And in fact, this exercise doesn’t even involve any exercise, plus it’s something you can do right here, right now, and repeat it every day for the rest of your life!
Ready for it? Here it is:
STOP CALLING YOUR BODY NAMES.
Wait… what? How can that possibly help?
When you call yourself names, you are pulling your body apart into pieces rather than seeing and acknowledging the whole. Pulling your body apart and only seeing one part of it is, in fact, dehumanizing yourself, which is super dangerous. I know you understand this on a global scale, given the way the world is right now, and given the things going on in the world. Dehumanization is one of the first things that leads to violence, that leads to subjecting other humans to inhumane behaviors.
When you dehumanize yourself, you make it easier to be cruel to yourself. You make it easier to not see yourself as worthy of human rights.
When you dehumanize yourself, you are putting yourself on the path to thinking even worse things down the road. And the worse you think about yourself, the worse you will treat yourself.
When you speak to yourself cruelly, when you pick yourself apart, you don’t know where that path is going to go, and you definitely want to put a stop to it before it goes someplace super dark. You are a human being. You are a beautiful human being who has rights, who has dignity, and who deserves a place on this earth.
As a personal trainer, I have seen a lot of bodies. I have seen a lot of shapes, a lot of sizes, a lot of numbers on scales, a lot of percentages on body fat, a lot of information. And every single day, I am more and more and more and more in love with and fascinated by the human body.
You, my friend are a walking, talking, thinking, blinking miracle. It is a miracle that you’re alive. It’s a miracle that you do what you do, it’s a miracle that your body does what it does. And I will never ever see the flaws that you think you have.
How to Deal with Arm Flab
Beautiful Bs, making peace with menopause, aging and your body is 100% about self-love. Having self-love and gratitude is pretty much the cornerstone of self-improvement and self-help and being fully actualized in yourself. I truly believe that we don’t fully love other people until we can fully love ourselves.
It’s really hard to speak nicely to yourself, but self-love is the deepest thing from which everything else we do flows. I think that self-love is the beginning of creativity. It’s the beginning of love for other people. It’s the beginning of gratitude. I think it’s the beginning of pretty much everything that we do in the world, which makes it pretty clear why, when we have struggles with loving ourselves, it can be difficult to do other things.
I’ve noticed that when people talk about loving yourself or being grateful, the suggestions that they offer are things like, “Think of three things that you like about yourself and go tell yourself those things in the mirror,” or “Think about three things that you are happy about and write them out in your gratitude list.”
And while I don’t disagree with that in theory, I will tell you that for me this practice doesn’t quite stick. Instead, I have realized that in order to truly cultivate gratitude and self-love, I actually have to love and be grateful for all the junk too.
Yes, even arm flab.
Like so much of self-help, this is not a quick fix. And so this is what I would like to offer you: rather than trying to drown out the junk that you have in your life with “I feel so happy. I feel so positive. I love all the good things about myself,” that you actually, legitimately work on loving and feeling grateful for the things that right this minute you don’t feel loving or grateful for.
Loving Your Body: Arm Flab and All
Here’s my practical, go-do-this-right-now advice for how to start loving your body: Make a list of all the parts of you that you don’t feel loving or grateful for (yet).
I’ve done this work myself, and the following is my list, what I think of as “negative” characteristics that I would like to love about myself:
I love that I’m controlling.
I love that I take things to heart.
I love that I procrastinate.
I love that I overthink things.
I love that I’m impatient.
I love that I’m bossy.
I love that I talk over people.
I love that I work too much.
I love that I don’t clean my house very often.
I love that I don’t drink enough water.
I love that I put off answering emails.
I love that I’m selfish.
I love that I ask other people to do easy things instead of doing them myself.
I love that I keep thinking about negative comments that people have left for me on YouTube.
I love that I have a long to-do list.
I love that I might fail.
I love that I play too many games on my phone.
I love that I haven’t texted my friends in awhile.
I love that I talk without thinking.
I love that I’m abrupt.
None of those are inherently lovable qualities, but here’s the thing that I noticed as I was writing them down: starting every sentence with “I love” — it helped me think, “Yeah, I can see why that’s lovable. Yeah, I can see how that makes me who I am. Yeah, that’s something I could love about myself.”
How Long Does It Take?
This is not a task that you will probably want to do all at once. You will find, while coming up with this stuff — even though you’re writing, “I am grateful” or “I love” — it will bring up the other emotions too. It will bring up the embarrassment. It will bring up the shame. It will bring up the sadness. It will bring up the fear. It will bring up yucky feelings.
So give yourself some time and distance from this list, but come back to it regularly. Practice thinking of yourself as lovable. Practice thinking of your body as lovable.
Lovely B, your body is definitely a miracle, and it also happens to be subject to the laws of gravity. Which means that if we’re lucky enough to live a good, long life arm flab will happen to all of us. So to answer the question, “How can I get rid of arm flab over 50?” My answer is to love yourself and your body, arm flab included. 💛