If learning which variation of this exercise better activates your glutes gets you back on the basketball court five days earlier than expected, then perhaps you should keep using the shorts. If not, then it'd be better for you to set this $700 item aside and instead defer to the expertise of your physical therapist, who may well be able to identify and correct your issue (in this case, your glutes not firing enough) just by looking at how you move. How Many Calories Did You Burn? A January 2017 study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise compared multiple consumer-level activity trackers to a more expensive calorimeter to see how accurately they measured calories burned during walking, running, cycling outside, and pedaling on an exercise bike. The researchers found that the commercially available devices varied wildly. One device was 92 percent accurate for walking and running but managed just 40. But what cyclist in their right mind would want to rely on a device that's only 40 percent accurate if they're on a road or mountain bike and completely inaccurate if they're training indoors? Yet millions of cyclists do put their faith in their trackers and, in fact, are arguably the most hard-core self-quantification demographic. That's just a theory, people say, suggesting that it's not real. But hooks treats theory as an actual intervention. Theorizing enables you to make sense of what's happening and imagine your way forward to alternative futures and outcomes. That's why I undertook this article, to write myself out of pain and into a better future. As hooks explains, When our lived experience of theorizing is fundamentally linked to processes of self-recovery, of collective liberation, no gap exists between theory and practice. Indeed, what such experience makes more evident is the bond between the two--that ultimately reciprocal process wherein one enables the other. One of the most powerful healing strategies is connecting with others. Emotional isolation is a major risk factor for disease, addiction, illness, and even death. We need each other. We connect by sharing our vulnerability with others. The results suggest that actively viewing social-media accounts supporting self-compassion might offer a novel approach to attenuating the negative impact of social media on women's body satisfaction. Representations of self-compassion are abundant on social media.

As of June 2020, the hashtag #selfcompassion yielded over 599,000 Instagram images. These self-compassion images feature quotes such as, It's okay to do what's best for you, I think you are doing a beautiful job figuring out some heavy sh#t, Strive for progress, and Do things with kindness. Back to Sandi Sandi and I did work together around identifying her feelings of shame, where they originated, and how to reframe them in a self-compassionate context by replacing her critical self-talk with loving, tender, and kind phrases and words of advice. To do this yourself, think along the lines of what you would say to a good friend in a similar situation; Sandi would never berate a friend for a binge-eating episode the way she berated herself. In digital spaces, Sandi explored social media from the perspective of self-compassion by searching sites like Instagram and Facearticle for inspirational and self-affirming accounts that resonated with her journey toward leading a healthy lifestyle and cultivating self-compassion. The accounts she followed posted inspirational quotes on a daily basis. And they're not the only ones looking to count calories. Certain fitness programs want participants to hit a certain calorie number on rowing machines before they move on to the next activity, while a big part of the entire jogging movement was calorie burning. The entire diet industry is obsessed with both sides of the equation--calories in and calories out--yet we now see that at least one side of the equation cannot be measured reliably. One of the simple solutions is to stop trying to quantify exercise this way. Not only is caloric-expenditure measurement faulty, but it also fails to take into account the exercise-induced increase in metabolic rate or the fact that when you build muscle, you burn more energy at rest. So if you must have a metric to chase, make sure calories isn't it. When Andy was training for the 2007 national weightlifting championships, he needed to lose weight in the run-up to the competition to be eligible in the sixty-nine-kilogram division. As part of this effort, he started recording his weight every day at the same time for a month. Andy found that his weight went down by 0. However, when he compared his weight on the first Monday to the second, third, and fourth Mondays, he noticed that his weight loss occurred almost as a weekly drop, despite the day-to-day and weekend variations. When I was still recovering from my eating disorder, I spoke in a support group about how ashamed I felt about a recent binge and how I hated losing control. I told them I felt I was too fat* and that my body revealed to others what a failure I was.

The room was quiet for a little while, and then people started crying and talking about how well they knew those feelings and how much they hurt. We didn't solve anything that day, but we drew connections among our assumptions. Why did we all suffer from these same self-judgments? Why were we all uncomfortable in our bodies? Of course, we all wanted to be thin. We saw how much better thinner people were treated. We wanted access to some of that love and appreciation. We wanted to be considered attractive. She would make sure to start her day by reading from those she found most helpful. She would either write down quotes she found on social media that were particularly inspiring or print them out and place them in her journal. Over time Sandi was able to create a kinder, gentler, self-dialogue through talk therapy and social media. Being more self-compassionate helped her to lose weight and reduced the frequency of her binge-eating episodes. Sandi also gained the confidence to discuss the possibility of getting promoted at work, and she began dating a man she finally felt good about. Let Go of Shame for a Happier You Let's be honest: we've all done things that we're ashamed of. Shame is a universal human emotion. Most psychologists say that a healthy dose of shame, when rightfully felt, is beneficial to our well-being and relationships. It keeps us on track for behaving in socially appropriate ways so we maintain our relationships and repair them when necessary. This shows that weight loss is not always linear. Someone who didn't understand this (as Andy did) might have incorrectly assumed that their program wasn't working and that they needed to change it.

During this time, Andy wasn't counting calories but rather just paying attention to how he felt each day. If he felt like crap during or after a hard workout, he remedied this by eating more. If he stopped losing weight, he ate a little less. The emphasis was on daily self-assessment of his overall well-being, not on calories in and out, yet he achieved his goal. When you consider that we naturally overestimate how many calories we burn during exercise and often combine this delusion with the exaggeration that fitness trackers and exercise equipment provide (cardio machines overestimated caloric burn by an average of 19 percent, according to one study conducted at UC San Francisco's Human Performance Center), I think Andy pursued a better, more conscious path to his goal. Follow the Fashion Fitness companies have always wanted celebrity endorsers to hawk their wares, knowing that when people see their favorite athletes or celebrities promoting a certain product, they're going to want it too. The same goes for wearables, which have become the latest fashion accessory that we just cannot live without. We sensed our only real value could come from thinness. The thoughts were still painful, but there was magic in realizing that what I experienced was human, and that it was shared. We came to recognize that our body problem wasn't actually in our bodies, but in a culture that didn't value those bodies. The shame belonged to our culture, not to us. By trying to control our bodies, we were doing what we could to survive. Knowing that let us see that what we needed was love and kindness and understanding--not weight loss or food. And we recognized that we could offer solidarity to one another. Note that social support is good wherever it comes from but particularly potent when it comes from someone you care about. If a stranger offers affirmation, you may not trust or accept it as readily. Which is not to say that strangers or anonymous hotlines can't be helpful. However, chronic and unnecessary feelings of self-directed shame are exhausting, paralyzing, and toxic to our emotional health. Shame of this kind is typically rooted in deep-seated feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, and defectiveness, and the degree to which these shameful feelings are felt most times doesn't match the reality of the situation that caused them in the first place.

It's important to know the difference between feelings of unhealthy shame and feelings of guilt. Guilt reflects emotions related to doing something wrong or bad, whereas shame reflects feeling fundamentally bad about yourself regardless of the situation or circumstance. Those struggling with deep-seated, unhealthy feelings of shame tend to withdraw and hide from the world, only to be left feeling even lonelier and rejected. Skill-Building Strategies Overcoming shame and rebuilding self-esteem and self-love takes time and patience, but it can be done. Below are a few strategies to help get you started. Commit to making self-compassion a daily practice. We are more likely to be critical of ourselves when we feel shame, but harsh self-talk only intensifies our shameful feelings. Recognizing that putting an ugly piece of plastic on your wrist is just about the opposite of New York Fashion Week chic, technology makers have signed up big-name designers to come up with bejeweled and bedazzled versions that one company claims will take you from run to runway. Certain smartphones and smartwatches were already status symbols to some. With wearables now getting in the act, it seems that being active isn't enough--you have to look good doing it and let people know that you're getting fit fashionably. Putting a wearable on your wrist has become a social signifier that (we hope) tells the world, I'm fit and active! There's nothing wrong with a well-designed, good-looking product (see the iPhone), but such a marketing ploy is just adding to our obsession with image. If you want to put something on your wrist that looks expensive and signals to others how successful you are, you've got plenty of options at your local jewelry store. If you'd rather focus on your health, ditch the fashion accessories altogether and get moving! Misguided Guidelines As helpful as it may seem to have a device monitor how close you are to certain health goals, it's important to consider whether those goals are really what you should be aiming for. Are they based on data? It's just not the same as finding support within your social network, if you can. An interesting rat experiment reinforced the biological value of connection.