At what point in your life did you go from a small infant with your big belly hanging out to an insecure adult woman concerned about her appearance? One day we are care free kids and the next, adults with body image issues. Somewhere along the line something changed. Can you think of that single moment or factors that played a role to get you to where you are today, for better or worse?
So many things can influence how we feel about ourselves: family, friends, career, social media. Some of these things directly affect us and others are unintentional or subconscious. Sometimes the things people say or do can be intended to be positive but leave us with the opposite sorts of feelings about ourselves.
I am extremely lucky that growing up I have had a supportive family about everything! Whether it was my appearance, my intelligence, my ability to perform a skill set, I continuously felt the support. I realize not all of you can say the same thing. For that, I am thankful. However, family is only one small piece to the puzzle of body image and although I have one down, it doesn’t mean the other factors won’t affect me.
A huge thing for me currently regarding body image is my career and social media. Because fitness and social media are so closely linked, I find that scrolling through social media checking out what other people in the industry are doing can leave me questioning my own self. In the fitness world, like it or not you are always being judged for the way you look. Apparently things are based on looks rather than how you feel to best assume optimal health and strength (WRONG!). Aesthetics are a completely acceptable goal but we cannot forget to prioritize the inside work too. Although societal views can never change completely, part of my mission is to remind everyone that looks are only part of it, and that those feelings can only come and be sustained over a long period of time if you start working on and loving from the inside out. No one has control over your body, you do. Your body. Your business.
I am thrilled to be running, Love YoSelf, a workshop on body positivity and body image on Wednesday! My hope is to help those of you in attendance figure out where that turning point was for your body image journey and see how we can combat it to become a more positive experience for you. If you are unable to attend, see if you can take a moment out of your week to reflect on your feelings towards yourself. Positive or negative it is good to identify where these thoughts stem from so we can ensure you have more positive experiences in the future. Once you identify where they are coming from, take action and control your reaction to those factors. Maybe it is eliminating friendships, scrolling less on social media, or confronting how a family member’s comments make you feel.
Remember, although you don’t have control over outside factors or people, you do have control over how they make you feel. You have control over your reactions to make it positively impact your future thoughts of yourself.
Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.
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