Glamour magazine recently published an article entitled, “Shocking Body-Image News: 97% of Women Will Be Cruel to Their Bodies Today”. The article states that according to their survey on average 97% of women have 13 brutal thoughts about their bodies per day. Doing some quick math, if there are 155 million adult women in the United States alone, that’s over 2 billion thoughts running through the energy systems per day in America. That’s over 2 billion punches to women’s confidence and self-esteem. That’s over 2 billion steps backwards away from going after dreams, speaking up, and living their best life. That's billion, with a “B”.
Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, this is absolutely hands down, unacceptable. This is bullshit.
Confession: Every once in a while I myself get tired of the whole “Love Your Body” thing. Yep, even me. I know I’m not “allowed” to say that since it’s my job to be the “kick-ass lady” who encourages everyone to love themselves, but here's the reason: Loving ourselves and our bodies is the hardest work there is. I won’t lie. So why do I care so much? I could have easily picked a profession that was different, I could go back to dressing mannequins, or go back to corporate life and there have been a couple of days I've looked toward the sky and said, “Really, God? Could you have picked someone else for this job? Why’d ya have to choose me? I think I want to teach spin at 24 Hour Fitness instead*….” and she laughs and laughs.
But, I care so much because I believe with my whole heart that loving and accepting ourselves and our bodies is the foundation of living.
In my opinion, if you spend the majority of your life hating your body, living in self critisism, and being convinced you are less than fucking awesome, you are existing in a haze. A fog of just surviving. I know because I rode this roller coaster for years and years. I settled for this, thinking that this was as good as it was going to get. If someone asked me if Iiked or loved myself and my body, I would have said no, but made the excuse that saying otherwise was conceited and vain. That was just a bullshit excuse to avoid the topic altogether because it was just too painful to face. Too much work. Too vulnerable. And vulnerability was way too scary. I was a slave to my inner-critic and in her mind, being vulnerable was like death.
But now I know the truth. And that is that when a woman loves herself, when she accepts herself and her body the way it is, her whole life changes. Not just doors, but WORLDS open up.
This did not come easy. Being vulnerable is scary. And I want to add that even the most confident women have doubts sometimes. I myself have days where my gremlin attacks me, and I can’t tell you how many times I have brought this to my own coach. It is consistent work, but I swear, I promise, it is so worth it.
Imagine if that 97% were only 50%. Imagine the millions of women that would be changed. Now imagine the ripple effect. Imagine those women passing healthy attitudes about self love and body love onto their daughters, their sisters, their nieces, and on and on. This gives me a lump in my throat just imagining. Think of the changes that could be made. Imagine how many women would go after their dreams, speak up when they needed to, get out of toxic relationships and just live the life they were born to live.
No one will do it for you. No magic pill, no magic anything. It's about work, self growth and vulnerability. And if I had only one wish, it would be that those billions of thoughts went to hell. So that all of us, each and every single one of us could go about our lives living the way we deserve to.
This post is dedicated to my 17 month old daughter, Sydney. While I wrote this, she sat next to me and entertained herself in the mirror. Smiling, sticking out her tongue, kissing herself in the mirror. My wish for her is to hold onto this love and curiosity for herself.
*I’m not saying teaching spin is an easy job. I actually don’t think I have it in me!