|Image Credit: BBC|
The lottery funded campaign aims to encourage women to get involved in sports and feel comfortable doing so without worrying about jiggly wobbly bits or messy sweaty hair. It's sparked quite the discussion on the role the government, schools, sports clubs, etc. can play to help women get active.
Julia Buckley, author of 'The Fat Burn Revolution' offers her own advice directly to women on what she believes is the heart of the issue...
"A recent Sports England study found 75% of women aged 14-40 want to exercise more, but are held back by fear of being judged.
Creating fabulous, accessible sports facilities is a wonderful aim, but won’t have much impact if most women remain too crippled by self-consciousness to use them.
I've been there myself and now I’ve helped dozens of women overcome inhibitions to get into fantastic shape and enjoy the amazing far-reaching benefits of feeling fit, strong and full of energy."
Julia offers the following tips for self confidence when working out:
1. Stop judging yourself
If you’re constantly telling yourself how awful you look, how unfit you are, how terrible your performance is while you’re exercising you’re bound to expect others to think the same. However “unnatural” it feels, work on thinking more positively about yourself. Give yourself credit for “getting on with it”- exercising isn’t always easy, but you’re doing it and you’re getting fitter and stronger with every session. Give yourself a kudos for that at least, then begin drowning out negativity with more helpful self-talk.
2. Stop judging others
The meanest critics of women are often other women. Be honest, do you sometimes make harsh judgements on women exercising? Don’t feel bad, it’s a shame you’ve been conditioned to think that way about women, and therefore yourself, but you can choose to break out of it. Instead of critiquing them, think how brilliant it is that they’re active, how much it will benefit them and those around them and allow yourself to admire and be inspired by them. Try this every time you see women exercising over the next few days and you’ll experience how much better it makes you feel about exercising yourself.
3. Reassess your reasons
When I promote my online fitness club and book I talk a lot about how the workouts are awesome for fat burning and sculpting sexy bodies – that’s what draws most people to start exercising. But, along the way, my members and readers discover benefits ranging far deeper than getting leaner and hotter. Although those things are great, they become more like happy by-products. It’s the way exercise makes us feel which keeps us coming back for more. Making exercise less about changing your looks and more about how it makes you feel will help you be less focused on your appearance during your workouts. Then you’ll be free to enjoy those glorious feelings of pride, strength, confidence, vigor, vitality, aliveness, relaxation, self-respect and self-love.
4. Get a support crew
Surround yourself with people who love to be active, whatever shape or size they are. Today it’s easy to hook up with people of whatever mindset we’re interested in engaging with via the internet. There are literally thousands of people waiting to support and encourage you and share your journey. For starters, you’re welcome to join my Fat Burn Revolution Facebook group. I'm biased of course, but if there's a more friendly, supportive and inspiring online I don't know about it! I pop by myself every day and try to answer as many posts as I can.
5. Show some love!
One of my favourite fitness mantras is exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it. If you have excess fat you’d like to shed, or a lack of “muscle tone” you’d like you’d like to do something about, fine. By all means get to work. But the best way to motivate yourself to achieve these changes is by appreciating how lucky you are to be able to move around and be active – there may well come a time when you can’t and you’ll surely miss the body you have now when that day comes. So, please, appreciate it, enjoy it, move it, and love it.
Julia Buckley is a fitness writer, trainer, and author of the bestselling book, The Fat Burn Revolution, published by Bloomsbury. Find out more about Julia and her online gym here. BTBS will also be reviewing Julia's book next month so watch this space!