Self-Worth and Exercise

Weightless hits it out of the park again today with the question “Does how you look make you feel unworthy of love, satisfying relationships, a good job or true happiness?”

When your self-worth is dependent mostly or solely on your shape, it can be stressful and upsetting. It can bring on a variety of negative emotions and affect other parts of your life.

Margarita offers seven steps for separating self-worth from weight, including finding one’s purpose, working on self-acceptance, and giving oneself “the power.”

I’ve often allowed myself to think, “If I could just be thinner, and I’d be so happy.” That is, of course, utter nonsense. And the thing that helps me (although I am clearly a work-in-progress in the body image department) is training. Hard. Like an athlete.

It’s pretty difficult to disparage a body that can lift heavy things, jump on things, swing on bars, and then sleep the sleep of the righteous. Who has time to worry about a fat roll, phantom or otherwise, when there’s a WOD to tackle?

And speaking of WODs… although my energy level is not back up to peak levels, I was going a little bonkers from not moving, so I laid out my workout clothes last night and hopped (literally: I hopped) out of bed this morning to hit my CrossFit Women class.

We had a partner WOD, which was the perfect way to re-introduce my body to moving with some semblance of power and speed.

Partner WOD
2 rounds:
50 deadlifts, 115#
100 med ball situps, 6# ball
50 pullups, no band, partner assisted

My partner was perky, lithe, flexible, yoga queen Jill. (You should see her beautiful handstands!) We did the deadlifts in sets of five, the situps straight through, and the pullups in sets of five for the first set and 10s for the second set because we got tricky: we back squatted under eachothers’ feet to assist. GENIUS! The helper got a great core+leg workout, and the pulluper got major assistance on the pull.

Time: 19:55 (just under the 20-minute cutoff)

I should hear today or tomorrow about what’s up with my thyroid-on-the-fritz. Curious to see what’s up with that little monster.

Thanks again to Margarita at Weightless for inspiring reflection and common sense. And readers, what’s your trick for separating your self-worth from your weight? Do your workouts do it, or do you have other tricks?

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  • Margarita Tartakovsky says:

    Thanks, Melissa, for the link and kind words! It's very much appreciated!

    For me, working out has been a godsend. It's helped my body image (I see my body as a powerful instrument, not a pretty ornament, though of course, I like to look nice and dress cute 🙂 And it's helped reduce my stress and just made me feel better overall.

    Your workout routine is amazing! Holy moly, you're strong! I remember in high school, I could barely do a pull-up. I think I did a tenth of one or something terribly embarrassing like that! It's a great exercise, very challenging.

    You should absolutely be proud of that! 🙂

  • Calves says:

    Melissa, Just finding your blog so may be catching up for a while. LOVE it.

    Exercise and eating well – you said it best. it's that confidence of knowing that I am doing my best. I'm working hard and trusting the process. I'm not skinny, but I am strong.
    Also doing things I love, taking time for things that make me feel glorious and beautiful* really help heal that abuse I too often have been the one to heap on myself.

    *smashing a wod does that, but so do taking walks and watching sunsets, and climbing mountains.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hi, Calves! Glad you found me! Congratulations on "working hard and trusting the process." That. is. awesome.