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  • Writer's pictureRenae Molden

Rethinking "Abs of Steel" mindset

I recently asked one of my Kaiut Yoga teacher friends how this method has made an impact on her life. This is what she had to say:

"Prior to working with the Kaiut Yoga Method, I wanted my abs to be “ripped.” I may be showing my age by saying that word, but what I mean is I wanted “Abs of Steel.” Ha! There I go again. I think you understand what I’m trying to say. I wanted a flat, strong stomach area. I wanted to look good in a bikini and just about everything I did in my daily life supported that desire.

For many years I participated in activities I thought would help me train and maintain my tight abs. I ran 4.5 miles on the treadmill almost daily. On weekends I ran 8 - 12 miles. Sit-ups every day … lots of them. I met with a trainer 3x a week. More importantly, I stood with my abs “sucked in.” There was no way I was going to show the world my “real body.” NO. WAY.

I was able to keep this type of schedule going for a few decades, with and without children to navigate. It worked because it was exactly what everybody else was doing. My friends would meet me at the running trail for long jog, walk and\or boot camp.

We’d all stand up a little straighter when all those cute guys walked by, then we’d take pictures of our amazing bodies together. Of course, there would be lots of laughs, bonding and believe it or not we would choose each other to be our alarm clocks so we could meet at the park before the kids woke up. It was a true sisterhood!

I was the first one to start questioning whether all this running was helping or hurting. Maybe it was because I was the one who was more motivated to have those abs. I don’t know. What I do know is that the first time I was asked to stand in a pose allowing my abs to be soft I thought, “How brilliant is THIS? Why the hell have I been standing around with my abs sucked in all the time?”

That was probably the moment I started losing my sisterhood. The one I knew, at least. It was time for a new sisterhood to develop and letting go of the old one was quite painful at times. It’s been 5 years since the “Let Go of Your Abs” moment. Five years of creating a whole new set of belief systems. Healthy ones. Ones that allow me to be me without the masks of who I was trying to be.

I’m still friends with those women I would meet on the running trail. We still walk from time to time, take pictures of each other and commiserate about this or that. What’s changed is I don’t try to have “Abs of Steel” anymore.

I’m much more likely to be more authentic these days, both with my body and with my personal interactions. It’s not always comfortable to be the real me, but I’ve had enough experiences now to know that there’s no going back to the old way. Eventually, the mask can’t hide everything and time always reveals the truth.”

— J.S.

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