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Don't like what you see in the mirror?

I hear my customers saying they don't like looking in the mirrors during their workouts. Obviously we are not there to critique ourselves, we are there to get a bloody good workout but it got me thinking...

Does self criticism keep us in check?

Do we think that...

self-critical behaviour is a safeguard against laziness, mistakes and complacency and that they’ll somehow keep us in line and ensure we achieve our goals?

In actual fact the opposite happens triggering feelings of:









Our discontent with our bodies drains our energy and confidence and paralyses progress.

Constructive criticism

provides specific insight into what went wrong and what to do differently next time; it’s considerate and respectful; it focuses on the work, not the person; and it speaks to both strengths and weaknesses.

Unconstructive self-criticism

Is vague, inconsiderate, judges the person (not our work or behavior) and is unbalanced. Most of the time this type of criticism isn't even accurate. In fact it is usually another emotion that has been misplaced.

Here are some tips that will help you change your perspective:

-Are you certain that the thought is accurate?

When we have self-critical thoughts we often assume they’re 100 percent true but often our thoughts aren’t necessarily realistic or even meaningful.

- Are you annoyed with yourself?

If you're having a wobbly day where you feel bloated or unfit perform a check in with your thoughts:

- Is something else bothering you?

- Are you cross with yourself because you ate junk food yesterday?

- Are you hormonal?

- Has something upset you?

- Observe

whats triggered the critical thought. Its incredibly easy to place negative feelings on something physical like your body.

When a negative thought about your body comes up, instead of complaining or putting up with it, you can note it as just a thought and let it pass by.

The inner voice demands -

This voice is so child like, all day it screams "I want!" Its totally knackering. If a child only wanted to eat pizza and ice - cream all day, every day, would you let it? Probably not because its not good for the long term health of the child. Same goes for you!

The voice in your head is saying "Im an adult I can do what I like" but the accumulative effect of that isn't always a positive one on your emotional or physical state.

My method -

When Im teaching a class and see my own flappy bingo wing or some back fat I simply tell myself that Im in the throws of doing something about it and that tends to motivate me to work harder.

Be grateful -

You are not a freak, you are capable of change the same as everyone else. Your body is capable of improvement. They can and do adapt when you take action and ask them to.

Be accountable -

The trick here is to take responsibility for whats happening to you. You are not a tiny child, no one is coming to sort this out for you so be there for yourself and become aware of your emotional and physical state but without feeling guilty.

Trust yourself! You have the answers so ask yourself the questions. Why don't I like the look of my body? Why am I behaving in a way that makes me feel unhealthy? etc...the answers will come to you and then you will truly know whats going on. Self doubt is the cause of all failure.

You are not going to change your body if you don't change

Change -

In order to change you need to change as a person. You've tried doing the same thing for years and it hasn't worked right?

If you start to change for the better you will notice that you will feel sad to let go of your old ways. Its very emotional and because of that, very powerful. You will need to focus on what you actually want and why you want it whilst adapting to a new routine.

Now you will start to adapt slowly because doing it all at once is too much. You need to learn how and you need to show yourself it works. Now the voice in your head will want you to fail so it can prove that you can't do it but you must show it otherwise. One fail doesn't count as total failure.

Change requires you to adapt your routines, behaviour, mindset, relationships and nutrition. Its extremely uncomfortable for you and often the people around you because sometimes they don't want you to change either.

Take action - One thing at a time.

Practice self-compassion

It’s critical that you work to be kind to yourself by practicing positive self-care. Its also important to be kind in thought, knowledge and praise your own achievements. Do this by giving yourself things that have a positive impact like exercise, healthy food and sleep.

Treat yourself the way you would treat someone that you love.

Theres a very fine line between being ambitious and self critical. Sometimes we just have to remember to offer kindness and trust to ourselves.

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