Leading others begins with leading yourself.
Part of my daily workouts is to stretch my hamstrings by sitting with my legs straight in front of me, like this:
How do you feel about your abdomen when you crunch forward like this? Does it show fat that you prefer people not see? Do you look flabby? Do you avoid such positions for that reason?
I noticed that my entire life I’ve felt ashamed of my abdomen, its lack of muscle tone, and the layer of fat that stood out when crunched forward, like in that position. Like many people, I hid my abdomen so people wouldn’t see it, including myself. Even when running marathons and going to Nationals playing ultimate, I never understood diet. I had extra fat that wasn’t helping me.
Increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, and legumes and cutting out nearly all foods with fiber removed and where I have to throw packaging away, combined with twice daily exercise has led to less abdominal fat and stronger muscle. Fat doesn’t bunch up on my belly.
For the first time in my life, I feel great about my abs, even when hunched forward like in that stretch. And I didn’t change my standards. I like the idea of people seeing me in that position. When I feel that way, sometimes I think of the alternative—wanting to hide parts of myself, which I felt most of my life.
I suggest thinking about that: wanting to hide parts of yourself. Wishing part of you was different. How does that affect the rest of your life? How would it affect the rest of your life, instead of wanting to hide and change parts of yourself, to feel comfortable, even proud, of those parts, and feeling no need to change them? Because I’ve been paying attention to those feelings. I feel more open, less inhibited, less ashamed, more outgoing, more comfortable. All improvements in my opinion.
I didn’t realize until I experienced it how confident and good pride in my body would make me feel. I wish I had done it earlier, all the more because it came through abundance of food, not deprivation, and less than thirty minutes a day of exercise using no equipment.
No chocolate tastes as good as comfort and pride in your body feels. It’s hard sometimes to keep that in mind when I’m hungry and something that I know will taste sweet is around, but it’s getting increasingly easier.
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