With each new client, a unique mirror is brought between us. When I see someone struggling to keep commitments, I remember how this pattern has hindered me, yet teaches me to choose more boldly around my present goals. When someone is overwhelmed and struggles to breathe, I remember the fear embedded in my psyche that tells me to run in the face of danger, that I can't complete the task without hurting myself. I learn to breathe and safely overcome with focus. When somebody fixates on what the scale reports or the body fat-to-lean tissue ratio, I recall years of revolving numbers and strategies to increase or decrease them instead of true experiences in my body. I've spent more time in facilities designed to help improve people's bodies than I have in my own home. Consequently, I've spent a lot of time around people's shame over their bodies, ultimately putting me in touch with my own.
It's not that I don't want to look sexy. Trust me, I'm always looking to bring out new ways to show off the work I've put in on my body. We all love and need attention, though I am still learning what kind of attention I really want. Now I get paid to take off my shirt and do stunts for cameras, but when I was a preteen, my peers called me a "fat faggot." I was last to finish nearly every challenge in P.E. class. I failed to even bend my arms as I dangled from a bar in front of the class during my attempt at the "flexed arm hang." Most of the other kids could actually complete the real challenge, a single pull up. When teams were chosen for dodgeball, I was definitely the last one standing by myself, too embarrassed to care about the game.
I signed up for cross-country in seventh grade to run off my stress eating and pain eating and shame. I could barely run a quarter mile without wheezing and walked most of the time. A bully pushed me into a ditch in front of the other runners and told me to go home. I acted strong like I didn't care. Skittles, Twix, Dr. Pepper, Snickers, chips, cookies, and chocolate were my therapists. I cultivated a kind of dishonesty, hiding my reality by focusing on outside solutions to an inside problem, the same kind of agreement I see my clients make with themselves. I now have an internet trail of photographic evidence that proves I'm not a "fat faggot," but neither the photo shoots, nor the ensuing fan fare gave me the ability to help anyone. I chose to forgive myself at the root of my pain for ever believing that abuse was the only path to my goal.
Now people pay me to help them "get" the bodies they want. We're not getting any new bodies; we already have bodies. Often, I think people actually pay me to perpetuate their own self-abuse. Some refuse to look in the mirror when I instruct. Some do look, but feel compelled to deprecate the image. I'm seeing success; they are seeing failure. Some glance around the gym nervously to see if others notice. Some fix their clothes constantly to make sure that no fat is escaping their trendy work out gear. In all this distraction, I see myself.
I want you to know that in loving yourself, you'll get faster results. If you can accept that you first agreed to feel badly about your body, whether because of the scorn of peers, the invasion of photoshopped advertising, parental blueprints, or poor choice making, then you can actually achieve what you want with less effort. If you can possibly get rid of your scale, forget about your body fat percentage or jettison the idea that you're not sexy without rippling abs, then you are much more likely to focus on immediate changes you can make in your life that actually yield a healthy weight, a lean look, and the abs are definitely there waiting to be seen with less effort than you might imagine. Let me show you how. www.finndeerhart.com,
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Finn Deerhart Movement Ministry