Do you ever have those moments when you get all up in your head?
According to statistics, 9 in 10 women (91%) report being unhappy with their bodies to some degree—be it their weight, bumpy nose, body fat, bloated waist, touching thighs, or “flabby” arms.
In turn, many of these same women resort to focusing “harder” on fixing their “flaws”—
“Being stricter with their diet,”
Dragging their butt out of bed to hit the Stairmaster,
Working out harder,
Double-dosing on probiotics to banish the bloat,
Posting prettier pics up on social media,
Stepping 20,000-plus steps every day,
Scheduling a plastic surgery consult,
Investing hundreds of dollars in a cute wardrobe,
Or pep-talking themselves: “tomorrow I’ll make a change.”
The result? Chasing dangling carrots.
The harder we focus on fixing our flaws or attaining that “one thing” (those last 5 to 10 pounds, that flat stomach, that perky butt), the MORE the universe seems to resist us.
Like a horse being led astray, the carrot continues to dangle—in front of our nose:
“No matter what I do, I can’t shed this weight!”
“Why am I still bloated?! I’m doing everything right.”
“I am following all the advice (on Sir Google)—why isn’t it working?”
Stop trying so hard.
YOU ARE A LION(ESS)
“Lauryn, be like a lion,” Tim said.
“Huh?” I said.
“Simple: Be a lion. Lions just are—they listen—to their body. They listen to nature—their natural instincts. They don’t force things. They just are. They eat when they are hungry. They sleep when they are pooped. They work hard. They play. They don’t over think things. And they prowl around with an all-knowing confidence—especially “how” to listen to their body…You have a lion inside,” Tim said.
Tim is my weightlifting coach who has linked arms with me in my fitness and health journey to “get stronger”—a never-ending goal of mine. On this particular day, we were talking about my frustrations with my seemingly #NeverEndingGoal to “put on a little more weight” and hoist over 100 pounds over my head.
In my personal journey over the past six years of strength training and freedom from my eating disorder, “getting stronger” has been an uphill battle: I’ve hated on my body. Compared my body to other stronger, more robust, “filled out girls.” I’ve wanted to be “bigger”—no longer little Lauryn. I’ve eaten past my level of fullness—in the name of adding more size. Drank protein shakes after workouts. Served a double portion of sweet potatoes and ghee on my plate. Told myself, “I’ll be so much happier if I just gain 5 to 10 more pounds.”
After spending 15+ years in a state of malnutrition, muscle mass loss, organ damage, osteoporosis, and simply put: on death’s doorstep, since then, my body has equally fought to recover the years the “locusts destroyed” during that long 15 years.
While much of my health and strength HAS recovered—I’ve healed from osteoporosis, restored my heart function, reversed my kidney damage, continued to heal my gut, and above all mentally been set free (never battling those “demons” or “that voice” that dictated my life for 15 years). To say the least, I am never going to snatch 300 pounds over my head or have a kim Kardashian booty in my naturally thinner frame (Siggggggggh).
Although my story may seem far-fetched from yours—It’s not.
We ALL have our own dangling carrots—those “grass is greener on the other side” goals or objects of our affection. Whether you want to lose weight and body fat, gain weight, get your period back, boost metabolism, heal your gut.
And we tell ourselves, “Life will be sooooooo much better, if I ____________”—psyching ourselves up daily to “push past our comfort zone” or force our body to do things it is not always hardwired to do (like run on treadmills).
However, what if “everything we ever wanted” was actually not in any of the plans, protocols or rules (we make for ourselves or buy into) at all?
What if it, instead, “everything we ever wanted” (to feel good in our own skin) was already inside of us?
“Be a lion, Lauryn,” Tim said.
Come to think of it…I don’t think he could be any more right.
Trust that your body KNOWS what it’s doing and WANTS to work for you (and me)—not against us.
Water and care for it like a plant that needs water, sunshine and rich soil—balanced food, quality rest, work, play, connection and walking around with a quiet confidence that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).
And…You are a lion(ess).
However, I CAN improve (for myself) and a be a better version of myself than I once was.