I just finished up a full month of strength training… I did the 4 week online “mass building” program with Fitness Blender.
It’s 5 days a week of approximately 30 minutes of exercise, using heavy weights to build health, strength and create shapely muscle and tone (just a reminder – if you are a woman that doesn’t mean bulky man muscles!)
Strength training is also super great for balancing hormones, and therefore helping you to clear your skin. Much better than just doing cardio workouts.
It was tough, but I was super proud of myself for sticking to it entirely. Except for the last day haha … ohh.. minor fail but mostly success! (which is what I’m focusing on). I felt so strong and powerful by the end of it!
I like doing these different fitness challenges. Recently I also did a 30 day yoga challenge. I did yoga every day, combination of online videos and going to classes. I find mixing it up and giving myself a challenge goal helps me stay committed and interested.
I particularly like Fitness Blender for fitness videos, because they seem like really down to earth people, but most importantly – they strongly emphasize that the most important thing about fitness is about health FIRST… and looking good second. If you focus primarily on being strong and healthy, the side effect of that is that you’re going to look better.
So many fitness companies and instructors focus only on the killer abs and the beach body, and hardly even mention health as a reason to exercise.
However, I feel like when you are only exercising for the looks alone, you’re trying to force your body into a particular outcome, and it may not come as quickly or as exactly as you are hoping. This is what leads down the slippery slope to eating disorders, over exercising, and body hate, as you try to control this outcome.
Where as, if you focus on health first and looks as a pleasant side effect, it’s much easier to avoid these pitfalls and build a much happier relationship with yourself…. and just simply enjoy your life a whole lot more!
It was this reason that I chose not to take before and after pictures for my 4 week mass building challenge. Because I honestly didn’t really care.
I’ve always been more on the skinny side and have many times wished I had a curvier body that fit the mould of conventional beauty … but I feel like in recent years I’ve come to love and accept myself so much more than I did before.
I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter. My body is my body, and I’m never going to fit the mould, because the mould is a joke. We are all different shapes. We aren’t photoshops. Even if my body fills out a little, I’m not going to have big boobs, so the picture never be complete. My body is awesome, as it is, right now.
So I went in this mass building challenge not thinking about my looks, but instead that all I wanted was to feel good, build health, and get strong! … and, hey, maybe that would be cool if I saw some changes in my body from this too. If I looked a little curvier after… right on. But if I don’t, I don’t mind.
I noticed how easy this mindset came to me. As I said, I’ve always wished for a curvier body…. but in truth, I’ve never had a terribly bad relationship with my body overall. It’s been more like a slight annoyance than a soul destroying longing.
My skin, of course, is a different story. And I’ve noticed that there are about a million parallels between “body image” and “skin image”.
And it’s the exact same thing when we start on our journey to clear our acne holistically. We want to be focusing on health first – on loving and nourishing our bodies. And as a lovely side effect, our skin will heal and we will look better.
If we are ONLY doing this for the outcome of clear skin and don’t really give two hoots about ourselves & our health, then it’s a very easy slide into mega controlling behaviours, orthorexia, and food fear.
Because my skin is much more emotional for me than my body, I definitely fell prey to this in the beginning of my skin journey. I wanted to control EVERYTHING in order to get that clear skin outcome, especially my food. As a result, I made myself scared and miserable, because you can never control everything.
Since then, I’ve had a long road to learn to love and accept myself as I am, however my skin is right now, and focus on health first – keeping up healthy habits for ME, and not for my skin alone.
This is how I’ve managed to keep my skin pretty darn clear all these years, while living a happy, free life… free of anxiety, and free of pain and emotional suffering when I do get a pimple every now and again! (because, hey, I’m human).
Life is much better these days, since I decided to focus on health first. Much, much happier. And my skin is happy too.
If you want to learn about how to clear your skin naturally, while also learning to create a positive skin & self image, check out my Naturally Clear Skin Bootcamp program.
And guess what? It also includes an entire body-positive 6 week video workout program lead by yours truly! And Fitness Blender‘s got your back after that 🙂