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Before & After Pictures

First of all, no, I don’t have actual “before & after” pictures posted, but I do have a story I’d love to share with you about the dreaded “before” picture: Recently the owner of a gym I used to teach at asked if I would help out with the kick-off day for a fitness program as the gym was understaffed that day. My job: taking “before” pictures of participants. Fast forward: I wish I could have recorded the words coming out of the mouths of these people! Woo Child! Emotions ranged from disgust to embarrassment at best. One woman grabbed her thighs and began to shake them to prove to me that her loathing was warranted. I desperately wanted to ask her “What do you actually think that MEANS about YOU?” but I wasn’t asked to, nor did I have the time, to counsel. So time out for a sec here. Is it ever fun to strip down to your skivvies and have a picture taken by a stranger? No. Anyone would laugh nervously or make small talk (often self-deprecating). Sure. I get it. But, the words that I witnessed aloud are often the words that are “running the show” within the mind, each day. It’s time to take it easy with the crappy self-talk. “What about pushing my limit, not settling for mediocrity, overcoming my weak mind?” Whoa, slow down little lady (or fella), before we even go there, here’s an important distinction: It is one thing to practice discipline and another to be flat-out unkind to oneself. I’ve seen this particular fitness program play out from start to finish several times. I’ve seen some people stay far beyond the program completion, coming to classes regularly. Others are MIA about 3 weeks into the program. So what’s the big difference between those who stick around and those who “fall off the bandwagon?” After many conversations and observations here is what I believe part of it boils down to… Disgust of Self versus Love of Self Discipline is discipline. If you want strong muscles you do need to challenge them and stay committed. But where “motivation” falls short is examining what exactly is driving the behavior. Those who stick around or continue moving their bodies regularly appreciate and love themselves enough to make self-care a priority. Those who believe they can hate or shame themselves or their bodies into life-long transformation, are totally baffled when they find themselves unable to stick to The Program. Life has a funny little way of making sure you live in integrity. When you are motivating yourself from punishment, you may make changes short-term, but in the long run your psyche and your heart suffer. Move for joy, for radical self-care, because you are all you’ve got, because you want to feel well, because you are important, because you will enjoy life MORE with a nourished body. That is just as much of a discipline as anything else. In fact, it is the discipline to come back to again and again and again. Today and moving forward I challenge you to make your “discipline” loving self-care and choose to take care of yourself because you’re all you’ve got! Your brain, heart, and muscles will thank you. Take Action. Please share your favorite acts of self-care. What is non-negotiable in your book? What are you committed to from this point on? I am currently taking on new clients. Contact me at laurakburkett(at) to schedule. Serious Inquires Only. With appreciation, Laura

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