No really, WHY??
When asked the reason for wanting to lose weight, many women will respond with something along the lines of “I want to feel good about myself” or “I want to feel good in my own skin”. Great reasons. But why wait until you’ve lost weight to feel good about yourself?
If you had asked me 20 years ago when I had a fantastic metabolism, if I loved my body or felt good about myself (even though my body, from an aesthetic point of view, was in tip-top shape), I wouldn’t have even hesitated to say, “NOPE”. And then I could have…and probably would have…listed a thousand reasons I didn’t like or love my body.
For years I struggled with my body image, constantly wishing I looked like someone else…
- If only I had a flatter chest (????….yes, I wished for this SO much when I was a teenager and in my early 20s)
- If only I could have naturally curly hair
- I would love my body if I was 2 inches taller, I’m just too short
- My thighs jiggle when I walk, I would be so much happier if they didn’t move
- My kneecaps are too pronounced…KNEE CAPS YOU GUYS!!! This was a huge concern of mine!!
The inner dialogue was harsh to say the least, and unrelenting.
But now I look back at that young girl in the petite body and wish I could just shake her. Wish I could wake her up from the criticism and tell her to be bold and confident, that she looks fantastic and to hell with anyone who thinks otherwise. That in 10ish years she’ll discover what weight gain truly looks (and FEELS) like and that putting on a swimsuit will become almost painful if she doesn’t learn how to love her body now (kneecaps and all).
I can’t do that. I can’t go back and inspire confidence in my old self, but I can inspire it in my current self. The self that has stretch marks, and wrinkles, and (as my 5 year old so kindly pointed out to a group of friends today) gray hairs that are multiplying at an alarming rate. The self that has kids who are dying to swim with their mom and couldn’t care less what she looks like in a swimsuit.
“Swimsuit season” is nearly upon us, so what are you going to do? Are you going to let the inner critic keep you from putting on a swimsuit and having fun in the sun?
I want you to try something this summer. Actually, don’t wait for summer, start this today. When you look in the mirror, if there is a critic inside your head, pointing out the flaws she sees…SHUT HER UP. Tell her to bugger off, and replace her words with kind ones.
Tell her that no one cares what she looks like in a swimsuit, and in 20 years, she’s going to wish she had enjoyed this summer. That there’s a good chance that she’s going to look back at how much time was lost in critiquing every spot of cellulite and wish she had just found a way to enjoy this moment, this chapter in her life.
This is NOT to say that healthy eating and habits are not important. In fact, we very passionately believe that they are. But we also believe (again, very passionately) that until you find a way to love the woman you are right now, changes in your health and body will be much more difficult to sustain. If you can find a way to love yourself THROUGH the process of weight loss and healthy changes, those changes will stick, and you’ll be so much happier on the journey.
So, we want to encourage you…
To woman up, and put on the damn swimsuit. Find some love for the amazing woman you are right now, in this season of your life. If not now, WHEN??
xoxo – Annie