Sept. 6, 2022

Ep.7 Pride in Your Body

If you are at a point in life where you are seeking to rise above the toxicity of body image expectations in sports, then this episode is for you! Pride in Your Body is real talk about learning to take pride in the body you’ve worked so hard to build to ...


If you are at a point in life where you are seeking to rise above the toxicity of body image expectations in sports, then this episode is for you! Pride in Your Body is real talk about learning to take pride in the body you’ve worked so hard to build to perform in your sport. Rey shares her real-life experiences on how she goes about shifting her mindset to love for body acceptance. She also shares key facts about the challenges faced by athletes to meet societal body image expectations. Finally, Rey wraps up the episode with 3 actionable steps for you to successfully become proud of your body:

  1. We must push back on athletic body image stereotypes to promote an inclusive sporting community
  2. Conquering body image issues begins with a mindset shift on personal expectations
  3. Allow others to inspire you to reach your potential instead of bringing you down

 

Hold the Mic: BodySense

 

Sources:

[1] Body image in sports: The athletic pressure to be “beautiful” | Special Issue – The Link

[2] Serena Williams talks body image, says she's been 'undervalued' and 'underpaid' in tennis | GMA

[3] How Serena Williams learned to love her body, stop comparing herself to Venus | GMA

 

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Transcript

Intro

Hey guys, welcome back to Growth on the Daily, the personal development podcast for athletes. My name is Rey and I'm your host. I'm a former competitive hockey player, passionate about self-growth and I'm here to support you on your growth journey to becoming the best version of you. Just a reminder guys, before we dive into the episode to follow us @growthonthedaily, on Instagram to stay up to date with the show. This week's episode is titled "Pride in Your Body" and we're really talking about being proud of your athletic body. In terms of Specialties for Success we're focused on physical since we're talking about our physical appearance, but also because we're talking about taking care of your body. So if you're at a point in life where you are seeking to rise above the toxicity of body image expectations in sports, then this episode is for you. Alright guys, let's hear from the experts.

No Cap, All Facts

In my research this week, I really wanted to focus on defining what the body image expectations are in sports. And then also wanted to provide you guys with the perfect role model who exemplifies overcoming these body image issues. So first starting off with just defining these issues, I was able to find an article that really outlined the athletic pressure to be beautiful. And what they stated is that "athletes are expected to look in a certain way, even when it's not relevant to performance. The typical male athlete is expected to be tall, lean with broad shoulders while the stereotypical female athlete has a smaller frame well-defined though, but less bulky muscles and very little body fat". I don't think it is news to anyone that those are the stereotypes that exist. It's heavily pumped into media and social media. We see it everywhere. Where the issue lies is that one, they're not realistic. They're completely arbitrary stereotypes. Two, they have nothing to do with performance. And three, they lead to negative effects on athletes, especially mental health problems and body image issues with these standards that exist. So I want to point your attention to Serena Williams. She is not only one of the world's best athletes, but she also exemplifies overcoming these body image issues. And so I wanted to share with you a few quotes that she shared publicly that really shares her story. She states "Venus looked more like what is really acceptable. She has really incredibly long legs. She's really, really thin. I didn't see people on TV that looked like me who were thick. There wasn't positive body image. It was a different age. Tennis players in general. Didn't look like me, especially the top players or anyone that ever won Grand Slams. Nothing like me. So it was, can I win looking like this? Can I perform looking like this? And that was something that I realized that I could do. I just had to learn that it was okay to, you know, not be Venus".

I really value Serena Williams for sharing that publicly because it not only humanizes her, but makes her seem like just like anybody else. But it also advocates for females who are very strong, who are built to perform and have to deal with negative stereotypes that come with looking that way in sports that traditionally have those expectations that you shouldn't. Now it's fair to say that it's also goes the other way. Right? Males also will deal with body image issues. If they're not bulky, if they don't have that much muscle definition, they'll be a hundred percent judged for that and considered overweight, or just have too much fat on their body. And that's going to come back to bite them as well. So this goes both ways. Either way, it's toxic and it's not helping, not only sport culture, but the athletes themselves. So let's hear my take. I want to teach you guys how to become proud of your athletic body. Be proud of what you look like.

Rey's Remedy

The first step is acceptance. And I don't mean accept what you look like. We're all beautiful because you know, there's a lot of body positivity out there. My message today is understanding that you're human. It's hardest to love yourself. We are our harshest critics. You are always going to look at yourself, especially with an athletic mindset and say, I can do better. I need to push myself harder because you're competitive, right? That's your nature as an athlete to reach that potential, to be number one, to get that gold medal. That is ingrained in you and runs through your veins. So of course, you're going to be your harshest critic. The second thing is recognize that your body is a reflection of your dedication to your lifestyle. The reason that you have that built body is because you put in the work every single day, day in day out to perform. Anybody that gives you flack for that has no business saying anything to you because you are an athlete there to perform. You don't have to meet anyone else's expectations. The only thing you need to do is maximize your potential on the field, on the court, on the ice, whatever your sport is. That brings me into my third point. Focus on pleasing yourself rather than others, by redefining your why. Remind yourself you work on your body and your body looks like this because we're focused on health and performance. You are not focused on stereotypes or meeting societal expectations.

So finally, I just want to wrap up Rey's Remedy by just stating that you have to be conscious of who you draw your expectations from. Where's the mindset coming from, right? Because this stuff is ingrained. It's ingrained through the media and through social media, but who are you getting this information from? Are you looking at people like Serena Williams, who's authentic, who's raw, who shares the overcoming strategies and teaches you that you're not alone, but you can get to a better mental place in your life? Or are you listening to some randos who just rant about physical beauty standards that have nothing to do with sports? Think about where you get your information from and pick your role models closely. Alright guys, you already know it's time for a quick shoutout.

Hold the Mic

To help you guys with body positivity and becoming proud of your athletic body. I want to redirect you guys to Body Sense, a positive body image initiative for athletes. It aims to build safe and healthy sport environments. As of 2009, Body Sense is offered jointly by the Canadian Center of Ethics in Sports and True Sport Foundation. It successfully created a model for the promotion of positive body image in sport settings. So for more info guys, go check out bodysense.ca and take a look at their 10 step model and see how that can help you . And finally allow others to inspire you to reach your potential instead of bringing you down. That means pick your role models carefully.

Meaningful Mentions

This week's Meaningful Mentions I have three key takeaways for you. The first is understand that we must push back on athletic body image stereotypes to promote an inclusive community. The second we advocate for ourselves, we can then begin to advocate for others, and then we can then eliminate these stereotypes going forward and pushed into the next generation, onwards and onwards. The second key takeaway for today is understand that conquering body image issues begins with a mindset shift on personal expectations. Give yourself a break for being human and remind yourself about your why. You are focused on health and performance in your sport. Your job is not to meet the stereotypes of other people, and finally allow others to inspire you to reach your potential instead of bringing you down. That means pick your role models carefully.

Quality Quote

To continue to motivate you guys to the week. I'm bringing you another quote from Serena Williams, where she stated, "I realized that you really have to learn to accept who you are and love who you are. I'm really happy with my body type, and I'm really proud of it". So shoutout to all my girls out here, looking deezed. You're beautiful. I'm proud of you and you should be so amazed of how hard you've worked on yourself that you're able to perform at such a high level in your sport.

Outro

Alright guys, that wraps up this week's episode. Thank you guys so much for taking the time to tune in. And again, I applaud you for committing to Learn, Grow, and Thrive. Send this episode around guys. Let's share it with your friends, your teammates, anyone that you know, because everyone can benefit from a little bit of learning. We want to grow this community. So of course, check out www.growthonthedaily.com. For more information on the podcast and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or on our website. Thank you guys. And I'll see you next week.