Many of you may know that for the past few months I have been following the Renaissance Periodization nutrition and Female Physique training program. (future post and update on that coming soon) I have been tracking my experience with this diet and training style mostly on SnapChat. ***I do not post with the intent for anyone to eat like me, it’s for my own tracking in addition it shows my perspective of the joys and struggles of this way of training and eating.***
I bring this up because a few weeks ago, I was chatting with a dear friend of mine on the phone and she asked me why I was doing this diet and what happened to the “love your body way of thinking.” This is a great question, and I can totally see her point of view and where she is coming from. Especially when I have said that I don’t like “dieting” and meal tracking and following all the rules drives me crazy…and guess what? It still does! However, this one question she asked me brings up a lot of good points that I would like to address.
Let’s start with loving your body. Two years ago when I launched the Love Your Body Campaign, I did so because I felt it was a serious topic that needed to be brought to light. We as women are so very hard on ourselves and let’s be honest, often times we are very hard on each other. Judging each other for being too skinny, too muscular, too fat, etc. Some women compete with each other, others use shame , and many of us compare and size ourselves up to other women. In the long run, we only end up hurting ourselves and hating the way we look and feel about ourselves. The women who shared their stories on the Love Your Body Campaign two years ago, had a story to tell. Their stories resonated and touched the hearts of many women across the globe. The reason it touched the hearts of so many was because all women can relate to those stories in some way. We all have a story to tell and some mending in our hearts when it comes to showing our bodies a little love and appreciation for what it can do both physically, mentally and emotionally for us.
That being said, can you “love and accept” your body and still want to improve it or work on an aesthetic goal? Of course you can! We as individuals can do whatever we want with our bodies. That includes experimenting with different methods of eating, whether it’s a new “diet” to lose some fat, gain muscle, or the exact opposite. If you want to gain a little more weight, or maybe you don’t want to follow any strict rules, you just want to eat the way you want and live your life, IT’S ALL OKAY!! I look at my body as an experiment, I dabble in different things and see what works and what doesn’t. I am human and make mistakes and maybe one could say I’m contradicting myself, but let’s be honest, we will all contradict ourselves at some point in our lives especially if we chose to learn new things and grow from them.
Do I love my body? You bet your ass I do! Why? Because my body is a vehicle to be able to do many things: I can hug my loved ones, walk and play with my dogs, dance, lift weights, run, jump, rest, watch television and movies. I can communicate with the world because of my body. Do I love everything about my body? No, I don’t like feeling bloated, I don’t like my migraines, I don’t like seeing my aging skin. However, do I accept those things? Yes!!!!!! Bloating happens, it’s a normal reaction in the body, sometimes caused by inflammation, hormones, etc. Migraines, I’m doing my best to keep them managed but it doesn’t always work. Aging skin, I’m getting older, I have lived a life under the sun playing and swimming and yes, I look 40. Would I like to look 25, yes I would like my skin to look like I am 25 years old, but I’m not 25 and I already had that youthful look. Now it’s time to look like an almost 40 year old. If I chose to get botox or a lift of some sort would that be okay? Yes, because it’s my choice. If I thought it would make me feel better and look better and I wanted to do it then it’s all okay.
So If I choose to want to lean out, or bulk up, or do nothing at all and I am okay with it, and I am really happy with what I choose to do, then it really isn’t anyone else’s business, nor should it be a reflection of the choices they make for themselves. My stories of successes and failures may resonate with some and not with others. I always keep it real on JustMeJennB and I show vulnerability. In a world full of egos we need to see more vulnerability in people. It’s a way of being strong in and of itself.
Back in January, I wrote a 5 post series on this blog about transforming the way we think about our bodies. You can read more here. In one of those posts I spoke about how you don’t necessarily have to love everything about your body to accept it. In fact, loving everything about our body all the time would be much like trying to be a perfectionist. Jessi Kneeland wrote a beautiful blog post on that subject here.
I finish up the cutting phase of RP in a week. Like I said, I’ll be posting my experience and thoughts about this way of eating and training in the upcoming weeks. So, stay tuned for that. I will say this, before I started RP I didn’t hate the way I looked. I didn’t hate my body in any way. I had put on some pounds and enjoyed a lot of yummy foods, perhaps too much yummy foods and wanted to lose some fat, and add some structure to my nutrition and training program. So that’s what I did, and I got great results from that. There were some dark moments that I’ll dive into on that future blog post, but it was, and still is, a learning experiment. We should always be learning, changing, and exploring in life, if we’re not, then we aren’t living.