Last week during training I did the unthinkable… I took my shirt off during training!
The studio was empty, and I had been working hard. I thought it would be nice to see what my lines looked like on video without any tank top interference. So, after a big gulp of courage and took off that extra layer.
What’s the big deal?
As a professional circus artist living in Montreal I have the great pleasure of training next to elite athletes every day. Being in this environment can be very inspiring, but it can also be intimidating. I can’t help but look at these circus bodies and think: “damn girl”! I also can’t seem to stop comparing myself to their bodies and think “that ain’t me”. I’m a mean, lean, circus machine, but all I can focus on while I’m at training is the fact that I don’t have a six-pack.
“This isn’t necessarily the fault of the circus industry […], but an issue of my own lack of self-confidence. “
This isn’t necessarily the fault of the circus industry, even though there is a great deal of pressure to “look” a certain way, but an issue of my own lack of self-confidence. Just the other day I was talking to a girlfriend who proudly announced that she went to her hot yoga class in a sports bar and tights. I was so inspired by her body confidence, and ashamed that I didn’t have the same level of self-assurance.
*Speaking of six-packs… check out this video by the folks of Cirque du Soleil*
Two summers ago my goal was to get a six pack and I worked with a coach to reach my goal. Getting to that level of lean body mass and maintaining it in a healthy way meant a high level of commitment and sacrifice. I’m talking diligent meal planning, not enjoying a pint of cider on a patio, or treating myself to a summer gelato. In the end I decided I wasn’t interested in attaining that “perfect” body image. I held on to the good eating habits and allowed myself the freedom of having the occasional treat. For me that is a more sustainable model. But, there was another element at play that I was forgetting… Self-love.
“Let’s face it, the biggest person judging me… is ME!”
I make a conscious effort to eat whole food, eat consciously, and limit my refined sugar. I have felt the benefits of eating well balance, and properly proportioned meals. But, I still struggle with having a positive body image.
That is why training in my sport bra the other day, and snapping that pic (see above) was such a huge moment for me.
I’m shifting my thinking. I’m proud of my body without being spent on getting ripped.
Let’s face it, the biggest person judging me… is ME! And I don’t want to feel ashamed of my body. I want to be proud. I work hard, I’m strong and my body is amazing.
So strip off those layers, and ignore the nay-sayers. We all deserve to feel free in our own skin.
If you want to learn more about “the cost of getting lean” I encourage you to read this article by Ryan Andrews & Brian St. Pierre of Precision Nutrition.
For support on finding a healthy balance with food and exercise, or if you struggle with a food intolerance, I encourage you to contact me for a nutrition consultation. See my nutrition page.