How does anxiety affect a person’s relationship to their own body?

I admit: I have always struggled with weight and appearance. As a child, I was too tall for my age, round, and had the best grades. Unfortunately, this is ideal the basis for you to become a class bastardwho will be daily of those most sincere (and also the worst) classmates to find out how disgusting and hasty it is. Classic school bullying based on the fact that our generation isn’t the only one who has been made to accept that not everyone looks the same, measures and weighs the same.

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In the second degree, this suffering took on a whole new dimension, when the main bully became children and became him. she has her own teacher. His endorsement: math and physical education. Killer combination. At that time, I was dancing theatrical jazz outside of school, doing American tap dancing, exercising relatively regularly, and playing tennis. Sounds like I could easily be a great example of how a kid can be brought into sports. But the opposite was true, and those years were absolute hell on earth for me. Why?

I didn’t make a fuss during my gym, my star didn’t look like a star even from afar, there was no talk of a stand, and I still had to walk those five pounds on the oval. Kristyna, I’m going to let you down! Kristyna, you are going to be commissioner in front of the whole school so that everyone can laugh at you, how clumsy you are! Such shouting from my class was probably meant to motivate me at that time and find skills in me that just didn’t even exist in me. Gymnastics has become for me most stressful time of the week. I gradually started to hate the movement. And my body, which I was beginning to believe was too thick to swing and fuss too.

The imaginary nail in the coffin of my hitherto more or less positive approach to my body and movement was when the same teacher (when I was going through puberty) spoke in front of the whole class: Kristyna, you and your character can only throw balls. At first it spread through the gym and then the laughs. The teacher may have been stunned at the time, but at that time I was an athletic enthusiast and I knew very well where she was going. It was for me breaking point in relation to oneself and I’ve never felt this before. From then on, all I saw was a thundering melon with huge arms, a mustache easily visible under my nose, and a body that, because of what it looked like, didn’t deserve any love or recognition. , but should be constantly cursed as a punishment.

And sadly, I sometimes see that melon in the mirror today.

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A sporty woman with extra pounds does not promote obesity

It can be said that being overweight and having a relationship with your own body is not related to anxiety. In this case, however, I would say in return that you have probably (thank God) never experienced such a situation, otherwise you would have to say the exact opposite. Anxiety and appearance are closely linked. The moment you belong in the box fat girlsYou will encounter problems almost daily.

For decades, the company has been committed to a particular ideal of beauty and a clear definition of health. If you are beautiful and healthy, it automatically means that you are also slim. The moment someone objects that even a person with higher degrees can be healthy, there is a fire on the roof. It is a clear support for obesity! Just remember when a yogi appeared on the cover of a lifestyle magazine a few years ago Jessamyn Stanleywhich by its constitution also deviates from the box slender. Wave of resentment and classic defense style Don’t promote obesity! Obesity is a disease! was huge at the time. It’s a pity that these advocates of a healthy lifestyle, who always fight for these values ​​only at a time when someone with stronger curves appears around them and – God forbid – even in public space, haven’t realized that Stanley most likely has a more limber and healthier body than most people sitting at a computer and spending time writing hateful comments.

However, the message in the magazine’s headline, in which a woman in a ready-to-use plus-size yoga costume poses, is the complete opposite of advertising an unhealthy lifestyle. It is a message that sport and Everyone can (and should) have a positive attitude towards movement and their bodywhatever its size.

Unfortunately, such a framework is still largely lacking in society. And that’s at the heart of a recurring angst, and whatever you do as a tall woman, your actions will always be judged by the fact that you don’t wear size 36 clothes. No one has to tell you that. neither explicitly, but you can guess what they’re thinking. When you order a burger at a restaurant, you will be behind the fat girl, for whom it is clear that she is full of junk food from morning to night. Conversely, when you order a salad, it will be clear that you have decided to lose weight because you are fat. When you go to the gym, people will look at you funny, what you’re doing there, because it’s a place for thin people. And when, for example, you don’t go to the gym simply because of anxiety and fear of the way you look at you, other people will tell you from time to time that you are lazy and that you you won’t lose weight until you start exercising.

It is a situation from which, under current conditions, it is not possible to emerge victorious. Unfortunately.

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Places where “everyone” is welcome

The fitness centers we just mentioned are the biggest proof of that. This is one of the reasons why, in addition to quality equipment, some places are gradually starting to focus on making people feel good there and on what can be modified for them. ‘to improve. “I myself have experienced a fitness center, where the rocks you draw judge you at every glance. Then there are the gyms, which, rather than the gym, are like a dance club for super cool people,” wrote me a colleague discussing this subject. He more or less confirmed that this is not just a suggestion suggestive of a man who has always struggled with his weight and appearance, but that a similar Even those who are not overweight can feel an uncomfortable feeling in the atmosphere of fitness centers. And the whole situation is even worse.

That’s why, some time ago, a fitness center began to emerge westward overseas, building its values ​​(and marketing) on ​​slogans such as points of positivity and inclusiveness. And even in the Czech pond we come across such places: there are, for example, female-only gymnasiums, where no one is ashamed of anything. But the question arises: not every sport and exercise venue should be inclusive? And there is no origin of these special reinforced in fact by a clear statement that regular fitness centers are really only for a certain type of people who fit into the socially established idea of ​​a healthy (soggy) person?

It would be nice to pack up and go for a workout now, or go for a jog, without having to decide if someone’s looks and how badass will be to their liking. Unfortunately, anxiety and fear do not allow me to leave. Instead, I’m going to lay out my mat at home, run a workout app, do a forty-five minute workout, and see again for myself that even though I’ve gained weight these last time, I will still do the bridge and the rope without too much trouble. And with the onset of wellness, anxiety and fear of fitness centers, which not only I, but many other people, will leave again.

I believe that one day we will come to a time when we will meet women and men of different sizes and shapes in the gym and we won’t stop there. I believe that one day there will be group classes that will work provided that everyone is not the same and that everyone does not lift the same number of kilos or do not do the same number of repetitions. And that the necessary break when we feel we are going to cut ourselves will not mean an impetus for the coach to start yelling at us in an (de)motivating way. We are, we are, we don’t stop!

Not all lean bodies are naturally healthy and fit. Not all fat bodies are inherently lazy and weak. And even girls who know how to throw balls have the right to love sports and the body. Maybe it will soon become something that doesn’t need to be debated for long or made into a separate topic in the anxiety column.

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