I know what it feels like to feel like the elephant in the room.
Bit of nostalgia going on here but you may know it’s 5 years since I became a “dance fitness instructor”
Spot me there in the stripy top.
5 Years ago I was contemplating this, and my Mam said “If you don’t do it you’ll always be wondering”. So I got the bus to Limerick because I was afraid my legs wouldn’t be able for the drive home (good call, I could barely walk at 6pm)
I had no idea I’d SWEAT so much (because I literally had no fitness experience) and I spent the day in the same set of wet sweaty clothes, developed blisters after the first hour and just couldn’t help but think “I’m a MESS!”
I looked at the slimmer girls shake their hips and thought “I could never do that”
The only thing I knew I had to stand for me was my mouth and my ability to put on a show – so even though I personally didn’t feel confident, when it came to exam time, I pretended, I smiled, I whooped and do you know what I got the most amazing feedback from Ksenia (first time meeting her, now she’s my very good friend) that changed me from pretending to actually feeling confident and able to do this.
Now I’m not going to lie, there are sometimes when you feel so insecure (or fat in my case) where it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does, it will not change how you feel at that moment in time. I’ll never forget this night, I was my own worst enemy and I simply could not shake that “fat feeling” off and focus on enjoying the night.
Or that time you go on holiday and only get ONE picture of yourself because you know you’ve put on weight since the Summer before and you just don’t want anyone seeing the bulge.
(Yup – 12 months prior I had posted my somewhat “infamous” Before/ After Pic)
But lets be honest, even when I “felt fat” sometimes I just didn’t give a fuck about it.
And my point being, when I say “fake it til you make it” – I’m in no way disregarding your feelings or insecurities. But sometimes the reality is that your mind is your biggest critic. Determination, in spite of everything you feel that is currently WRONG right now, will see you through to the other side and maybe make life a bit more bearable at the present. Let’s play out an example.
“I feel fat, just look at all my fat rolls. I’ve about six chins. My belly is huge. People are just going to think I’m fat”
Ok. This is normal. And there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging those feelings. But before you step away from the mirror, how does this sound.
“I feel fat, I’ve about six chins. But my eyes really stand out in this. And my hair has seen worse days. If I sit up straight my body doesn’t look too bad. And if people think I’m fat well fuck them anyway!”
That’s my example of “fake it til you make it” – acknowledging that those insecurities exist, yet finding “bright spots” to not let those insecurities ruin you.
“Fake it til you make it” is about finding positive thoughts, even the tiniest thought so that in time, you WON’T have to “fake it” most of the time.
I think therefore I am..
- I WILL be confident and I will try to be confident today
- I WILL be fit and I will exercise today
- I WILL be happy and I’ll find something to be happy about today
- I WILL be healthy and I’ll choose something that’s healthy today
Get the idea? The only thing you can truly control in life is your own actions. And actions have outcomes. So ACT, even if you’re not 100% convinced.
But c’mon, there are days where you’ll have no choice BUT to fake it, even when life on a whole has improved over time.
Right now, December 2017, I am the most confident in my body than I’ve ever been. But personally I’ve been through a rough patch again on the mental health side. To cut the long story short I had to go and do a couple of workshops with teenage girls. On the 45 minute journey there I cried the whole way (I have video evidence to prove it) and when I arrived I just had to get on with it. “It’s ok to not be ok” was not an option there and then. There’s no way I was walking in there a blubbering mess. And I couldn’t cancel because that would have left them stuck. So I faked it.
I faked it so much that the facilitators of the workshop after mine passed comment that I’m a strong woman who’s incredibly passionate about what I do. They had no idea only an hour beforehand I had broken down. And hearing such genuine words from strangers reminded me that moments of weakness are temporary. Just like 5 years ago when faking it gave me the push to move forward.
I’ll tell you that I know that MOST of the members at #NoFilter Fitness had the worry of “what if I’m the fattest person there?” before joining, and it took a huge amount of guts to take that step across the door. But they soon realised that there was nothing to worry about because we ALL share those insecurities from time to time.
You may feel terrified about walking into a fitness environment, you may tremble at the thought of speaking in public. You may feel sick from the thought of exposing yourself to vulnerability. But if you decide NOW to “fake it”, and bit by bit play the person you WANT to be … over time you’ll no longer be faking, you WILL be that person…
And just a disclaimer, life happens, shit happens, even if you have all the health and happiness in the world there will be days where you will have to “fake it” regardless – but it’s ok if you have someone there to listen. Don’t bottle it in with no intentions of letting it out cause that’s a recipe for disaster.
Go forth and do amazing things xx