Your desires are real and valid. They are a call to action. And aesthetic goals are ABSOLUTELY a legitimate purpose as they correlate directly with adopting healthier life habits and building strength and good movement patterns(See I’m with you on prioritizing strength and movement, body positive people!)
You can either react by dieting erratically and over-exercising, you can do nothing by attempting to love yourself just the way you are (and ignoring the call), or you can…
Aesthetic physique goals, even seemingly “elite” ones, are absolutely attainable in a safe and sustainable way.
Let’s go back to our reluctant heroine’s story…
Well, baby Ashleigh reacted, fueled by the negative things happening in her life, to the task of staying lean for her second competition. She had experienced a certain amount of luck in her first prep. She tested out her theories on how to prepare and they worked. And she did it all on her own.
But despite her success, she didn’t trust herself. And she crashed on the second round. She felt terrible about herself. Even though she looked pretty great.
You see, body image is directly related to our overall health. This is where the whole self esteem thing comes in. She was unhappy at 13% because she wasn’t healthy.
She had restricted her body to the point where it was in a constant state of stress. And because this state was so threatening, she had no idea what was going on inside that body and kept comparing it to ever other body. She didn't even think she looked good half the time.
Now this last part of the self-esteem problem might be tough for you non-fit pros to understand. But it's an important note. She questioned her competence as a trainer in this shaken state.
And so as painful as it was, this crash prompted Ashleigh to make a change. To respond.
She knew she had to get a squad if she was gonna go on a tough journey. Some Han Solo types if you will. People who could be objective. So she found support.
She went out and learned. She had to find the Yodas. Real experts and research to discover why things worked the first time and what was so wrong abut the second.
And she had to find the force again. To realize that she was going to need to go deep and trust her soul voice.
She tested out her own theories, but with newfound confidence. She learned to trust her intuition, while relying on others.
Of course, there were Siths who tried to throw her off course. People who said it couldn’t be done. But she learned the ways of the force, to drown out these voices and only hear her own heart.
She didn’t let fear guide her. She resisted the dark side.
How You TOO, Can Defeat The Dark Side
Of course your big goals are always going to be somewhat scary. You’re signing yourself up for struggle and discomfort and work!
But there are certain truths you need to remember when you feel like you want to hesitate.
There Is Always Someone Who Can Help You Find Your Way
We all need a coach, someone who can guide us through the process and prevent us from veering off course. Find yourself a Yoda, someone more experienced and wiser, with the practical expertise you desire, who can act as your spiritual guide. Put trust in someone else.
You Can Learn To Master Your Fear
When we get discouraged by our failures or frustrated by someone else’s success during this very personal journey, that’s just our ego getting pushed around a bit.
We have to be able to hear that fear without acting(or not acting) on it. That’s the difference between the dark side and the force. Choose the force. Choose strength.
I failed on my odyssey several times. I look forward to falling down again. Failures are part of life. Keep smiling and keep fighting.
Change is Inherently Uncomfortable For Everyone
Realize the process is going to push you out of your comfort zone. But the second we get started on something that seems too big and daunting, the anxiety begins to diminish immediately.
Take the first step. and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
You Need a Squad
You need caring listeners who will hear your struggles and let you talk out your fears. You need objective judges to tell you when you’re making progress. And you need your girlfriends to warn you when you start sounding straight crazy.
You Hold The Power
The Obi-Wans, the god-like characters that appear in stories to light the fire -- the ones who show up at just the right moment in the middle of the battle when all seems lost? They’re not real in the sense that they are human or separate from the main character. They are an extension of the Hero — A projection of your own divinity to remind you that you alone hold the almighty spirit required to get where you want to go. All of the power lies within you.
Chart Your Own Course
This is your story!
Luke had to answer the call. He had to look to within. He couldn’t have done it without R-2 and the rest of the crew. And he couldn’t have done it if he stayed on the farm.
Ashleigh had to get real uncomfortable. She had to silence her fear, learn more about herself, trust others, and work smarter.