Answer this: What makes you feel better about yourself?
-Is it a new outfit?
-Is it putting on makeup?
-Is it a pedicure/manicure?
-Is it a new haircut?
-Is it more frequent/spontaneous/adventurous intimacy?
How can you do more of what makes you feel better?
When will you start?
Each week (sometimes each day), I get into some fairly personal conversations with my clients. To be honest, I feel like that’s when I learn the most about what makes them tick. I get to step outside of conversations about calories and exercise and peel back the layers of what happens outside of the four walls of RevFit in the lives of my clients.
A recent conversation with a client brought something to my attention that I wanted to expand on this week with you.
My client made note of something with her spouse. That when they were more intimate together, the mood in the house seemed to lift up and when moods were better, they ate better too. It might seem strange to correlate a sex life to how we eat but when we feel better about ourselves we tend to reflect that in other areas of our life as well.
Take a moment and think about any time you may have turned to food when you didn’t feel good about yourself or you were in a difficult/tense time with a loved one. Maybe you didn’t feel appreciated or respected or you simply hadn’t had the same frequency of romance/intimacy/chemistry as before.
Several months ago, my wife was heading to the mall to pick up a few new articles of clothing. After having Sebastian and committing herself to a consistent training regimen, her body (as most moms can relate to) changed after having a baby.
Despite the fact that she can claim her body weight is lower than it was when Sebastian was conceived, the shift in focus on her body from say “smaller” to “stronger” resulted in a body that looks different than it used to. So, certain clothes don’t fit the way they used to even though she’s within a range of weight that theoretically they should fit.
When she got to the mall, she sent me a text and asked: Is there anything in particular you think I should be looking for?
And my response: Anything that makes you feel beautiful.
I’ll come back to that.
Several years ago, I read a book that many others have probably read (or at least have heard of): The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It inspired me to look through my closet and start removing articles of clothing that no longer “brought me joy”. I’ve always loved clothes and I used to spend a considerable amount of money increasing the amount of apparel options I had in my closet.
However, after reading Kondo’s book, I realized that a lot of my closet didn’t make me feel like my best self. The clothes “fit” in a manner of speaking but I didn’t always feel good about myself with what I was wearing.
So, I gathered up several trash bags worth of clothing: socks, belts, pants, shirts, coats, shoes, etc. and donated them. If I could look at the article of clothing and either claim that I hadn’t worn it in a while or that I didn’t feel good walking out of the house with it on, I got rid of it.
It was a strange feeling after doing so because I ended up with a closet that had reduced in size by nearly half, however, what I was left with was clothing that I knew made me feel good about myself. The fit was appropriate, the color worked for me, and, in some cases, it was an article of clothing that I liked enough to have it tailored to fit me better if need be.
More recently, I’ve been taking more of my non-gym apparel to the dry cleaners because I like the look and feel of a fresh-pressed shirt (no starch, please).
Nowadays, I’ll routinely remove things from my closet if I haven’t worn them in a while and donate them as well. I only buy a handful of new things each year (aside from what I purchase to wear at RevFit), and I typically will get rid of 1-2 pieces of clothing if I add something new.
As a result, I may not have as many options to pick from, but I walk out of the house feeling pretty okay with myself (I’ve never been overflowing with self-esteem).
My wife, by comparison, has enough clothing to open up a boutique consignment shop. I’m not even sure what I would do with myself if I had that many options. Of course, in fairness, she probably thinks the same thing about my book or my record collection…we all have our something…
But I meant what I said when my wife was at the mall that day and I wanted to relay part of the sentiment to you this week.
My wife is more beautiful now than she was when we met nearly 12 years ago, and she was really beautiful then, too.
Part of that comes from how our relationship and marriage has evolved and changed over the years. We’ve both spent periods of that time not feeling good about ourselves and in some way projecting that into our relationship. This has a tendency to cascade into how we dress, how we carry ourselves, how we eat, how or if we are intimate together. It’s funny how that can happen.
I should also add that beauty is not defined by your shape or size. You can feel beautiful as you are now and still feel as if there are areas you’d like to improve. Suffice to say, beauty is not synonymous with the number on the scale (even though we sometimes think otherwise).
If I leave you with anything of value this week, I’d like it to be this:
-Dress in a way that makes you feel beautiful (or handsome, if you prefer)
-Eat in a way that makes you feel healthy and full of energy
-Train in a way that leaves you empowered and ready to conquer the next task in your day
-Sleep in a way that you’re prepared for whatever the next day throws at you
-Love in a way that you deserve to be loved back (this includes learning how to love yourself)
Below is a picture of Marissa and I from a recent trip on the bourbon trail in Kentucky. There’s a lot of beauty in this picture (but most of it comes from how we treat each other and better yet, how we treat ourselves).