I want to talk about body image🤍
To me- body image is how I perceive my body at any given point in time- and doesn’t have too much correlation with the actual shape of my body.
I think some examples will help.
The gym where I train is the home to a few bad ass body builders. These women are freaking huge- and during competition season they are shredded out of their minds. Absolutely shredded. When I’m working out next to these ladies I feel so tiny- I’m like omg do I even have a muscle?!?!
On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been filming more content with my sister @stephanietallant_pole lately- she is a little taller than me- probably 20ish pounds lighter- and incredibly fucking lean. When we film content in the pole studio (where there is literally a wall full of mirrors)- I feel freaking huge- kind of like a whale tbh. I think this experience is distorted even further by how much I have struggled with my body image over the years in comparison to my sister.
So if I take a step back from all of this and put on my “observing consciousness” hat- I’m like woah this is very interesting! We have a scenario here where someone in the same physical body is having drastically different experiences of body image based on her environment- sometimes within the context of the same day- and maybe even within the same hour.
So what does this tell us about body image?
Remember- our entire experience in these meat suits (read: bodies) we walk around in is a function of the mass of tissue between our ears (read: our brain).
So when I’m in the gym with ladies who are professional body builders- I feel tiny. And when I’m in a dance studio with my very lean sister- I feel enormous.
I’m sharing this because I KNOW I am not the only human who has these narratives about body image.
And I think it’s important for me and my mental health to continue to acknowledge how much my “body image” swings over the course of any given day or hour or phase of my menstrual cycle or any number of any other things honestly.
This is just another reason I like to track data and have a plan for my nutrition/ training at any given point in time. These things serve as an anchor for me while I observe my brain doing its mental/ emotional gymnastics- lols.
In the gym example- I have to remind myself that my current goal with my phase of nutrition right now is to lose body fat- I’m not trying to gain muscle- I’m not going to get any bigger right now- so I might continue to feel tiny next to these ladies (and tbh even if I gain 10 pounds of muscle- which is probably the most I could gain over the next few years- I will probably still feel small next to them).
And in the dance studio example- I have to remind myself that my current goal with my phase of nutrition right now is to lose body fat- and that even if I lose some body fat- that my physique will not look like my sister’s- because we are different humans with different training modalities and different dieting histories.
I guess what I really want to communicate with sharing this is that our environment (physical or mental) can DRASTICALLY influence our body image in any given moment. I think it’s useful to acknowledge how much our body image can change and to be very cautious about making drastic changes to our training/ nutrition plan because we have a moment/ day where our body image is not its best.
And to my body:
I love you so much. We’ve been through soooooo fucking much together- and I know we have many more adventures ahead of us. Moving forward, I hope to ensure that you feel safe and cared for as we explore my passion for nutrition and training together!
LOVE YOU ALL