Based in Frome, somerset, #fitMess is a blog by Joanna Beale. Her posts draw on her work as a personal trainer, as well as her own personal past experience of significant obesity.  Her general focus is overall wellness and body positivity.

Bringing in the new

I get asked occasionally about the positioning of my business and the way that some people might see it as a little oxymoronic. I tell clients to be body positive whilst simultaneously helping people change their body shapes. This doesn't sit comfortably with some, as they view the two things as dichotomous, polar opposites on the health and wellbeing scale.

I don't view body positivity and the desire to change as mutually exclusive. You don't have to hate yourself to want to be healthier. You don't have to be in a cycle of punishment in order to want to wear a smaller, or a larger, dress size. You don't have to loathe your aesthetic self to want to build muscle. All physical change can be manifested with an attitude of care and consideration to yourself. 

It's also important to remember that what makes you happy and meets your needs one day, might change on another. Just because you are happy today at a certain size or fat percentage doesn't mean your goals can't be adjusted in six months or in a year or two. You can value and appreciate your body even as you transform it, in the same way as you can even if you choose not to. 

Any change you make can be done positively, and it can be done from a place of self love. Self loathing causes rebound, distress and is often a less constructive approach. Changes that are rooted in a dislike of one's self can come unstuck in patterns of self sabotage, lack of clarity, or simply just run out of steam. A more body positive approach will build on well established self esteem and can prove to be a strengthening process. 

What's important is not that you are changing yourself, you are simply changing your body.   It's just a box that you come in. You can repackage all you like - as long as you're satisfied with the contents, the external is window dressing. If the inside disgusts you, chances are you won't really be able to disguise the packaging that much.

My point is this: focus on what's important and feel free to change whatever you feel is out of alignment. Never confuse what makes you, you, with what you look like. You can change anything, or you can change nothing, but whatever action you take, don't make it through fear or hate.

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