Hey. Hey you. Yep. You, pretty girl, reading this post right now. I need to tell you something and it’s very important. Stop avoiding pictures and mirrors. What? How’d I know? Well, I know things…
Who cares if you’ve gained a bit of weight? Does that make you a horrible person? Of course it doesn’t. I know you care but this is something that can be fixed. But guess what? You’re still beautiful, highly intelligent, and I’m willing to bet you’re stubborn to boot.
I’m also willing to bet that your struggle with your body image goes back a bit further than this minor weight gain. As much as amazing parents work to keep our body images positive, when you’re bombed with what seems to be impossible standards to live up to from the media, we’re bound to struggle a little bit.
I’ve been there. Want to know something else? I STILL am there sometimes and I’m pretty sure I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. See, the thing is, until you fully 100% believe in your heart of hearts that you’re beautiful, intelligent, and stronger than you could ever imagine, you’ll always struggle.
So what? How do you fix it?
What a great question, sis. If you’re still reading this, you’re obviously looking for some answers to help you out with the battle going on in your brain between knowing you’re an amazing specimen and the fear that you may possibly be wrong.
Here are 4 things that helped me along the way in my own weight loss journey. Am I always 100% on the positive body image train? Of course not. And by the way, if anybody ever acts like they are, you have my permission to call their bluff.
Alright so here we go.
1. Not Everyone is Created the Same
In the spirit of transparency, I used to be of the belief that the goal was to be skinny regardless of the state of health. If you were skinny, you were golden.
There literally are no words to tell you how wrong I was in this thinking.
Where did that notion even come from? Growing up, my parents never used the words ‘skinny’ or ‘fat’. I’ll tell you where it came from and where it started. When I was in high-school, magazines were the big deal. What was on the front of those magazines? Girls either zero percent body fat or they were so photo-shopped that if you passed them on the street you would not even recognize them.
Another place it came from? When the size Zero and Double Zero became a big deal. AND if you were not a size zero, better yet, a double zero, you were fat. Plain and simple. I will never forget standing in the store with one of my girlfriends when I was 16 and she pulled off the shelf a size double zero and it fit her.
Guess what my size was? A size three. Now, I think “a size three?” and chuckle a bit because I am totally not a size three. My thoughts are, well, I like my runner’s butt and CrossFit infused legs. Back then? It was devastating.
When I went home that day I cried to my mom about it to which she replied. “Honey, what does the size of your pants say about you?” I didn’t know what she meant, so I asked her.
To which she replied: “The size of your pants says absolutely nothing about your state of health, your beauty and intelligence. It really is all about what’s on the inside; both physically (health) and spiritually/mentally. You have to be confident in who you are and love yourself for who you are.”
Sister, that’s what we have to realize today.
What is inside? Does the weight you’ve gained cause you to have ill health? It has potential to, yes! I won’t lie to you. But, you can take control, and love yourself enough to go through the process to remove said weight.
Exercise should never be about punishing your body. It should be a celebration of what your amazing body can do.
2. Stop Body Shaming Yourself
As someone who was called a ‘butterface’ from my peers growing up, I can certainly identify with the issue of body shaming. For those that don’t know, ‘butter face’ means that everything looks good ‘but her face’.
I was a tomboy where I had no problem getting dirty, played ball with the boys, and typically didn’t get along with girls even though I tried. Once, I actually beat up a boy because he wouldn’t quit making fun of me and my feelings were so hurt I couldn’t take it anymore. THAT however, is a totally different story.
Growing up, I was very fit and athletic and didn’t wear a lot of makeup. Very often, people would say that she’s a ‘butterface’ & that stuck in my mind forever and even at 29 years old, sometimes I still struggle with it.
As defined by the Oxford Dictionary: body shaming is “The action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.”
Notice with me that it doesn’t say other people making fun of other people. This means that you can be body shaming yourself and you not even realize it.
Sis, come in close I have a secret for you. Your size does not define who you are. Whether you’re “too skinny” or “too fat”. There are things you can do to get yourself back to a healthy state. But calling yourself “too skinny” or “twig” or “fat” or “heifer”.
Love yourself. Speak positively of yourself.
I have a book I want to share with you that really changed the way that I see myself. It’s by Lysa TerKeurst and it is called Uninvited. It quite literally changed the way I viewed myself as a person. You can grab it on Amazon for around $9.
3. Your Past Should Not Affect Your Feelings Now
Remember how I said kids called me butterface growing up? For a long time I let what other people said about me growing up affect how I thought about myself. People that I don’t even talk to anymore and don’t even know if they have kids or got married or anything!
Do you also remember the magazines that I would see? The clothes trends of double zeros? I still struggled with that for quite some time.
In the book I mentioned above, Lysa says “The world needs your exact brand of beautiful.” How amazing is that? It’s so true! That hit me like lightening! The world needs me for who I am and what I can contribute to it.
GUESS WHAT? The same goes for you too! The world needs YOUR exact brand of beautiful and you are beautiful, sister.
4. Remove Bad Influences
Here is a big one and to be honest, sometimes the hardest one because the bad influences could mean limiting your time with certain people. However, let’s start from a fairly easy one.
Unfollow people on social media that make you feel bad about yourself. Example: if you follow someone that makes you feel bad about, say, your…. interior design skills for example, it’s time to un-follow them.
The same concept goes for those models and so called “fitness people” that make you feel bad about yourself!
Let me give you a bit of insight. I have done a bit of fitness modeling, and I have a newsflash for you, sis. We don’t always look like that.
She said what?!
Yep, it’s true. When my alarm goes off at 4:00 some mornings because I have an early morning client, I guarantee you that I don’t look like my headshot that is used on Consumer Health Digest and other sites.
Bottom line? Remove the influences. If that includes limiting your time with certain people until you can get a grasp on your positive body image….
That is MORE than okay. Remember, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. You have to take care of yourself.
You only have one body, one mind, one life, live it to the fullest and not bowing to other people’s demands of what you “should” look like, when you were never meant to look like that in the first place.
Your picture of strong and healthy will look different than your girlfriend at work and same goes for her.
I mean, we can talk about being our own brand of beautiful and amazing all we want but taking the scary step forward can be so hard.
Listen to me right now: do not be afraid. There is no need to fear.
Face Everything And Rise. I don’t know who said it but I wish I did so I could give them proper credit and hug them.
Fear is a liar.
You are precious beyond words and it’s time to take your life back. Step out of the boat of comfort and start loving yourself and your body. Remember that while you’re on this journey, your fitness and your workouts are a celebration of what your body can do, it should never be a punishment.
Are you ready to take your first steps towards loving yourself 100%?
While you’re at it, take a selfie. Because you’re going to want to look back at yourself later and thank the girl in the picture for stepping out of the boat of comfort.
You’re beautiful. You’re intelligent. YOU ARE STRONG.
Love it. Own it. Flaunt it.
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