I was reminded yesterday what it is like to be 13 years old again. To have so much pressure, of what a teenager “should” look like and act like. What being a teenager in this day in age is truly dealing with, when I sat down to chat with my daughter.
I have never once called myself fat, shamed my body in any way that she would think that is how one would talk to herself. I wear clothes that make me feel amazing and eat food that either comforts me or make me feel like I can take on the world.Yet, she is struggling.
Over a year ago I saw this same shame that surrounded the young people of our community when I spoke at a local middle school about body image. I witnessed first hand those teens sitting in the bleachers who raised their hands when I asked if they skip meals to lose weight or starve themselves to fit into the mould that society is bombarding them with on the daily. How many felt they couldn’t buy “skinny” jeans because that word did not ever describe who they were.
I often ask God why has me here in this profession, what is it he wants me to do. I am a good coach, motivator and fitness professional but I feel a tug that there is more and today I draw the line in the sand. I am here to help you and our youth be more than your bodies.
If you are struggling right now repeat after me “ The way I look is the least interesting thing about me”.
Do you hear me? You body, is the least interesting thing about you, period.
A few months back the coaches and I did a team building exercise where we had sheets of a flip chart taped to our backs. We had to take turns and write down all of the things we loved about each other. Not once did someone write anything about the way we looked. It simply does not matter, yet we are so hung up on what we feel we “should” look like.
At your core, you are not your body. Your body is the vessel that carries you through your earthly life. And the truth is, that could change in an instant. The way it looks, the way it moves and feels, it could and will all change over time.
YOU, are the constant. YOU take you with you where you go. It’s time to stop trying to fulfill the world's version of you and finally breathe into the divine light that God gave you. You are here for a purpose. You are here to bring light to the world you live in. That might be being a great momma, or teacher, maybe you're here to deliver mail like no one else. My point is, it doesn't have to be on the grandest stage to be life changing. We can all affect those around us.
No more changing yourself to meet anyone else's expectations. It’s time to come back to the essence of who you are and all the blessings of you.
When my daughter and I talked about her self image and how she feels about herself she asked how do I change it so I can be grateful for the body I was given.
I told her and I tell you, everything about you is on purpose. It’s all a part of a larger plan. For her especially, she was a child that should have died at a young age due to her medical condition but she was saved. She and you have great reason to be alive right now. Right now, you are here to be the light for someone. When you are feeling low, helping others is the best thing you can do to see why you are still breathing. And I guarantee, you won’t think one second about how you look physically when you do.
Be the light my friends,