Raise your hand if you are DONE thinking about, managing or otherwise trying to control your body. Can we set aside the whole "body image" conversation yet? That's the goal, right? To live freely and at peace with our own (and everyone else's) bodies?
Clients ask me all the time if that's ACTUALLY possible—and if so, how??
A reader at Forbes gave me the opportunity this week to answer that question. It's not only possible. It's well within reach.
The photo on the left is me in college with a raging eating disorder. (I'm assuming "the pose" so many of us do to look as small as possible in photos... note the Pepto Bismol behind me.) The photo on the right is 20 years later and 20 pounds heavier. Which is more beautiful?
Step one in learning to love your body is deciding for yourself what beauty looks like. Set your own standards.
As long as we're playing by somebody else's rules about beauty and power, we will always fall short. Low self-esteem seeps into every aspect of life—luckily, so does confidence. As I wrote in the article, everything changes when "you’re no longer seeking someone else’s approval. You’re seeking your own."
I hope you'll send this column to someone you love. With everything happening in the world, there's just no time anymore to minimize ourselves based on outdated beauty norms that were never important (or even pretty) to begin with.
The truth is you have a beautiful body, and so does your best friend, and your best friend's daughter, and her teacher, and her teacher's mom. We need to tell each other about the beauty we see in each other, so we can stop buying into the absolute fiction that we are not beautiful, powerful, intelligent and worthy creatures, just as we are. Are we growing and changing? Always. Are we perfectly fine as we are? Also, yes.
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Below, you'll find two more articles in my Triathlete Magazine 5-part series about people paving the way for diversity, equity, and inclusion in endurance sports.
Enough already. Every Body gets to matter.
"Seeing yourself represented in a sport, a profession, or a major area of study is key to planting the seeds of opportunity and growth. I openly share how I never knew cycling was a professional sport growing up, which limited my world of opportunity. It goes back to equity. Everyone should have equal access to the sport." Read more...
London-based Toks Ahmed-Salawudeen and Michael Chapman grew up being told “Black people don’t swim.” They founded SOUL CAP to fill a gaping hole in the market for swimmers with afros, extensions and voluminous hair. You can find their story here.
SOUL CAP “hit the headlines this summer ahead of the Tokyo Olympics when FINA, the international federation for swimming, banned the use of their products at the games claiming they did not follow the natural form of the head.”
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