When we get ready for a workout we know the basic things that we should always have with us; proper shoes, comfortable clothing, a bottle of water, and if you’re like me, music is definitely a MUST HAVE. Sadly, the most important tool you can bring with you to aid in transforming your body is the one thing that most of us tend to forget.
The most crucial aspect of obtaining the body you’ve always wanted is loving the body you have right now.
What?!? I know. It’s crazy! But truly having your dream body starts with having a healthy, positive self image. It’s the way you choose to think about yourself, the abilities you posses and the perspective you hold on your own appearance. So, when you look at yourself in the mirror, what kind of things come to mind?
I know many women that are dedicated and determined to see a change in their physical body. I see them working hard and making progress, but when it comes time to stand in the mirror; the list begins. If only I was taller, shorter, thinner, thicker, prettier, better proportioned, more this and less that…. The list goes on and on.
Not all, but far too many women have a self image that is rooted in fear, doubt, judgment or comparison. I have a woman that comes and takes my barre class a few times a week that always stands in the back. It wasn’t until her normal spot was commandeered by a newbie that she found herself in the front of the room, face to face with what she feared the most; her own body standing in front of a mirror with a room full of women that looked nothing like her. During class, tears were falling from her eyes and afterwards she confided in me about why she never stood up front.
It was the mirrors. She never wanted to be so close to the mirror that she would have to look at herself for an hour and deal with all the things that came up.
I KNOW how hard it can be to look at yourself without judgment. For years I battled with accepting my lips, my skin color and my hair because they were all so different from the girls around me. And to top it off, I was severely overweight, very tomboyish and I felt like I never fit in.
Confidence. Grace. Joy. Strength. Radiance. A fierce, fearless woman who is fun, free and in her highest health with eyes full of nothing but love.
That’s what beauty looks like to me. That’s what I want to see when I look in a mirror.
I mean, sure, I’d like to have a flatter stomach, perfect legs and a flawless physique…who wouldn’t?! But in reality, the physical things become completely insignificant when you factor in the real elements that make a woman beautiful. Beauty shines from the inside out. It starts as a thought, image or idea from the deepest part of your soul and radiates to the surface. No matter how imperfect your body looks, if you don’t accept yourself as you are and love yourself for who you are, when you look in a mirror you’ll always find something you don’t like. Even when you do reach a place where your body is perfect on the outside, if the internal diolog is unhealthy, you’ll never be satisfied with yourself.
You are more than just a body. You are a unique and beautiful being that isn’t characterized by your outward appearance.
So when I’m heading to a workout, I remind myself of what I think beauty is. It fuels me to dig deeper than normal. To push past the limit. To reach a breakthrough and ultimately change my body from the inside out.
Simply changing your body wont change your mind about how you see yourself; but changing your mind will transform your body before your eyes.
Exercise of the Day : L.O.V.E.
1. Look at yourself in a mirror and release all judgement, fear, comparison and guilt.
2. Offer yourself words of affirmation to yourself.
” I am uniquely beautiful. I am confident and my body is filled with energy. I love, accept and appreciate myself just as I am.”
I say something along these lines, but your words can be whatever you choose to reign as truth over your life; wether you see it now or not, you’re speaking out of faith & out of the perspective of the woman you wish to be.
3. Validation comes from choosing characteristics that you like about yourself both physically and non-physically and saying them out loud. If you have a journal write them down.
4. Everyday, remind yourself whenever you see your reflection that you are beautiful just the way you are.
What are things you do/say to help with your self image?