DAY 42

Body Confidence

Why do we train? Why do we want to lose weight or put on muscle? – Looking good helps us feel good…. right?

Linking one’s looks to self–esteem is a mistake because you are setting yourself up to fail. The relationship between looks and self-esteem is always so fragile because how ‘good’ you look is 100% dependent on ever-changing factors such as what’s considered in vogue in society, the peer group you happen to be in or even your emotional state on any given day.

My job as a coach has afforded me the opportunity to talk in depth with thousands of people about their self-esteem, looks and body goals. Working with Victoria Secret models, in particular, has shown me that EVERYONE has at least a few body hang-ups and how the world sees us is often very different from how we perceive ourselves. Also, over the last few years, I’ve worked as a consultant with an eating disorder charity. I have also given numerous talks about mental health and exercise and been on panels with psychologists discussing how exercise can be used as a recovery aid for anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphia.

The truth is – exercise has the potential to make body image and eating problems worse or better. One’s mindset and motivation behind it are the defining factors – NOT the actual style or intensity of exercise. The reason I share this is that the EXACT same tactics and strategies I use to help clients with poor body image and eating disorders are equally useful to those of us not overtly ‘suffering’. In these somewhat narcissistic times, it is more important than ever to look after our mental health, transcend vanity and have a supremely healthy, positive and fulfilling relationship with food, exercise, and our body.

Do looks matter?

We sadly live in a society where the more physically attractive society deems you, the more popular you seem to be. We can’t blame social media, as even though it distorts things, it is still a mirror of what happens in the real world. To ignore the fact that looks do matter a bit would be to live in complete denial of our modern world. On the flip side, to get lost in the game so to be completely sucked into it would be doing a huge disservice to yourself and the rest of us!

So do I think looks matter in modern society? I’d love to say no, but yes they do, but only a little bit and far less than we are taught to think! It’s very normal to have moments of body insecurity, and NUK SOO will help this for sure. I’d also highly recommend you access our free Body Image Guide written by our in-house Psychiatrist, Danielle.

Body Acceptance

The problem with any movement be it body acceptance, #metoo, feminism, or liberalism, is that these concepts have become very complex and very sensitive. As identity politics seems to be so prevalent right now, we as individuals align and entwine our sense of self with the ‘isms’ we believe in. This makes it hard to have a rational, fact-based discussion of these issues.

The body acceptance movement is being played out under this societal context, so when you try to publicly poke holes in the ideology, you risk being accused of offending people. This alone means there is not that much open and meaningful debate on the matter at present.

If you want my honest opinion on body positivity – here it is: if you are fat, overweight or out of shape then that is 100% okay! You are free to look and feel however you want and you don’t need my or anyone elses permission to feel good about your body. I also think that if the words ‘fat’ or ‘overweight’ offend you, you should toughen up a bit and stop acting like a victim. When you deep down are not happy with your body want to make changes, being easily offended and having a ‘victim’ narrative makes it very hard to be open-minded and authentic enough and take personal responsibility. Taking personal responsibility may make you feel like a bit of loser at times, but push through that minor ego-dent. When you think about it, it’s the most liberating and empowering thing you can do for yourself. Also, If you don’t control your life, who does?

What Is Your Body For?

Your body isn’t a clothes’ hanger or an ornament to gain validation from strangers. It isn’t just a vessel for your brain either. Religious beliefs aside, I think our bodies are tools of understanding life, tools of expression.
And because my beliefs affect my outcomes, because I see my body as a way of expressing who I am, it makes good sense that I enjoy (and am good at) fitness, fighting, climbing, tennis, running, surfing, cycling etc. It also explains why I’m massively body confident and genuinely love my body even though there are millions of men (and countless personal trainers!) who look way better than me, have less body fat and more muscle etc. I don’t give two hoots about this because I don’t define my body worth (let alone my self-worth) by my looks. I didn’t get self–conscious about my body ever. I don’t show it off, and I don’t hide it. I wish more people could feel this way.

When we see our bodies for what they really are, vanity naturally decreases, and our relationship with our body becomes as it should be: a tight one. So tight in fact that eventually your mind and body become synonymous. They are just you!

I have found that the best path to get a better relationship with our bodies and to see this truth is to ACT in accordance with it. Society has changed loads in the last few hundred years and even more so in the last 20 years. In recent times, we have more gyms, more trainers, more diet plans, but obesity and diabetes are both on the rise. The problem is that human evolution takes very long to change our biology. Our bodies are still designed to do manual labour for hours upon hours, to eat real food that grows from the ground or trees (or was recently alive) and to sleep when it gets dark and rise when it is light. Life has taught me that our bodies are happiest when they are doing what they were designed to do.


What Are Bodies Designed To Do?

To move and learn new skills!

Treat your body like an athlete, learn skills, focus on performance, move freely, play and be. This is why my coaching practice, NUK SOO™ and my other online workout, Methodology X™ and anything else I decide to develop over the coming years will always be based on skill-based movements and will never mention calories. NUK SOO, for instance, is very technical. When you are learning a Capoeira Kick, or practice the self-defence moves with your friends, you do not see your body as a piece of meat; you are not adding up the calories expended or comparing your body fat to some flexed stranger on Instagram. No, you are lost in the moment, focused on the task. You are using your body as a tool of expression. This is natural, that way it’s fun! It is also better for results as the attention to detail will ironically burn more calories, test your muscles more and give better results. In my opinion, trying to look perfect makes us dislike our bodies more. Focusing on skill-based fitness training, doing sports and playing in nature, doing activities such as skiing, trekking, climbing and surfing is the solution to loving our bodies more and feeling more connected with ourselves.


1. Write down one paragraph on the relationship you want with your body.

2. If you are on social media, be part of the solution not the problem. A good place to start is with our Instagram-based social media campaign #love yourbodyFriday where once a week you are encouraged to showcase your body as an instrument, not an ornament.

3. Discuss body image with friends more.

4. For 5 minutes every morning for the next week do a body gratitude meditation. Remind yourself that you have a body and it’s AMAZING. I mean look at all the stuff you are doing in NUK SOO! Yes, you can always become more toned, healthier, etc. but let’s be grateful for what we have first.

You are doing amazing well!  Rest up, tomorrow you will work hard.

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