“Beauty is more than skin deep.”
You’ve heard it once…you’ve heard it a million times…
“The Ugly Duckling” story, Beauty and the Beast, Dove’s ‘Love Your Body’ campaigns.
…Along with the ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’, and, ‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts’…but, sometimes, quite frankly, it’s hard to believe.
Do any of these sound familiar?
“Ugh, I hate my _____” (butt, nose, stomach,—you fill in the blank).
“But I don’t want to gain weight.”
“If only I was… 5 pounds lighter…or 2-inches taller…or one pant-size smaller…or, as cute as her…etc.”
“I’m not pretty.”
“I wish I had…” (blonde hair, bigger boobs, a flatter stomach, thighs that didn’t touch, toned arms, etc.).
If so, you are NOT alone.
We want to believe that beauty is more than skin deep…that we are beautiful, both inside and out…that looks don’t matter…that the ‘skinny’ ideal is OUT…
But, at the end of the day, even with all the wonderful ‘body image empowerment’ campaigns, and ‘LOVE-YOUR-BODY-NOW’ awareness out there nowadays…sometimes it feels like a double-standard when we are told that we ‘shouldn’t care about what we look like’.
Is this what we should look like instead? It’s a confusing message…Is it ok to still want to ‘look good’?
We are all about girl power…buuuuut….when we look in the mirror, we still want to like what we see—and simply just ‘telling ourselves’ that we are beautiful, inside and out, seems half-hearted.
“I am beautiful inside and out…BUT really…”
Recently, I had this exact conversation with a woman who desires to have a healthier relationship with her body, food and fitness…but she is fearful of what the term ‘healthy’ actually means.
After all, if she’s not watching what she eats, restricting her food intake, exercising meticulously according to schedule, and not ‘caring’ about what she looks like…then she’s going to balloon up, gain weight and feel even worse about herself right?
“Letting go” of what we look like can feel more like “giving in”—and settling for less than the beauty she (and we) desire (and aspire) towards.
Man oh man…I could only relate. Having a ‘healthy’ outlook and relationship with yourself, your body, food and fitness is easier said than done—great in theory, but harder to truly believe at our core—especially if what we see in the mirror, and how we feel in our own skin is not to our liking.
So is it really a crime to want to feel good—on the inside and OUT?
That, my friends, is a question, that is rarely—if ever, addressed.
The short answer?: No.
It is not a ‘crime’ to want to feel your best about yourself and like what you see in the mirror…
From coloring and styling our hair…wearing clothes that flatter our body types…looking presentable with some makeup on…getting our nails done…exercising for tone or lean muscle…drinking plenty of water for clear skin…cleaning up the eyebrows to prevent the Frid Kahlo uni-brow…these are just some of the mediums we use in order to do so.
There IS a DISCLAIMER here though: When that want, however, turns into an unhealthy desire—constantly cutting yourself down, comparing yourself to others, dieting, striving (all in the name of beauty gosh darn it), that is when unease, dissatisfaction and even, self-destruction, begin to happen….and that is when wanting to feel your best about yourself on the outside can wreak havoc on your relationship, ultimately, with yourself.
The ‘secret’ to unlocking the dissatisfaction you seem to find (no matter what!) —in one way or another—with something about yourself (particularly your looks and body)?
THAT ‘secret’ to feeling your best—inside AND out—goes far beyond the exterior!
THAT ‘secret’ to truly believing “Beauty is more than skin deep,” is found, first and foremost, in your HEART, NOT so much your head.
As cheesy as that sounds, until your heart is ready to accept you—all of you—then you are going to continue to try to believe ‘beauty’ is conceived in your head, and going to continue to try to believe it.
Throughout the 14 years I battled that darned eating disorder, I used to think “being healthy” meant being… “Robust. Hearty. Pleasantly plump. Fat and happy.”
While I did not desire to be ‘sick’…the thought of being ‘healthy’ scared me. Others told me ‘healthy’ was beautiful…and to believe I was beautiful (inside and out)—no matter how I felt through the recovery process (i.e. gaining weight, changing clothing sizes, discomfort in my body)….and, try as I might to believe these things in my HEAD, I did not believe them in my HEART.
I did not believe them in my heart, that is, UNTIL I chose to ‘give in’ to the idea of doing things differently:
- Nourishing my body with a balance of real foods—even when I didn’t ‘feel hungry’ or I thought a food had ‘too much fat’ or was ‘too carb heavy’
- Break up with the Stair Master and body-building, figure-competitor routines…and find a NEW way of moving my body that built it up—didn’t ‘break it down’ (mentally and physically)
- Throw away my fitness magazines that I read like the Bible (religiously)
- Invest in clothes to fit my new healthy body—and to stay in those clothes, while ridding of my ‘sick’ clothes—unhealthy, unrealistic sizes
- Silencing my food and exercise rules—no matter how much I wanted to believe that eating or drinking anything first thing in the morning before doing 1,000 crunches was a “cardinal sin”…or that by eating a potato at lunch time, it would store on my body as fat…I had to ‘just say NO!’
- Connecting with me…all of me…who I am, what I liked to do, what I was working towards, what my passions were—life outside of myself (my eating disorder)—got me outside of my ‘head’, and more connected with my heart
- Serving and loving others through volunteering, and simply living with intention (smiling, being genuinely interested in others, building relationships with community) also got me out of my ‘head’ and more connected with my heart—fulfilled by recognizing I have two arms—not intended for ‘toning’, but ‘extending’ as an outreach to serve and love others well
With these steps…my heart GRADUALLY followed suit into a ‘new way’ of thinking and believing.
“Head to heart” change doesn’t happen overnight!
But by FIRST recognizing the lies, the rules, the ultimatums you have made for yourself…then replacing those lies, those rules, those ultimatums, with healthier habits, routines and, above all, grace for yourself…the easier that phrase: “Beauty is REALLY more than skin deep” is to, not only believe in your heart, but actually KNOW in your heart, (and your THOUGHTS will then align).
NOW, A QUESTION FOR YOU READER…
I’ve got this really cool technique where I teach and guide participants to transform their relationships with their bodies, food and fitness—walking them through this process of REALLY knowing they are worthy and actually feeling beautiful and confident in their own skin.
No matter if you have struggled with an eating disorder/disordered eating or NOT…this course will be for EVERY woman desiring to know the secret to genuinely feeling confident in their own skin, conquering food and exercise rules, and looking in the mirror—and liking what they see.
I just came up with a crazy fun idea to actually put a course together (both an IN-PERSON and E-COURSE) that teaches my secret method, and it would include a combination of:
- Mindset coaching;
- An individualized AND sustainable nutrition and fitness program design for your body, needs, goals and optimal health; as well as guidance in learning how to end the war with obsessing over food/fitness or being bound to rules around these things;
- And, work and guidance, around identifying your personal passions, dreams and connecting to your greater calling (i.e. what you were made to do on this earth)
In any case, BEFORE I CREATE THE COURSE, I want to MAKE SURE I really cover everything. So can YOU help me out and tell me what your #1 CHALLENGE is when you’re trying to “be healthier”, accept yourself (all of you), stop believing food rules or exercise rules, stop cutting yourself down?
You can leave comments BELOW or e-mail me at [email protected].