On Fitness and Loving Yourself

I just wanted to share this article that I found.  Read first, then we’ll talk.

http://wellfesto.com/2013/11/19/10-things-i-want-my-daughter-to-know-about-working-out/

Finished?  That was quick 🙂

I especially liked number 10.  I think especially as a teacher (and one day as a parent), that you have to be especially careful with the words that you use.  Children are always listening.  Especially when you don’t think they are (or when you don’t want them to.)

If you’re talking about this bulge or that roll…they’re going to notice.

One thing I noticed is that here in Korea, physically strong women are definitely not the majority.  It’s not considered attractive to have muscles (granted, it’s still like that with some people in the US too), but especially here.  There are things like calf-reduction surgery to remove up to 60% of your calf-muscles so your legs appear longer and slimmer.  REALLY.  Korea also has the highest percentage of people that go in for some sort of plastic surgery on the planet.  According to Business Insider, 1 in 5 women have had some sort of surgery.  And it’s not just women.  Men too!
Anyway, anytime I pick up/move any sort of furniture in the classroom (lifting a chair over a desk to put a cluster of students together or moving a bookshelf to plug something in), the kids go wild.  Like “OHMYGOSHHHH!!! Teacher!  So strong!!”  (I gave them the word “strong”)
(I also showed them this video of Kacy Catanzaro during their break time a few weeks back and they were all in awe.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBHlYTAEm3A)–I once read a quote about how many people believe that something is not possible until they see someone do it.  The same goes for women in sports, IMO.  Women believe that they can’t do it, or that they’ll get huge raging muscles (not true) if they work out, but once they see someone that’s already doing it, they start to believe that they can do it too.)

I’m working on teaching them that strength is a good thing.  So if they say “Wow!  So strong!”, I always say “Oh, thank you!”
I actually had one girl lift her own chair one day and say something to the effect of “Teacher!  I am strong!” with a big smile on her face.  I talked it up and she seemed to feel pretty good about herself. I felt really happy for her…that something I was working to show them was sticking.
I want them to learn not only English, but how to love themselves too.  There’s a lot of pressure to be beautiful and to look a certain way, and hopefully this can change in the future and that people will learn to love themselves for the way that they are and not as something that needs to be changed or fixed.  Be healthy and love yourself and you’re further ahead than most people on the planet.

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