Be Nice to Yourself, You're Here.

A case for body positivity in the gym.

I love our gym & our members. I always say we are the best gym in the GNO, but I’m biased. I am constantly in awe of the people who, week after week, make space for themselves and their growth just by showing up and doing their damn best. Building a workout routine is hard, and many of our members walk into our program with no gym experience at all and yet somehow to manage to not only make a habit out of coming but consistently improve and grow as athletes and people.

Growth is sometimes measurable, like being able to use a heavier weight in a workout, other times growth is a mindset and an attitude change. Either way, I see the growth every single day I step on the floor and it honestly makes my heart swell.

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All this being said, I feel like it is incredibly hard for us to see our own accomplishments, big or small. Everyday I have to navigate my own negative self-talk and our members:

“I’m so fat”

“I’m not strong enough”

“My fatass can’t even…”

“I ate like shit and now I need to punish myself”

“I am so weak”

Before I begin to unpack all of this I want you to know that it is okay to think these thoughts and say these things. I think all of us, no matter how strong, how in shape, struggle with negative self-talk. It is really hard to be nice to ourselves. We’ve had a lot of conditioning in the negative light. We’ve been told most of our lives that there is a beauty “ideal” and if we don’t fit it something is wrong with us. Well, in case no one has told you yet: THAT’S BS!

Bodies and skills are varied from person to person. Bam.

So once we’ve accepted this major newsflash, what’s next?

Here is what I propose: Only say things about yourself that you’d tell you best friend about them. Would you tell someone you love so so much that they are weak and fat? Would you tell them they need to get skinny to be worthy of that cute dress they love?

No! You’d tell them to rock that damn dress. You tell your loved ones how proud you are of them! How strong and beautiful they are! So, why don’t you deserve to tell yourself the same things? (You deserve it.)

What I say when folks bully themselves is “You’re here!” When I say “You’re here” I mean so much more than “Look, you are fixing yourself by showing up!” What I mean is you’re here, you’re alive, you’re showing up for yourself every damn day and you are worthy of praise and love for just living in this crazy hard world. Growth isn’t always measurable but allow yourself to find moments to see it in yourself, because it’s happening all the time. I promise.

Be nice to yourself, you’re here.

Mary Jacobs