want the easy fix. Now correct me if I am wrong but that message is usually not one that social media portrays. People want that internet body which will happen overnight whilst still being able to eat fast food and binge-watching telly. I have to disappoint these people and say that it could take up to a year to get that way. What I offer is good nutrition, at least 3 days in the gym, scaling down the fast food, limiting the alcohol and a lot of hard work. After the initial shock wears off that it will take a lot longer they sigh and say I will try it. The people who have stayed with me as a trainer have lost weight, toned their muscles, changed their diet to a healthier version and so on. But here is my point: it is a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. And at the end of the day they are much happier. 

You

So, here is the bottom line in my opinion. If you are happy with your body image don’t let anyone take that away from you. Show off your scars proudly and let them tell their story. If you are not happy with your body image, then take a small step today into making a lifestyle change and keep going. Once you catch the nutrition and exercise bug I can guarantee you will find your happy somewhere along the way.

-Helen

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