I cringe every time I hear someone say, “Swimsuit season is coming up!” Or, “It’s shorts season.”
I LOVE warm weather, mind you.
But I hate this mentality that now, that spring and summer is fast approaching, our body image must go hand-in-hand with this.
I coach a few fitness classes at a local gym here in Austin, and genuinely love working with people from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of motivations reasons for working out, and a variety of goals, but I refuse to be ‘that trainer’ who encourages my class to:
“Burn more calories.”
“Tighten and tone those butts.”
So cliché. So Suzanne Summers or Jane Fonda.
That being said, how often do we actually hear the affirmation:
“I LOVE my body.”
“Honor your body.” (outside yoga of course).
And, unfortunately, the more we hate on our bodies, or critique ourselves in the mirror, or say, “When I weigh XYZ”, or “When I fit into XYZ”, or “When my arms look like XYZ,”…The more we only perpetuate the war with ourselves…The more we condition ourselves to actually believe it.
Here’s a little challenge for you today…make a list—on a scratch piece of paper, a journal or your computer—of the things you love about your body.
Genuinely. Things you can appreciate.
Need some inspiration? Here goes nothing…
I love my body.
(Disclaimer, I don’t idolize my body.)
But I love my body…because it is my body…and it does amazing things.
This is the one body I get in this lifetime.
I have legs that can walk and run.
Hands that can type and write.
Arms that can reach to the sky, do cartwheels and hold myself in a handstand (getting there at least).
Teeth that can flash a smile (I love smiling. “Smiling is my favorite.”—Elf movie quote anyone?).
A strong core that can hold a plank for 6+ minutes.
A left foot that is half-a-size bigger than my right (makes for interesting shoe shopping).
My dad’s nose.
My mom’s almond-shaped eyes, and an eye-color that changes from blue to green depending on what I am wearing.
God broke the mold when He made me.
And He did the same for you—there is no one like you.
I am tired of my former way of life: beating up my body for what it doesn’t look like, or what is ugly about it, and, instead, I have learned embrace more and more myself (body and all) for me.
The old has gone, and the new has come.
God says I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139).
And YOU are too.
I believe that more and more everyday.
From my workouts, now focused more on my strength—both inward and outward—and no longer based on what I look like in the mirror…
To my positive self-talk when putting on my yoga pants or jeans in the morning…
To straightening my hair (or not straightening my hair) in the mornings—and being ok with that either way…
To how I spend my time—no longer reading and studying fitness, diet, and body-focused websites, magazines, and books for hours on end.
To not comparing myself to the other girls and women I come across daily.
And on, and on.
Who’s in with me?
What do you love about your unique beautiful self?