Don't Put Yourself Down, It Puts Other People Down Too
The other day I posted a video of me doing push presses on Instagram with this caption: “Finally back at it after injury flair and a two week ridiculous cold. Light weight, but no back pain. #pushpress with a bit too much knee bend, but still good and I felt great. #crossfit #crossfitcoach”
Why, why, why did I write “light weight?” Because our society messes with our head. No matter how much of a believer you are in body positivity, being shame free, not competing with others, and knowing everyone is perfect as they are, we still mess up.
I wrote “light weight” because I often feel the need to clarify that I understand that I am not good enough. I think people will wonder why someone would be proud of themselves for lifting what is considered, in some parts of the weight lifting community, a very light weight. As if only elite athletes should be the ones allowed to be proud of their work. I even pointed out the flaw in my form, of too much of a knee bend, because I was worried experts would see it and be critical.
The problem is, every time I talk down about myself, I am giving that same “not good enough” message to other people. Someone who lifts less than me right now may feel bad about their accomplishments because I just said that a certain weight was too low. Someone who is unable to do similar types of workouts may think I am saying that they are not good enough.
When we speak kindly and proudly of ourselves, we are promoting self love and acceptance in other people.
We live in a society with a media that is full of body shaming, ability shaming, and beauty shaming. Kids are taught that only the “best” people (i.e. strongest, fastest, most talented, prettiest, smartest, wealthiest, etc…) are worthy, and if you are not the best you should not say that anything you do is good or something to be proud of.
When we post a different message, one that says working your hardest to do what you love is something to be proud of, we break that unhealthy message. We show people another way. We combat shame. We promote the belief that everyone has inherent worth and dignity. We let people know that they should be proud of what they do. People who feel a healthy sense of pride and less shame make good choices and contribute in a healthy way to the world around them.
It is so hard to be positive about ourselves, but we need to help each other remember to love ourselves- gifts, talents, struggles, imperfections and all. Thankfully a friend commented on my post reminding me of that, and I want to remind all of you too.
I will do my best to post content that is affirming to all people. Content that does not promote the idea that we need to be or do something in a certain way in order to be worthy. I also know that the wounds are deep and the shame is still real, so I may not always be perfect. And, that is okay. I will try my hardest, and that is enough.