My thighs touch.
And guess what?
I love it.
Touching thighs mean strength, health, and liveliness—things I used to never have.
Touching thighs also mean hard work and perseverance.
After 15 years of fighting my body to NOT have touching thighs, I found freedom. I found recovery. And part of finding recovery meant working hard, persevering, never giving up hope, and embracing my body in its natural state—wherever it wanted to go (touching thighs and all).
Touching thighs represent the 15 years I spent in and out of treatment, struggling to find freedom—in my mind and life.
Touching thighs represent the countless days I woke up, wishing my life could be different—but having no idea how to get there.
Touching thighs are strength—strength from my ability to now squat almost 200 pounds on a barbell, deadlift twice my bodyweight and walk on my favorite Townlake trail with a friend.
Touching thighs are TRUTH! Women’s thighs touch. It’s only natural. Back in the Marilyn Monroe days, touching thighs were hot! Fast forward to Twiggy—and things completely changed. Today, we idolize thigh gaps based A LOT on media perception of what our body ideal should be.
I DIDN’T ALWAYS LOVE MY THIGHS
I didn’t always feel this way about my thighs though.
For most of my adolescent, teen and young adult life, I loathed touching thighs.
As far back as 8-years-old, all I ever wanted was a thigh gap.
I’ll never forget sitting in my mother’s bathroom, watching her put her makeup on at her vanity stand, and her telling me she thought her thighs were big. From that day forward, I thought my thighs were big too. And I made it my goal to do anything within my power to get a thigh gap:
- 6-8 hour exercise binges
- Squats in the shower
- Running bleachers and stairs
- Working my inner and outer thighs at the gym in the ab/adductor leg machine—every time
- Counting calories
- Cutting carbs
- Drinking Diet Cokes
- Eating chicken and broccoli, or turkey patties and steamed veggies with every meal.
- Watching my weight.
- Fearing fat
- Skipping meals
- Leg lifting
- Buying skinny jeans to fit into
Anything. Whatever it took.
YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR BODY EITHER
What body part to you loathe? Or what body part do you covet?—that part that you tell yourself: If I just had X, then I would be happy.
Listen up: WHEN you get it…you still won’t be 100% satisfied.
Because, guaranteed, you will see something else you don’t like.
Or you will feel like you have to keep a tight rein on your diet in order to maintain it.
Or, you will constantly feel like you’re not good enough UNLESS you have it.
Or someone else out there will have more of a thigh gap, flatter stomach or cuter booty than you—and you will feel like you don’t measure up.
Thigh gaps, six pack abs and butt-lifted booties are dangling carrots—dangling in front of your nose, but never FULLY attained if that’s the primary “happiness” factor you’re striving towards.
HOW TO EMBRACE YOUR BODY
What matters more instead when it comes to a “hot body” (and hot body image) you feel 100% confident in?
Choosing, instead, to focus your energy and attention on this one question:
Who is thriving, healthy, happy, vibrant, confident me?
The girl I WANT to be?
What does she think like?
How does she treat herself?
What does she worry about?
What does she NOT spend her time (or energy) worrying about?
What are her goals?
Where is her focus?
If you can see “that girl” in your mind—the thriving, soul-on-fire, confident, alive you—she is TOTALLY possible (and chances are she is not WASTING her brain power on trying to be someone else other than her, counting calories obsessively or living her life enslaved to her cardio routine).
Shoulders back. Head up. Heart full.
Pretend you are her today. Pretend you are the girl you want to be—inside and out. And so as we THINK, therefore we BECOME.
This exercise has helped me embrace my body and NOT wince when I see myself in the mirror (even on those bad hair or bad skin days).
“That girl” is deep within you and she is within me.
Today, my thighs touch and I love it!
Now it’s your turn.
What body part do you love and why? How and what shaped this newfound belief?
In order to transform you life (and your body-image), you must first transform your mind.
BONUS BODY LOVING TIP
If you’re still struggling to embrace your body as it is today, instead of focusing on the body parts you hate or the food or fitness rules you need to keep, instead focus on answering this question:
How am I nourishing myself? (inside and out).
When we are nourished, we are whole.
- Nourished with food—eating real foods and foods we enjoy to satisfaction and balance.
- Nourished with movement—moving and exercising in ways that lift us up and energize us (not a chore, or routines that make us a hamster on a wheel)
- Nourished with self-compassion—acceptance of who we are 100% in our raw, real flesh (and getting to know ourselves at that)
- Nourished with passion and energy—doing the things we love and loving the things we do.
- Nourished with community and connection—surrounding ourselves with people who bring us up, instead of weighing us down, and connected to something more than just ourselves for answers and truth.
- Nourished with purpose—knowing in our heart of hearts that we are living out our mission and God-given purpose.
Make peace—not war—with your body, and the RESULTS (inside and out) may very well surprise you.