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Love Yourself...Flaws and All

Meet Roslind, 51 years of age, and our Life Begins at 50 Person of The Month for March, 2018!

Roslind has been on her fitness journey on and off for about seven years. A resident of Middletown, NY, she enjoys stand up comedy, reality tv and old school music. She also likes chocolate and Denzel Washington.

Marital Status: Married

Occupation: Unit Assistant

How many days a week she

works out: 3 times a week

Favorite types of exercise: Running on the Treadmill, Light Weight Lifting, and Squats

As we begin the month of March, and Woman’s History month I began to think about the famous line from songwriter Helen Reddy in her 1970’s song “I am Woman.” You know the line, “I am woman, hear me roar!” However recently I lost that desire to roar. It began with a small cold, which led to an upper respiratory infection and strep throat. This knocked me off my feet and totally affected my gym routine. Coupled with deadlines at work, and other obligations, my normal eating and exercise routine went out the door. Although I have always struggled with my weight, when I have a routine I feel pretty good about myself. I feel strong, confident and actually excited to workout. When I fall out of routine, all these negative thoughts creep into my mind. I start to think about all the extra flab on my body and all the extra curves I have. I start to scrutinize every part of my body, the way I look in my clothes, and even the way my current hairstyle makes me look. Suddenly all my flaws stand out 100%, and I start to think I rather hide those flaws by staying home, then let the world see all that I see at the gym.

This month’s Life Begins at 50 Person of the Month Roslind Ramsey has a different thought. In fact her philosophy in life is “… Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful person you are!” This philosophy is definitely one we all should adhere to, not just when it comes to our fitness and health routines, but in other areas of our lives. Shouldn’t we be proud of who we are...flaws and all?

Sometimes we get in our own way when on a journey towards success, especially when the journey gets hard. We often let the little voice in our head take over. Engaging in self-talk is common, and one of the ways humans learn to cope, and when positive it can be very encouraging. However when we engage in negative self-talk, it is not just affecting our minds, it can also harm us physically. The mind and body are connected and when we speak negatively of ourselves, our mind sends signals to our body. Negative self-talk can drive you to overeat as a way to calm or numb yourself. According to the Mayo Clinic, negative self-talk also creates physical stress and affects the metabolic state, which in turn can make weight loss difficult, even impossible. According to the article “Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?” by Jarrod Breeze for WebMD, when the body is stressed it begins to produce a hormone known cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone." When cortisol levels are increased, the body responds by producing higher insulin levels and the blood sugar will drop. This in turn will send messages to the brain that make you start craving sugary, fatty foods. Of course if you give into these cravings all the time, this can definitely wreck havoc on your health and fitness goals.

So engaging in negative self-talk is not just affecting your self-confidence or how you feel about yourself, but it can affect you physically. Instead of beating ourselves up when we have a misstep, lets take a moment to reflect on all the positive changes we have made in our lives. The fact that you are even thinking about your health is a positive.

Making lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating healthy, and engaging in healthy activities can be hard enough without us creating mental roadblocks for ourselves. Health is not just the physical, but it also encompasses our mental and emotional health. Someone can be in what we consider “perfect shape", but if they are constantly thinking about what other’s think of them, being scared to be themselves, or thinking they are never going to be good enough, believe me they are not healthy. When I think of being healthy, I see myself happy, relaxed, stress free, strong, energetic, and all at a healthy weight. No matter what size I am, if I am still stressed, tired, and depressed, then I have not achieved my health goal. I would not be the best me. No matter your fitness level, no matter where you are in your journey, do not allow the self-doubt, or negative talk get in your way. Whether you are just beginning your fitness journey, or already on the road, remember this journey is about you and part of the journey is practicing self-love. We all have self-doubt from time to time, but we cannot let that self-doubt take over.

As Roslind says when discussing her philosophy in life, not only is it important to let others see the flaws, but is also important to “Just be you…” You may not be exactly where you want to be in your health and fitness journey; however you are special and unique. Who we are inside is way more important than who we are on the outside. In fact, loving who you are inside can lead to the physical results you want to see on the outside.

So practice self-love, be mindful of how you treat yourself, and how you speak to yourself. No one can love you as much as you love yourself.

- Tahese Warley

Guest author, trainer's wife, and fitness enthusiast

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