For our second “Best Of” episode, I thought I’d bring you back to a past episode of a Live Coaching Session Replay with a client named Katie. If you struggle with body image, this episode will be a powerful listen. Through Katie’s journey, she realized that she can accept herself and still have goals that align with her life and values. So without further ado, let's jump into the coaching conversation with Katie.
** Please note, as a “Best Of” episode, some of the links you’ll hear mentioned are no longer active. All currently working links that are referred to in the episode will be in the show notes on my website.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/257
- 5 Days To A Fitter You Challenge (2:37, 3:45)
- Difference between the term acceptance and allowing (6:39, 10:25, 11:32)
- When we get into a place of resistance around what is that's when we start creating problems (9:30, 10:25)
- Recognizing when you have peace (13:59)
- Putting in the work (21:30)
- There is a lot of power in practicing acceptance (23:21, 24:48)
- You get to choose where you place your attention and where you place attention is going to create in the future what you get (26:21, 26:42)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 257.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness, as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And this episode is another live coaching session. So inside MACROS 101, I do a lot of live coaching, and it can be incredibly powerful. But if you're not inside of MACROS 101, you don't really get to experience the power of live coaching. And that's why I love to bring on some coaching conversations onto the podcast, so you can really see the power of listening to somebody else get coached. Sometimes we have this idea that the only way that I can receive value is if, you know, I'm having a one-on-one coaching session. And the truth is that group coaching or listening to someone else get coached can sometimes be even more valuable than receiving the coaching yourself. What I find a lot is when you are getting coached, it's like you're in the pit, you're like in it, and the coaches are working with you and trying to help you, you know, get out of the pit. But if you're like a spectator, you're not actually in the pit. So it helps to give you as you're watching this interaction and you're watching this coaching conversation, you have a different perspective, it's not so personal, right? It's like, you're not so in it, that you can have a different perspective. And so what you'll probably notice is, my guess, is many of you listening to this have had the experience and the struggles that Katie outlines in this episode of struggling with your body image, of not liking different parts of your body, of comparing yourself to a former version. And you're like, yes, getting coaching on that can be valuable, and listen to that, Katie gets coaching on them may even provide more value. Because while it's still the same issue you're struggling with, you're not in it with, you know, right when you're getting coaching, you're able to listen to it from that kind of outside perspective.
Amber B 2:37
But before we jump into the episode, I do want to make sure that you know about something coming up. If you are tired of your only tool for transformation being restriction and deprivation, and you want to be able to look in the mirror and actually see results without choosing between ice cream and progress, then, my friend, my upcoming free five-day challenge is for you. In this five-day challenge, you're going to learn how easy and fun it can be to crush your goals. And to do it without cutting out sugar, without hours and hours and hours of cardio, or without starting another restrictive diet. In the five days, you'll have the formula for results without having to overhaul your lifestyle, which means that you're going to get to eat what you like, and be able to see changes in the mirror. Because the truth is, and you know this on some level, misery does not give you better results, and when you cut out your favorite foods, well that just usually backfires. That's why the 5-days To A Fitter You Challenge, it's going to be all about making reaching your goals as enjoyable and as effective as possible.
Amber B 3:45
So, here are the things I'm not going to ask you to do: I'm not going to ask you to go through all your cabinets and throw out anything with sugar and ingredients. I will not force you to eat dry chicken and broccoli five days a week. There are going to be no rules about what time of day you can eat or how you have to space out your meals. Instead, we'll focus on what matters most in your journey: You. Because you bring you into everything you do, including your fitness journey. This is why during the five days, we'll unpack some of the ways that you may be getting in your own way. Every day, you'll have access to tried-and-tested many challenges, that will make your fitness journey easy and gives you incredible breakthroughs around what you need to be actually focusing on for long-lasting results. I'm going to be taking you through many of the same exercises and education during these five days that I give to my paying Macros 101 clients, including a unique goal-setting exercise on day two. So, if you feel like you've signed up and started a ton of free challenges in the past, or maybe even wasted money on paid challenges that you didn't complete, you want to make sure you make it to day one and two, day three, where I will break down state self-sabotage, and why the heck you tell yourself you're going to do something and then don't do it. In fact, if you have been curious at all about what it's like to work with me inside of Macros 101, think about the five-day challenge as a free sneak peek week. If you're someone who wants to crush your fitness goals, and you want to do it without deprivation, restriction, and cookie-cutter dieting, then this challenge is for you: Go to bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge to register for the free five days to a fitter you challenge starting August 22nd. If you like the podcast, you're going to love our five-day challenge, so go to bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge, and see how fun it can be to hit your goals.
Amber B 5:47
Okay, so let me set the stage a little bit for the coaching conversation that I'm having with Katie, the question that she asked is all about body image. It is around her tendency that she has and again, many of you will be able to relate to this, of just picking apart her body, and not liking different parts of her body. And we talk through this concept of acceptance. Now, this is a coaching conversation that happened almost a year ago, actually. I was reminded of it because I did a coaching call in our continued coaching program Beyond MACROS 101, which you can join after MACROS 101 if you want to get continued coaching. And we had a coaching call in there just recently, where the same topic kind of came up. And it reminded me of this coaching call that we had a year ago. And, so I went back and re-listen to it. I was like, “Oh, this is such a good conversation. This would be so good to bring to the podcast.”
Amber B 6:39
But one of the evolutions or things that I have come to realize, in this episode, I talk a lot about acceptance. And I think sometimes the word acceptance has a bad connotation to it, it feels like resignation. And so if you kind of find yourself bristling at this word acceptance, which I use throughout this podcast, I invite you to substitute a different word for it. And that word is allowing. And for some people, that word has a different feel to it. Allowing doesn't mean resignation, it doesn't mean that you're not trying or moving forward on your goals, it just means you're choosing not to be resistant to what is. And I'll explain that concept a little bit more. But I just wanted to offer that to you, if you find yourself bristling at this idea of acceptance, try changing that word when, I say acceptance to the word allowing, and see if that opens your new mind to new possibilities. And then at the end, we have a hashtag that I love, and if you love the hashtag, you know, you feel free to use it on social media, I refer back to this podcast episode, but the hashtag is #justabody. And you'll understand a little bit more about where that hashtag came from if you listen to the end, all the way to the end of the episode. So without further ado, let's jump into the coaching conversation with Katie.
Just like trying to deal with all the things, like trying to still track while still doing everything and keeping a focus on that, like I'm trying to eat in maintenance. But I'm still finding myself pushing against even tracking at maintenance. And I feel a lot better because like when I went to Utah, a couple of weekends ago, had to try on these clothes that are my mom's and she's like a size zero. I am not. And that kind of just triggered a couple of things in me where I was like, “Okay, this is I can't do this anymore.” So, I came home and I was determined to track and I still feel like I'm being like really resistant to it. And I am having a hard time figuring out why.
Amber B 8:44
Okay, great. You said I can't do this anymore. What's this?
Being the size that I was like nothing fit. Not like not even just my mom's clothes, like my clothes. Like, I had even brought a skirt to wear and it didn't fit, and I'd never worn it. Like I had just bought it and I barely squeezed into it, and some seams popped. And so you know, just basically like, my clothes need to fit because I really don't want to buy more clothes.
Amber B 9:15
Yeah, okay, good. So this is a continuation of this discussion because what I'm hearing is that you are a certain size right now. Correct? Right? And there is some resistance against what is.
Amber B 9:30
I don't want, I can't do this anymore. I don't want to be here, right? So, you are the size that you are right now. It is what it is. And when we get into a place of resistance around what is, that's when we start creating problems. And now, let's talk about why we do this. Okay. Well, I'm gonna ask you first actually, I'm gonna ask you first, why do you think we do this? Why do you think we create resistance around what is?
Because change is hard.
Amber B 10:03
And we want to stay in our safe zones. Yeah. Because I'm safe. I'm staying safe.
Amber B 10:18
So there is some of that. There's also an element of thinking that it's motivational.
Amber B 10:25
Because if I accept what is then why will I change it? What motivated you to change it? And in actuality, it's backward. Because when we let and this is like, I love, I always my favorite that like we develop themes in these calls, and they like to come up over and over and over again, it's like the theme is to hear. And the theme that is coming up again, is that like resistance to what is causing you pain. Resistance to what is causing you to not be able to change it. Because when you resist what is like you fall into this trap of not being able to change it because you are ignoring what's going on. You're like, pushing it away. And so it is this, it's the antithesis of what everybody thinks is the solution. The solution is not to resist it, but the solution is to accept it. It's accepting what is that is the first step to allowing you to then get to that point to change. But we resist that because we feel like, if I accept this body, if I accept where I am, right now, I will lose the motivation to change.
Amber B 11:32
And what Anita, I love that Anita was like one of our first that came on, because she's experienced maintenance and two very different energy. She's experienced maintenance of the energy of like, resistance, and fighting against it. And she's now experiencing maintenance at the energy of like, acceptance. And like I'm accepting what is and just like listening to her kind of relate those two experiences is a testament to when we accept what is we can move forward with adjusting it and changing it. When we try to change it from that place of resistance, it's never going to work. And so that's what I'm seeing. I'm seeing come up is that like resistance. And here's the thing, Katie, like you're a fighter?
Amber B 12:17
So at some level, I think a little bit of you like thrives on resistance. I'm a fighter. Like, “Don't tell me I can't do something because then I'm just gonna do it. I'm going to work harder. And I'm going to like push through it.” There's a little bit of that of like, you like a good fight. I’m like you, I like it. You don't dare tell me I can't do something. But in this situation, it's creating a cycle for you. Because this is the first time you've been around this block. Right?
Amber B 12:45
Not even close.
Amber B 12:47
Yeah. So what that tells us is that there's something here to learn. And we're gonna repeat the cycle as many times as it's going to take for you to be able to learn it. When I say the word acceptance, what comes up for you?
Amber B 13:08
Okay. Is it possible for you to have peace where you're at right now?
Amber B 13:19
Okay. Do you feel like you have that now?
Amber B 13:23
Okay, cool. So how will you know when you have peace?
When I stopped picking every piece of my body apart.
Amber B 13:36
How often does that happen?
It's getting less and less. I'm trying to make it a goal. And I've been posting those people that are in Build Your Workouts, I told them that I had an ulterior motive to my video. That there's like, there are still some times where I'll sit on the videos for a while cuz I'm just like, “I just can't right now.” So it's getting better. It is getting better.
Amber B 13:59
Good. First of all, I'm glad that you're recognizing that it's getting better. First of all, thank you for sharing this, right? This is not easy stuff to share but it is so important because so many women are right there with you. And then, I just want to hammer home this point for you and for everybody else who's listening, who feels like they're in the same boat. But this is like, it's coming from a good place. It's coming from a place where you want to change. You want something different you like there's nothing wrong with that desire. And what you're doing is you're utilizing whatever tools you think is going to work to get you out of this place. The problem is, is we're just using the wrong tools. It's just tools that actually aren't helping you. And so, when we can start to use some of the right tools, we're actually going to be able to move out of that place. And as weird as it sounds, acceptance is one of those tools that we haven't picked up yet. And finding peace where we're at is a tool that is going to be such a valuable tool for you to utilize in this moment. You said, “Picking every piece of your body apart?” What does it look like when that happens? Like, when does it usually happen the most?
Before a shower, and when I take videos.
Amber B 15:32
Okay, cool. What's awesome about this is that you do this a lot. So there are lots of options, like lots of times to practice. And that's another thing that I want you to think about is that this is a skill. When I say a skill, I mean, something that can be developed. Okay, so there's a difference between something that like you innately and just inherently, like a gift that you have, right? There's a difference between a gift, right? This is not necessarily a gift, or like, either you got this at birth, or you didn't get this at birth, then sorry. A skill, it’s something that is going to be practiced, and something that you can get better at. And so when I say, “Oh, this is awesome, because you can practice this a bunch, you got a lot of opportunities to practice.” How clear are you like, if I asked you to walk me through, let's say like, the last time that you took a video and like we're watching it back, if I were to ask you to walk through some of the thoughts that are coming up in your head, as you do that, would you be able to, like would you be able to walk me through that? Like, what does it sound like?
Yeah, probably. So yesterday, I took a video, it was yesterday back and bicep. And, like, some of the things are like, “Oh, my shirt too tight, you can see too much.” Sometimes it's just like, “I wish my muscles are not what they used to be, I miss them.” Having to do a chin-up with every band I own is very disappointing. So stuff like that.
Amber B 17:29
Who does it disappoint?
Amber B 17:32
Because I used to be able to do a lot of chin-ups.
Amber B 17:41
And now that you can't, what does that mean?
What it means is I'm a failure.
Amber B 17:48
Cool. Because you can't do them now or because you used to do them and you can't do them.
Because I used to do them and now I can't.
Amber B 17:59
And so that comparison. See, the comparison is another theme that's coming up and comparison to yourself and to a former self is can be just as damaging as a comparison to other people. Because the truth is, is that the whole goal of life to like, change, and like not stay the same. I don't want to be my 20-year-old self. I want to continue to evolve and change. And so that comparison, even to a past version of yourself can be so damaging. Because it's like it is what it is, again, it's acceptance of it. Like you can't do as many pull-ups as you used to build to do. I'm the same way, I can't do as many pull-ups as I used to be able to do. Does that mean anything about me? Do you think I'm a failure?
Amber B 18:54
You see Amber, don't you? Okay, so what else comes up? You said the shirt is too tight, you see too much, I miss my muscles, and I'm disappointed. What else? Is there anything else?
Just kind of like overall not confident in how my body looks right now. Like it's kind of there's a role here. There I need to wear higher-waisted pants, like can't work crop up, like those types of things, or I have no business doing that.
Amber B 19:35
So lots of judgment, right? Lots of judgment of yourself. Okay. So if we're thinking about this concept and idea of acceptance, if you see because this is a lot of resistance, right? It sounds like this is what resistance sounds like. “I wish this was different”, “I miss my muscle”, “I'm not confident, that's too tight,” and “I can't wear that” like it's a lot of resistance to what is it. If we were to change some of these things that you're saying to ourselves to a place of acceptance. Now I want to be careful. I'm not we're not moving to a place of love or a place of rejoicing. I'm not asking you to be like, “Oh my gosh, I love every role that I have. They're amazing.” I'm not getting into that. I'm asking what it would look like to look at that video from a place of acceptance. What would be different if you did that? Like, what would that sound like to you?
It'd be more of a look at me putting in the work. Okay, that's what I'm doing. To get muscles, to build them back up, to get strong again. And that's literally all it is, videos of me putting in work.
Amber B 20:59
I love that, videos of me putting in work. If your friend came to you, let's do this. If you were on the Build Your Workouts page, and somebody posted a video and they're like, “Oh, I hate this video of myself. I look so chubby, I'm not strong, I used to be able to do all these pull-ups.” What would you tell her that you see in that video?
That she was strong, that she was putting in the work, that, “Hey, you're here. What’s your deal?”
Amber B 21:30
Yeah, if we're going to compare ourselves to people, why don't we compare ourselves to the people who never started? Or the people who have or the people who can't, the people who never even tried to pull up? So if they've never failed, but they've also never tried. Okay, so again, the idea of the comparison of the choice of who you're comparing to. Why aren't you comparing yourself to the former you that used to not be able to do pull-ups? Because I bet there was a time in your life that you couldn't do any pull-ups. But no, we choose to compare ourselves against like our best version of like, when we could do the most pull-ups, right? So I think I love this affirmation of looking at me putting in the work. Right? This is to me is like such a good example of acceptance. We're not saying that we love it. We're not saying that we want to stay here. We're not saying that, like everything's rainbows and butterflies. But what we're doing is we're just getting to the place of like, “This is what is, look at me putting in the work.” So, is that something that you're willing to shift and practice as you do your next video?
Amber B 22:41
Okay. Cool. Let's move on to the shower. Because I think that's probably a different conversation. What do you say to yourself when you're getting ready to get in the shower?
As to try not to think about it too much anymore. It's a lot of the same, like doubting, it puts a lot of doubt in my head of my abilities and what I'm capable of.
Amber B 23:21
Yeah. So one thing that I think that's coming up for me, and so when things come up to me, I just share them. And then you can take them for whatever you want. I think there is a lot of power in practicing this acceptance in a way that like stretches and pushes you. What that can look like, is getting to the point where you'd like literally stand in front of the mirror, and just like, “Here I am.” And like have that time where you're like, you're just you're looking at yourself, it's like you and you. And if it is like practicing that acceptance of like here's my body, again, we're not going to the place of like, I love it. It's amazing and all this data, just like here's my body. And then, practicing that intentionally, every day. So if that's something that you are willing to take on as a challenge, I think there would be a lot of value in that of saying, “Hey, I'm gonna do this right now. I'm gonna take off my clothes, I'm going to look at myself for 10 seconds, and I'm going to like, just practice, this is my body.” Here it is like and when those thoughts come up of like, “You are gross”, or like, “I look terrible”, or whatever comes up, but just coming back to that place of like, acceptance of this is what is.
Katie Boyack 24:47
Amber B 24:48
And, “I'm putting in the work, and I'm working on it. And I can accept what is and not resist it. And it's that acceptance that's going to get me to move forward.” Okay. So, I know you. You're like, “I'm game for any challenge. Give it to me.” Yep. Any of those, and you guys are listening, and that sounds like something that you may benefit from, too. Like, you know, you can even start doing it fully closed. Like, for some of you it's like that's way out of your comfort zone. So like even doing it fully closed and having that acceptance, and then maybe doing it like, I don't know, in a swimsuit. Right? And I'm making that progression if that feels like too big of a leap. But again, this is a skill. It is the belt, you can develop it. Any one of you can develop that skill. Not good. It's not bad. It's a body. Okay. Where are you right now?
What do you mean?
Amber B 25:53
What's coming up for you?
I like that. I like that a lot. I mean, that it's all true. Like, it's just the lies that I keep telling myself that, because I'm not where I used to be that I'm not good enough. That's not true. Because it feels like crap.
Amber B 26:14
Yeah, and what do we know if it feels like crap?
It's the opposite of what's true. Yeah.
Amber B 26:21
And again, you get to choose where you compare. That's within your control and choosing where you want to compare. So, you can sit here and you can compare yourself to when you could do 15 pull-ups, or you can choose to compare yourself to when you used to not be able to do any.
Yeah, that's true.
Amber B 26:42
So you get to choose where you place your attention and where you place attention is going to create in the future what you get. Because you continue to focus on “Oh, I'm nothing, I'm not as good. I've failed. I've gotten worse.” What are you going to create in the future?
That exact result, I will fail.
Amber B 27:02
Yeah. Okay. So I want to hear about it. I know you're sure. And anybody else who takes the challenge too, we can call the Naked Challenge. I don't know. We got to, like a fancy hashtag. And then people are gonna be like, “What goes on in that group?”
Nothing at all. Don't worry about it. Yeah.
Amber B 27:24
It's just the body that I like, Jennifer. It's just a body. That's what it is. It's just a body, not good or bad. It's just a body. I like it. That has a better ring to it than what I came up with a little safer.
A little safer.
Amber B 27:45
I hope that you were inspired to maybe work alongside Katie. As an update, as I said, this was a coaching conversation we did about a year ago. And I got an update recently from Katie. A little bit of what she said, because I think it's helpful to see the change and the evolution that happens with someone, right? Sometimes we like here a coaching call, hear when someone's in it at the moment, and then we don't get any follow-up afterward as to what happened after that. And so she says, “Shortly after that coaching call, and in December, I decided to go into my very first book coupled with hypertrophy training. I pushed my body past where I was comfortable physically and mentally. I bought new leggings, shorts, and pants that all fit me so that I was more comfortable. And I knew that I wasn't failing by doing so, that I was moving into more acceptance of what is. That it is my body now and I'm working, putting in the work to get what I want. I mentioned in the comments on the call that I went down a rabbit hole and was trying to find my old progress pictures from 2019 when I first started counting macros. I only found three, along with lots of videos and pictures of me. What I saw was someone who was tired, tired from teaching an intense cardio class that I love way too much and lifting, and not eating nearly enough by cutting forever and never reversing. Do I wish that I had a flat stomach and smaller panels? Sure that would be nice, but not if it meant the muscles I've built so far that go with it. To me, the thing that I'm getting the biggest kick out of is the chin-ups. I can't even do one right now. And I don't care. They aren't important to me anymore. All this is a priorities change. Am I 100% to the point where I love everything about my body? Heck no, but I'm proud of what I can do and how freaking strong it is. I look in the mirror and I flex my muscles before most showers, I've hit so many PRs and weights that I never thought I'd be capable of because I've accepted that food and some weight gain come with the territory of building muscle.”
Amber B 29:29
So, I just thought what a great like you follow up to this conversation that we had. And I just hope that you feel encouraged along the way, that if you're at that place where you're really struggling with your body and nitpicking at it, and not liking what you see in the mirror, I just want you to know that you're in the middle of it and there is another side. There is that place where you can feel acceptance, where it's not about pulling out the things that you hate, but rather, you know, achieving and changing yourself and aligning the goals that you have with what really matters to you in life. And I think this is such a great example of that. And I'm grateful to Katie for letting us share this on the podcast.
Amber B 30:09
I hope that you're walking away understanding the #justabody and committing to that movement from judgment and shame to that place of acceptance, of allowing, of not resisting what is and working and seeing what a powerful place that can be to work on your goals from. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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