Available here from Amazon
A handy book to plan and log your daily fitness and nutrition. Plan your weekly nutrition, shopping lists and exercise and track it day to day in this lightweight log book.
It's quite natural to struggle with self belief in some way or another. It could be lack of belief in your own intelligence, your body image, your judgement, your own abilities... the list goes on.
One of the reasons we struggle with self belief is because the main thing our brain wants to do is to keep us alive, this can sometimes work against us, making us shy away from anything we don't perceive as having an 100 percent success rate.
I don't know if any of you have seen the film 'Home' (SPOILER ALERT If you haven't) Oh and the other Boovs run from anything they perceive as having less than a 100% success rate, until he meets a human girl and learns that you can succeed even if success looks minimal... honestly watch that film.. it's a cryer!
Anyway, self belief is like that, it seems illogical at times, our brain is trying to keep us safe, but it can be our downfall, if 'Oh' didn't have self belief planet earth would have been destroyed. It's that serious people!!!!
But how can we make ourselves believe in ourselves?
1) Learn to fail
That's right we need to learn to fail in order to succeed, or at least accept that failure is only a temporary part of the process. It's like those short stories you were told in assembly. There is a life lesson in there somewhere, pick it out polish it off and learn from it.
2) Set Realistic Goals
I have said this before and I will say it again, as well as setting realistic goals, set yourself up for small wins. Something you know you can achieve - It will do wonders for your self belief.
3) Acknowledge your accomplishments
Write them down - as many as possible!!!
4) Don't compare yourself to others.
It's impossible to fairly compare yourself anyway, we all have our struggles we all have things we are slaying, if your looking at social media you are only looking at someones best bits.
You may have seen the term ‘body shaming’ used on social media and you may have seen it being dismissed as ‘being woke’ or some people claim that shaming someone will help them to be ‘happier and healthier’. So let’s first look at what body shaming is.
What is Body shaming?
Body shaming is making negative comments about the appearance of someone else’s or your own body. For example, implying someone would look better or would feel better if they lost of gained weight or comparing your body to somebody else’s in a negative way (“My thighs are disgusting and huge compared to hers”. It can even show up when trying to comfort someone else when they are feeling insecure i.e “You look better than her, people don’t like skinny girls”
But what if body shaming will motivate me?
You may hear people say that while body shaming is not very nice, it will motivate people to reach their fitness goals or to become ‘healthy’.
Firstly, it’s none of your business to decide what is healthy for someone else. Secondly, Scientific studies have found that not only does body shaming not help motivate people, it does the absolute opposite!
A study found that fat shaming actually leads to further weight gain) Other studies showed exposure to weight-stigmatizing information made people feel less in control of their nutrition and a study in 2019 published in Pediatric Obesity found that children who were bullied about their bodies had increased weight gain well into adulthood.
"All of the evidence is that fat shaming just makes people feel worse. It lowers their self-esteem. It makes them feel depressed and anxious and as a result of that what they then do is self-destructive." Jane Ogden, a professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey.
Worse still body shaming can be extremely dangerous as it has also been linked to eating disorders and can be damaging to peoples mental health One in eight (13%) adults experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.
What can I do about Body shaming?
It can be difficult to tackle body shaming, because it is so normalised in society through magazines screeching that a celebrity has cellulite or even sitting around with family commenting about someone’s appearance on a reality TV show, some people will believe in it’s existence as much as they’d believe in the Easter bunny or worse some people deem it helpful. So how can we stop body shaming?
It’s been a weird year (and more) for EVERYONE and that’s putting it lightly. My business has near enough come to a standstill while I have tried to keep up with the ever changing covid rules.
So you’d think that having a good number of emails trickling in this week enquiring about personal training sessions would leave me feeling super excited, right? I mean, I absolutely love working with women and seeing them realise what they are capable of. But my honest reaction to receiving these emails was utter panic.
You see, I've gained quite a bit of weight during the pandemic, which, for the first time in my life I was absolutely fine with. My body changes sometimes and my body is just my body. It doesn’t define how good I am as a person, it doesn’t change the fact that I am a great personal trainer.
However, the prospect of meeting new clients brought about feelings that I thought I'd put to bed, I read these emails and sat there panicking that they will think I'm a shit personal trainer because I'm overweight, that I won’t know what I am doing, that my years of training and experience will mean nothing. This then added another layer of guilt, I am a body positive personal trainer, I teach women to be body positive and I’m currently feel slightly negative about my own body. I'm fighting a huge dose of imposter syndrome.
Then I saw a post from Molly Galbraith in ‘GGS Coaching and training women’ detailing her experiences in the fitness industry, the post contained a picture that said
“If you want to be a personal trainer or coach – PLEASE do not let the size and shape of your body hold you back from pursuing your dream. Your body size and shape says nothing about your knowledge, skill or coaching ability”.
It popped up when I needed it most and there were other personal trainers talking about how they felt the same way I did.
I have realized we are all human, body positivity is a work in progress for us all and we have to keep at it. But most of all be open and honest, don’t be ashamed of how you feel, because I guarantee you that others can definitely relate!
A good amount of sleep is essential for good physical and mental health, but many of us struggle to get enough. Below are a few tips to help you get enough:
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Do you ever have these random nagging feelings that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t? That everyone has a better job than you, they always look great and you don’t, that they are having more fun in life than you? These ‘random nagging feelings’ aren’t as random as we think. There is a good chance that they have popped up after you’ve chatted to your parents about how their best friend’s kid has just got the best job and bought them some amazing gift or that you have been scrolling through social media and comparing everyone’s ‘Best bits show reel’ to your boring every day. You may have even be taught to compare yourself to others to make you more competitive and motivate you. But constantly comparing yourself really doesn’t work.
Why comparing ourselves doesn’t work.
As already highlighted when you compare yourself to what someone else chooses to share with the world you are usually sharing your weaknesses with their strengths, not many people are out there on Instagram sharing their nitty gritty. That’s obviously going to make you feel that you aren’t doing great. What does that do to your mood? Does it put you in a great ‘go getter’ mood? No, it makes you feel like shit and looking for a quick way to change that mood (e.g. buy something, eat something whatever). Even if the situation occurs where you come off better in the comparison, it is only a short term boost to your ego, the feeling of “At least I am doing better than Miss Jones” can easily be crushed when Miss Jones updates her status to say she has a fabulous new job, leaving you feeling even worse than before (“Oh great, even Miss Jones is doing better than me now”). This will lead you to resent any success that Miss Jones or anyone else in your life has. This will only serve to stunt your personal growth, because when we cheer others on, they cheer us on in return.
Ways to stop comparing yourself to others:
Noticing that you are doing it is the first step. Maybe you’re scrolling through social media and you think “why am I not doing that” or “why do I not look like that”. Just notice it. You are comparing yourself and you know it isn’t good for you.
Discover your triggers when you start noticing that you are comparing yourself with others, ask what has made you do that, is it a certain person? A certain situation? A certain page on social media? Start to research yourself, keep a notebook, list when you have found yourself comparing yourself to others, what made you do that, how the thing that triggered you made you feel negative and why feeling that way is a waste of your time.
Redecorate your surroundings I don’t mean paint your living room here. But address those triggers! A page on social media pushes you to compare – click unfollow! Same with people on friends lists. If someone in your life triggers you to compare yourself, that’s where it becomes a bit more difficult. Attempt to let them know how it affects you.
Be OK with who and where you are right now We are not rolling the end credits right now, this is not the end of your journey, you can have goals and still be grateful for who and where you are.
Practice gratitude keeping a gratitude journal can really ground you and make you aware of just how important you are to the world and the people around you.
Have you ever had that feeling of sheer panic of having a Facebook notification pop up that someone has tagged you in a photo? It seems ridiculous to some, but for me and many other women that I have spoken to over the years that notification was enough to make your heart rate increase and your chest tighten.
But why do so many of us hate photos so much? Why do we hate the thought of the people we know seeing an unflattering snap of ourselves? After all most of the people on our social media know us, they already know what we look like? What are the reasons for us not accepting ourselves in photographs?
Firstly, other people may know what we look like but we don’t, the image we most often see of ourselves in a mirror is inverted, the same goes for selfies, it just isn’t the same as what we’d see in a photograph that someone else would take of us. We really aren’t used to seeing ourselves as we really appear, so the image of ourselves in a photo someone else has taken is going to look not quite right to ourselves.
Secondly, like me, you have probably participated in decades of negative
self-talk, where we have told ourselves that how we look isn’t good enough and therefore it never is.
So that covers what could make you hate pictures of yourself, but what can help you to start accepting yourself in photographs?
Just a heads up, it may take some time. If you have spent years being heavily critical of how you look in photos, chances are that this won’t be an overnight fix. But here are some things that can help you find acceptance.
Happy new year!
The biggest sign of us entering a new year is that adverts for yummy treats have been replaced with ads for protein shakes and weight loss programs.
It's a weird ritual we all go through every year, enjoy yourself in December but be sure to shame and guilt yourself about it in January.
I've spent so many December's not moving very much (It's bloody cold) and eating until I felt uncomfortable, then writing myself a grueling regime for January and by the 3rd week either burning out , feeling more rubbish about myself than before or both.
I'm not going to tell you not to exercise or not to eat a little healthier if that is what you are happy to do but I am definitely not going to add to the many voices urging you to pay some sort of penance for having a nice Christmas. Take some time to figure out what you want for yourself and speak kindly to yourself!
I’m sure you have goals, most of us do, but are you really clear on what they are and how you will achieve them? How else will you know when you have arrived at your destination? This isn’t just writing out your SMART goals either, though we will cover that, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself to help you get clear on what your goals are, grab a pen and paper and scribble your answers down:
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want?
I am assuming you have a rough idea of your goal in your head. Now ask yourself honestly – Is it something you really want or is it something you think you should want, is it something you are passionate about or do you think it will make people respect you more? If getting stronger is your goal, is it because you want to feel powerful? Will it help you enjoy a better quality of life? Or have you seen ‘strong is the new skinny’ banded about so you feel as though it is something you ‘should’ want? If you only had 6 months to live would you still pursue this goal, would you feel as though it was worthwhile? Is it something you feel excited about? And why now? What has started the ball rolling with you wanting to achieve this goal?
What is the destination?
What will reaching your goal look and feel like? If your goal is to lose weight what does it specifically look like, it’s not just about losing weight surely? If it is, have a poo and walla, you have lost ‘weight’ congratulations your work here is done! But if it is about more than that – what is different about your life when your goal has been reached? Can you walk for longer, are you feeling more confident? Wearing different clothes? If your goal is not aesthetic related – say you want to get fitter – what are you doing when you’ve reached your goal? Walking upstairs without feeling breathless? Being able to do a pull up? Going on long bike rides comfortably? Running a marathon?
What will make it feel like “Yes, I’ve done it!” ?
Where are you starting your journey?
Is this the first time you have attempted this journey? Or like many of us when trying to reach goals, have you had a few false starts? If you have tried before and you didn’t make it, don’t be disheartened. Everything in life is trial and error and if you have had false starts you are in a very good place to assess what you have done in the past, what worked for you and what didn’t? Don’t let fear of failing again trap you in your comfort zone! What you have done so far to get to your goal? Don’t berate yourself if it is nothing, just start trying some things, learn what works for you!
Who am I?
What is your goal and does it fit with your values? Does it fit in with your priorities? Are you able to make the sacrifices such as getting up an hour earlier to workout or changing your diet, do you have the time to put in the work to make it happen? Are you willing to change and grow to make it happen?
Is my goal SMART?
Can anyone who looks at my goal know exactly what my goal is within 5 seconds? SMART goals are
Specific (Who, what, where, why)
Measurable (You should be able to track your progress)
Achievable (Goals should be challenging but not completely out of reach)
Relevant (Is the goal relevant? Does the result benefit you?)
Timed (You need a deadline)
Don’t get dragged down by over planning!
You have probably heard “ If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and while that is true some of us fall into the trap of over planning which can delay us from actually starting the journey to reach our goals. Map out your SMART goals and take action right away!
Do you believe you can do it?
When you think of the goal you have set, do you really believe it is possible? Lack of self belief will hinder you, expect to be successful. I’m not saying you aren’t going to have any doubts, some doubts are fine initially but you must believe that you’re going to succeed.
1)Take a break
Even if we are facing something very real, feeding your own panic only fuels intrusive and unhelpful thoughts and feelings. To gain a realistic perspective take breaks from social media and from googling news stories.
2)Take care of your mental and physical well-being.
In uncertain times it is quite easy to drink more alcohol than you normally would, so keep an eye on such things. Exercise, stretch, meditate and try to ensure you are getting enough sleep. (I write this as someone who uncharacteristically drank whisky on a week night last night and who had a very disturbed night’s sleep. I will do better this evening, chill evening, no booze and bed for me)
3)Find a way to chill out!
Try to do activities you enjoy or find new ones.
Make use of whatsapp, texts and the minutes you never use on your phone plan. Talk to people you trust about how you are feeling and don’t shame each other. We are all human and all have different ways of dealing with things
5)Eliminate feelings of helplessness
Don’t focus on what you can’t do but on what you can do. Focus on what you are able to control.
This Is me:
I’m Emma, I train women (Offline and Online) who may struggle with their confidence and self esteem. I believe that women need more options that suit different lifestyles and needs, some of us don't have time to stick to a rigid plan, some people are to scared to even set foot in a gym (I have been there).