Updated: Feb 6
Were you that girl who always felt that she couldn’t, that lingered on the sidelines during P.E classes, that wove a narrative of, “this is not for me,” into your lived experience, as a child, a teen, a young adult?
Were you that girl who felt anxiety in the pit of your stomach at the mention of sports day, or the group swim challenge? Perhaps even an innocent challenge of; “I'll race you there!” from a friend, got you feeling out of breath, before you’d even started. Was your mind filled with negative self talk and shaming tones that screamed; “I’m just not a sporty person!” “I’m not good at this!” Were you that girl?
The truth is, these are the stories that we told ourselves a long time ago. They began in childhood and subsequently followed us through the years.
We carried the external judgment of others, we listened to the labels, we felt inadequate amidst our peers and we started to embody those words until they owned us.
We became unfit, lazy, clumsy, un-sporty, inactive or ‘fat’. We told ourselves we were ‘more creative’ or ‘more academic’ and before we knew it, we’d written a whole novel on how ‘exercise just wasn’t our thing!’
But the problem with these kinds of stories is that the more we repeat them, both to ourselves and to others, the more they grow and you start to believe that you’ll never actually be able to change. These stories create the belief systems that we go on to live our lives by and so long as we keep repeating these narratives, they shape the way we live.
It’s time to let go of this negative script that you’ve been telling yourself over and over again and look in the mirror at the girl, who became a woman and is now staring back at you. Forget about the number on the scale, the size of your dress or what your level of fitness is.
How do you feel? If you strip back the layers, the masks we hide behind, the excuses we have for why we do what we do and say what we say. How do you feel, today, here, right now? How is your mental, physical and emotional health?
How is your stress, do you feel in balance? These are the things that you are living with today, these are the real stories we need to hear. How is your sleep? How is your confidence? Is your body holding you back in any way? Does the way you feel now impact upon your relationships, the way you communicate, the way you share experiences or relate to others? Ask yourself sincerely, could I feel better? Do I deserve to feel better?
Are you going to keep those old time stories alive? The stories that say; “I am never going to lose weight, I am never going to be fit, I am never going to stop eating cake! I am just like my mum/aunt/grandma, I am not "those people who workout” and fitness just “isn’t for me.”
Are you going to continue owning a narrative that no longer serves you, hiding behind words that shaped who you thought you were?
Exercise has helped me to question those narratives I’d created about myself. Those glass ceilings that lay so low, I hadn’t given myself any room to move. I lived that narrative for 25 years of my life and I know the pain that it can cause, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and to the people around you.
The first step is to realise that there can be other endings to your story. In fact, you have the ability to turn the page and start anew at any given moment.
I understand the journey may start with inability, with clumsiness, with weakness, but so long as you are moving forward on that journey, you are benefitting.
Every squat deeper, every minute longer, every day that you turn up; you are shattering those stories you created about yourself.
Don’t traverse on an unhealthy journey in pursuit of health. Re-write your story, starting today. Write of empowerment, of dismantling self limiting beliefs, of long lasting change, of a woman who sees her body as an instrument and not as an ornament. A woman who values how she feels above the opinion of others and holds herself in high esteem.
I was that girl that hated sports at school, that lingered on the sidelines during PE but I turned it around, I was strong enough to believe I could change, and step by step, I did. I started to workout, I started to eat well, not to drop the pounds but because my body deserved it and I started to love the way my body felt and I love seeing a healthier version of myself.
Once you find these words, repeat them, repeat them until that story becomes the one you live by. Sometimes it is not about what you’ve been eating, or how much you’ve been moving, it’s about questioning the story you’ve been telling yourself for all these years.
Change that narrative today. Join our GroupFIIT classes where we believe exercise is for every woman, not just the super fit. Come and ignite your passion for fitness with other like-minded women in a fun and friendly environment!