Anyone that knows the real, private me well, knows how very hard I am on myself. I pick myself apart like no body's business. It's not okay. It's bad. At times, I'm such a basket case over my body that I wonder if I need to switch to yoga or silent meditation with monks. I'm like Shallow Hal, only instead of seeing everyone as beautiful...I see MYSELF in reverse. I see beauty as ugliness and I see fit as fat. Not good! I SO need to chill...I know that..and see/treat myself the way I see and treat others.
A while back, I was really down on myself and a friend told me that I needed to adapt a new mantra that didn't start with "I suck" or "I'm fat"...and so I did. As narcissistic as I seem and can be at times...it really WAS hard for me to write the words...but I did...and for a while I read them to myself every morning when I was all alone...in my closet. I've kinda been slipping and stopped doing that for some time now. I have decided today that I need to get re focused and start seeing the good again. So I got out my old "mantra" and read it aloud. Here it is...
"I am beautiful. My a** looks hot in my tight jeans and spandex workout pants. When I wear a shirt with words and people stare at my chest...they are not always reading...and they are smiling. When I wear heels...my legs look long and sexy. When I walk by, people stop and stare...not because I look ugly...because I look good. I am beautiful.So, there you have it. I'm a little embarrassed to post this...but I promised to be honest with you...no matter what...even if people judge...and while I'll admit that it is a bit superficial...this is where I struggle. I know WHO I AM on the inside. It's the outside I have a hard time with, and so I'm gonna start reading this mantra again every day.
I am strong. When I compete in the gym, I do well...sometimes...I even "beat the boys". When I demonstrate movements in the gym, I can make them look easy...even when they are not. When I do a difficult movement or lift a heavy weight, others are impressed. I have a body that most women would want and I should be proud. I am strong."
You may wonder how on earth I can struggle this way while trying to inspire women to take care of their bodies and embrace strength rather than struggling to be skinny. I'll tell you how I can do it...I can do it, because I've lived it and still do in some form on some days. I've felt the pressure to be skinny...and lemme tell you...I'm NOT "naturally skinny". I struggle to buy jeans that fit both my small waist as well as the quads my back squats have built. I took diet pills and ate lettuce as a teenager. I've also been overweight and struggle with the fear of returning there. I've seen this from every direction and that is why I am so passionate about this. I want the women that wear my tanktops and shirts to believe the words written on the chest..."Strong is the new skinny". I want you to look in the mirror and see what I see...a beautiful strong woman that is making progress each day in the gym.
I have decided that EVERYONE should have a mantra...so if you don't...take a minute today and write one. It doesn't have to be the same as mine. It can be anything you want as long as it builds you up. You can share it with the rest of us like I did...or you can keep it private...but read it...outloud to yourself...and don't stop reading it until you believe it in the depths of your soul. Don't be Shallow Hal...see things...see yourself as you really are...beautiful and strong.