Body Image 101: Fake It Til You Love It
When I recently asked about what it is that you all want to know more about, I was shocked that "Body Image" showed up more than 100 times in my DMs. I shouldn't say shocked, but our fierce female tribe of Cardio Couture are a bunch of lean, mean, bad-ass women who workout like a machine! I thought, well surely these women who care about their nutrition and fitness, don't have self-image issues, . . .but looks can be deceiving! And this is where it all starts ladies (and a few gentleman that follow me), . . .what you see on social media is far from the truth.
Sure, you workout, you eat clean, I see your results, but in the back of your mind, you are your own worst enemy! Yes, YOU! I am talking to you. Go ahead, close this page out now if you can't and don't want the truth. You've known me for almost 10 months now and you know candy-coating isn't my specialty. Tough love sisters, but comparing yourself to me, to Autumn, to anyone on the 80 Day cast, your sister, your mother, . . .that is where you are going wrong. No model in a magazine, or reality star on tv is YOU! They aren't! And I know you are thinking, . . .well I am certainly not them! Good! That is a thing to celebrate. God (or whomever you believe in) made you UNIQUE. He handpicked your hair color, your eye color, down to the # of freckles on your cheeks or arms, he even picked out whether you have an innie or an outie belly button too. Unless you are an identical twin, there's NO ONE in the WORLD that looks like you! That is NOT a bad thing, this is call for a celebration!
Start celebrating YOU! In these blog posts, I will give you a small exercise, I'd absolutely love it, if you shared with me on social your thoughts and feelings after doing these exercises. No, don't worry these aren't Autumn's bonus rounds, . . .these are exercises for your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Let's start with Y-O-U. Ask yourself these questions, while standing in front of a mirror. Be honest with yourself, the only person you are hurting here is yourself. So if you say "Yes! I love everything about myself, I don't need to continue reading." You may be wrong and have missed the whole point of this activity. If you don't love something about yourself, it's time to face the reality of WHY! And by the way, this isn't a one and done, I am all better when it comes to my Body Image thing. This takes time.
Do I love my body?
If you answered YES, what is it that you LOVE? List 5 things.
If you answered NO, what is it that you don't LIKE? List 5 things.
Am I pretty?
If you answered YES, what is it that makes you pretty? List 3 things.
If you answered NO, what is it that you would change? List 3 things.
Great! We got the hardest questions out of the way. Did you know that 93% of women don't find themselves attractive? Let that sink in. That means your best friend, your sister, your mother, your aunt, your grandmother, your daughter, your niece, your female friend from church struggles the same way you do. And I know some of you all are thinking, but I think Sara is gorgeous. But Sara probably doesn't think she is.
Here's where it all starts, . . .when we are younger. If you weren't raised to be told how pretty you are, then shame on your Mama and Grandma for that matter, because all little girls AND little boys need to be reminded of this constantly. So let me be the one to tell you, "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Every wrinkle, fine line, skin roll, beauty mark, dimple, stretch mark, curve is absolutely GORGEOUS."
Your turn. Repeat this to yourself in front of a mirror 5 times. I want you to say it quietly if you need to, but out loud because your body listens to the way you talk about it. When you are calling yourself a "Fatty" your body hears you. And by a raise of hands, how many times has calling yourself names worked for your weightloss goals? (Jeopardy music plays) I'm waiting! "Alex, what it is NONE!"
The tough love part is: It hasn't worked. And when things don't work, you don't keep repeating them hoping that they will work. That's the definition of insanity. You don't try to put a square peg into a round hole, it just doesn't work! Instead find the round peg!
"I AM BEAUTIFUL, I love my __________ (and then list those things up there that you said you didn't like about yourself.) Yes, those things you said YOU DIDN'T LIKE.
You don't have to post this on social, but if this made you feel good or you notice a new pep in your step, send me a note or tag me in an IG Story letting me know you tried this exercise towards Self Love for a week and how it made you feel. It's ok if you cried, girl, sometimes I cry too. It's not easy when you've been lying to yourself for so long, but the truth my beautiful friend WILL SET YOU FREE!
The saying is "Fake It Til You Make It', this is the same concept, except we are resetting your thought process. You need to say the things you don't like, are the the things you like until you learn to LOVE every inch of yourself. And it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you, just a little fine tuning to get you back to being the best you, the most grateful you, the most bad-ass version of you that you can be!
And for the mothers that read my blog, . . .your sons and daughters need you to love yourself. You are the EXAMPLE. You already see them watching you and mimicking you when you workout---- don't think for a second they don't hear the way you talk about yourself. This isn't narcissism, this isn't being conceited, this is SELF-LOVE and there is nothing SELF-ISH, about loving yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup sisters, you need to be FULL, so FULL that the water continuously pours from your pitcher and overflows into your family's cups! Let that visual set in.
So here's to the beginning of many more blogs to come, I'll even have a playlist dedicated to helping you find the LOVE of yourself again. Play it whenever you are feeling low, need a pick me up, or want to dance around your house and celebrate YOU! (Coming soon!)