Social media. The one-stop-shop for comparison. All. Day. Long.
A few years ago, when I opened my Instagram, my eyes were immediately attracted to what I told myself were great #BodyGoals as I started to work out again. I convinced myself it was motivation. However, simultaneously my mind was telling myself everything that was wrong with me. As you scroll those #BodyGoals, some of them are bodybuilders and some are beach babes with barely any effort. If you find yourself getting discouraged as you rummage through the rest of your quarantine snacks and see the beautiful ladies’ well-lit pictures and their curves popping through, I want you to put your phone down (after you finish reading this, of course).
Let me explain something from a personal point of view: the biggest key to reaching your physical goals is loving yourself. That’s right. Your goals could be losing weight, toning your body, or whatever you desire physically. You will NOT reach it if you don’t love who you are in the process. Embrace your body. Embrace your body type. Love the way you were created. Appreciate the person looking back at you in the mirror. You can lose all the weight in the world, but if you don’t learn to love yourself right now, it will mean nothing. You will put weight back on faster than you lost it. Your body is not like anybody else’s. My 155 pounds doesn’t look like someone else’s 155. And that’s okay! I didn’t know that back then. In some ways, to be honest, I’m still working on it.
My weight would go up and down. No matter how good people told me I looked, I felt it wasn’t good enough because I didn’t have ab muscles peeking through or that little dent on the side showing my leg definition the way I wanted. And then my body would get bloated because that’s just what female hormones do, and in frustration, I stopped caring about my workouts and choosing the right food to eat. I was mad I didn’t look like the beautiful trainers, or the IG models I followed with their perfect poses.
Why do you work out? If your answer is to look a certain way, you need to do some inner reflection. You should be working out because you want to be healthy. Because you want to be the best version that you were created to be. Not for anyone else and definitely not for anyone’s attention. The aftermath of looking good in a bathing suit is just a plus.
The real reward is loving yourself enough to work out again when it hurts.
The real benefit is choosing to say “yes” to you when all you want is to say “no”.
The real triumph is when your story inspires someone else.
When I stopped worrying about what I looked like and told myself I was beautiful even when I didn’t feel like it, I started making physical progress. I started making better choices overall because I loved me better. It’s like when you really love someone, you subconsciously make choices to benefit them because of your motivation out of love. Now, I still have my days that I’m critiquing what I see, but when I catch myself I’m reminded to stop and appreciate what is there.
Love yourself right now.
Love yourself in the process.
Love yourself when it hurts.
Love yourself when you want to give up.
Love yourself when you make a mistake.
Love yourself when you have to get back up again.
Love yourself when the cellulite is still there.
Love yourself when your stomach pooches out over the top of your pants a bit.
Most importantly, love yourself just the same when you finally hit your goal.
Your physical health is important, but the way you think and speak about it affects it tremendously. So, stop the comparisons to what you see on social media and admire what is in the mirror right in front of you. From now on, I dare you to tell yourself you are just as and more beautiful every time you start scrolling You Are #BodyGoals. And don’t you dare stop telling yourself how beautiful you are until you believe it! There’s no one else out there like you.
Your body should at least be appreciated by the person wearing it every day.
Keep your crown up,