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24 Dec 2014

Natural Hair, Skinny Mirrors and Fitness

I have this mirror in my living room/workout space. Everyone who stands in front of it has something to say.

Some say it’s a “skinny mirror”, others have said it makes their booty look bigger. But me, I think it’s a reality mirror.

The one thing I noticed is that everyone sees themselves looking slimmer, thicker, and better than how they think they really look, but the reality is, they are finally seeing themselves.

I try to keep my space very positive. Try is the operative word because I have my days and at times it’s difficult not to let it show. But for the most part, I create a safe and uplifting space for my clients and friends.

So when they are doing something for themselves they start to see themselves differently. So when my client said, “ohhh this mirror makes me look so skinny…” I simply told her, that’s what you actually look like, you’re seeing what other people see when they look at you.

It’s pretty crazy and silly how we always look for the worst or the negative. I have done this myself many times but two scenarios stick out:

Scenario 1: When I decided to become “super fit”

A guy I was seeing told me he wouldn’t be attracted to me anymore if I got too “manish looking” Guess what! He’s still attracted…

When I made the decision to lose the 15lbs that had been hovering on top of my pants, I knew it was just the beginning of my fitness journey. But I was worried about what a lot of women worry about, looking too “Manish”.

I lost the 15lbs and then I started to build muscle and that’s when I started to panic. I called every guy I knew to ask his opinion on how he felt about me building muscle. Now I look back on this and laugh but in that moment I was serious. Almost all the answers were: “Just don’t lose your boobs or put on too much muscle, that’s not sexy on a woman.”

Maybe I’m just stubborn but I did it anyway. I was determined to see for myself what my body was capable of.

I have had clients in the past who were working out to please their significant other, or boyfriends who were working out to impress me or in general to attract the attention they were lacking, and those people have not been very successful.

Because when you aren’t doing it for yourself you lose focus, make excuses and let the negativity of the situation hold the power. Once you’ve handed over your power or motivation to negativity it’s an uphill battle.

One of many things I’ve learned is that, my natural body shape is out of my control, its genetic. I have an apple shape, so I will never have a big booty, I will always have a thick waist and slim legs, and I’m good with that because I have learned to work with what I have. Just like there are some men who will never have a big chest no matter how much they bench press.

We have to look in that mirror and see what we have and work with that to make it the best we can. What is attractive isn’t limited to what’s in the media.

Scenario 2: When I was deciding what to do with my hair

My barber asked me: what does your husband think of you cutting your hair off? I told him if I had a husband he would support my decision.

In the same year that I made the decision to become super fit I also decided to stop chemically straightening my hair. I understood that “Natural Hair” was the fad and I’m not one to jump on bandwagons, but I listened and watched and contemplated all the arguments. I didn’t agree with a lot of it, but I realized because of my training schedule I was wearing braids and weaves a lot, so I figured now was as good a time as any to grow out my perm. I also was very curious to see what my hair was capable of, since I had been perming it since I was about 6 years old.

I grew it out for almost a year under braids and weaves before I decided to actually deal with it. AND I HATED IT! I was ready to chop off the dead ends and straighten it again. These were my reasons:

1. I didn’t know what to do with it. It was half straight and half natural
2. The hair products were extremely expensive.
3. I wasn’t used to how I looked with this new hair.

I was discussing all this after one of my group training camps when one woman, AliRose put it all in perspective for me. She asked me,

Have you ever had to work with your hair like this before?

How long did it take you to learn how style your own “straight hair” once your mother stopped doing it?
Years of practice.

When we train with you what do you always tell us when we get frustrated doing a new exercise?
I tell you it’s new to you, so why do you think you would be perfect at it the first time. Give yourself a break, be patient and keep trying.

So yes, she schooled me and I love her for it. I cut off all the straight parts and went to a barber for the first time and got it cut into a style I can manage. I invested in the hair products trying to find the right ones for my hair (still a work in progress), and I accepted my hair, which changed the way I saw myself when I looked in the mirror.

I tell you these stories to hopefully convey the point that, you need to stop letting negative outside sources define how you see yourself or dictate what’s best for you.

If I had listened to those guys that said they would no longer be attracted to me if I got “super fit” and the girls who constantly talked about dieting but not losing any weight telling me “stop losing weight you’re getting too skinny”, I wouldn’t be the Devon that I am writing this article.

There will always be obstacles, trials and tribulations but once you’ve made your mind up to be better, don’t let them stop you. Take a look in the mirror today and see the good and make a plan to work on what you need to be a better you! With positive motivation and support, we will see our beauty in all our mirrors.

In Fitness and Positivity,

Devon Jones
SplitVerse FIT Coach and Trainer

Read 3466 times Last modified on Friday, 21 August 2020 14:43
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Devon Jones

Once ranked 5th in Canada for Triple Jump, winning meets and setting records across North America as a Varsity Track Athlete at the University level. In 2001 injuries sidelined Devon from competing professionally at the Olympic level.

Devon pursued and earned her Personal Trainer Specialist Certification in 2002 to remain involved in athletics. As a Fitness Therapist, Devon uses her fitness knowledge along with her Sociology degree to not only help individuals get fit, but to communicate with them the "why" of what they are doing. The process of getting in shape is a combination of Mind, Body and Soul. You have to believe in what you’re doing and get past your mental barriers to achieve success. Working together to identify and address mental barriers and move forward to exceed your expectations. Because ultimately we are all the designers of our own destiny!

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