43965_f520If you live in Southern California, you cannot rely on the calendar to tell you whether it’s time to shed your turtleneck sweaters and long sleeves or just go with the flow. In fact, when I started writing this blog in April, the weather was quite erratic. I wouldn’t say I was ready to put on my bathing suit every weekend, but one weekend I did swim outdoors. It was glorious!

As a teenager, I hated putting on a bathing suit. I wore a two-piece, but never felt comfortable walking around. When I went to the beach, I preferred to stay on my blanket versus playing volleyball or some other sport that meant I had to stand up. I was ashamed of how I looked. You’d say my body satisfaction level was very low – about three.

The percentage of women aged 50-plus, who are satisfied with their bodies is quite low, according to The Journal of Woman and Aging (2013; 25[4}, 287-304). Of almost 2000 women surveyed, only 12% said they were satisfied with their bodies. Frankly, I was surprised. “Satisfied women had a lower body mass index (lean). They reported fewer eating disorder symptoms, dieting behaviors, weight and appearance dissatisfaction”, the authors reported. They also noted satisfied women exercised more than dissatisfied ones. Remember my reference earlier to playing volleyball? Could it have been I was just too short – not! On a side note, I was very active, yet I felt very uncomfortable in my own skin.

Lori Michiel Fitness clients who fit this profile are encouraged to work on methods to overcome their dissatisfaction. Some helpful tips:
1. Create daily visualizations and positive affirmations.
2. Do reality checks that encourage a positive body image. Cancel the negative self-talk.
3. Set a positive intention, for instance: Tell yourself you will be gentle with your body today or if you are feeling vulnerable one day, you might challenge yourself to be strong and fierce.
4. Try a new routine that is fun, challenging and inspires you, such as balancing on one leg for 10 seconds while standing still or by gently moving one leg to the side and holding that in place, or try planks, jumping jacks, etc.

It is best to learn from someone who has had the experience of defeat and has come through on the other side. I might not have weighed 200 pounds when I was younger, but it is all relative…right?

For more inspiration, private training, stretch classes, program design and more, visit our website at www.lorimichielfitness.com or contact us via email or call 818-620-1442. We see fitness differently!

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