“Mama, why aren’t they wearing clothes?” 

That question caught me by surprise. It was asked by one of my kids as I was working out. The women in that DVD workout were wearing sports bras and little booty shorts; the men were wearing shorts, with some (actually most) shirtless.

“Well,” I answered, “that’s just how they work out.”

It got me thinking, though.

When I go to the gym, when I teach a class, when I workout at home or in public, how do I dress? Not like the people in that particular program. I might be wearing spandex but I dress much more modestly.

If I had ripped abs and the perfect body, would I dress like the people in the workout program? No. It’s just not my style. And at the gyms I use, others tend to dress similarly to me. Of course, that may not be true of all gyms, but the places I go tend to be family friendly.

Is there any harm following a workout program led by a group of people baring a bit more skin? Not really, I thought, until I gave it a little more consideration. As I started to think about body image, my own self-image and the values I am teaching my children, my opinion started to change. I hope what I share will encourage you in your journey. Perhaps you will be able to relate to some of these questions I have been exploring…

When I first considered the clothing (or lack thereof) of those in my workout DVD, I thought to myself, “It’s good they aren’t wearing baggy clothes, so I can see the proper form and how my body is supposed to do a particular exercise.” But is that really necessary? I can demonstrate an exercise for my class effectively, without baring all! As I considered my child’s question, I came to realize as I watched the workout DVD, I became focused, envious even, on wanting a body like the woman on the screen. I found myself unhappy with the way my body looks, even though I was doing everything the woman on the screen was telling me to do to have abs like her.

Then I started wondering about my children, what message they may receive from seeing me do this workout program AND how it may affect their own self image. My daughter once asked me WHY do I workout? I workout because I like the way it makes me feel, it helps alleviate low back pain from an old injury, and I’m a much more patient mama when I have those post-workout happy endorphins flowing! But I don’t think that is the message my kids are hearing. I remember a time not so long ago, my son finished another one of my home workout DVDs and came over to ask me if he had a six-pack yet? Huh??! Where did he hear that? He didn’t even know what a six-pack was, only that it had something to do with the abs!

My kids are still young. But as I’ve shared in a previous blog post, I can remember back as early as kindergarten and first grade, thinking I was bigger than the other little girls in my class and feeling bad about my body. I don’t want my children, particularly my daughter, to struggle the same way I have. It matters what we watch, what we read, the images we see…how we fill our minds.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:2

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8

So, what am I to do? One of the reasons I decided to start working out at home is because our homeschool schedule has become more demanding, and the gym isn’t as convenient as it used to be. I still want a workout that will challenge me. Do I workout only when my children are sleeping or not around? I could…but that doesn’t change the impact the videos have on ME, my mindset, my body image.

p0a6669-1I’m happy to say I’ve found a solution! It was something I sort of stumbled onto, and I didn’t even realize at the time it was the solution! It’s called Daily Burn (pictured to the right). It’s all online, with live streaming workouts you can do on demand. There are several programs from which to choose. For the last several months, I’ve been doing the DB365 workouts – everyday there is a new workout broadcast at 9am ET, available on demand for 24 hours. The trainers leading the workouts actually wear clothes! And the people doing the workouts in the studio look like me!! It’s like being in a class at the gym without having to leave my house. Plus, each week, DB365 focuses on a theme. One of the recent themes was mastery, and each day that week, the host chatted with the trainer of the day to share thoughts on that theme. It’s been such a great shift for my mindset, I just have to share!! If you want to check out Daily Burn, click here to try it out. I think there may be a free trial available right now. (If you sign up for it through this link, I do get a credit towards my account.) And if you do start doing the DB365 workouts, let me know and I’ll get you plugged into an amazing community on Facebook, full of encouragement, motivation and support!

Have your kids ever surprised you with a question like I received? Have you changed any of your health habits because of your family? Share with me in the comments! 

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