As a body image coach, I wish I could tell you that 100% of the time, I feel absolutely amazing about my body.
But uhhh yeah. That’s not how it works.
As a leader in the body positivity movement, I know it’s expected of me to talk about how I used to struggle with loving & accepting myself (I did), but now I don’t! I think it’s supposed to be inspirational to stick to the story that now I’m 100% self-loving, 100% of the time.
But that would be ridiculous, and untrue.
I may be a body-positive crusader, but I am also a human being, and the practice of total self-love and self-acceptance is never done. Our ability to love and accept ourselves is ever-deepening and ever-expanding, and I am proud to say I’m still on that journey too.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve come a loooong way. I have a deep sense of my own inherent worth, and an understanding that it has nothing to do with what I look like.
I embrace my so-called “flaws” with enthusiasm and gratitude, because they have taught me way more about self-acceptance than my so-called “assets.”
But I still get triggered. (Sure, nowadays I see my triggers as glorious portals to growth, so I don’t stress about them. But still.)
Sometimes I find myself running into a limiting belief, insecurity, or a tender spot when it comes to my body.
The most recent one I discovered showed up when I looked in the mirror naked the other day and realized I don’t look as “fit” anymore. (By that, I just mean I don’t look as hard or muscularly defined.)
As I mentioned in last week’s email, I’ve given up lifting weights for a while. I’m purposefully pursuing gentle and joyful movement in the hopes of softening my body both physically and energetically.
So it kind of makes sense that my body is responding, right? I’m softer than I was 6 weeks ago, which is great!
Except that it totally freaked me out.
I suddenly felt panicky that I was making the wrong choice, and my mind start whirring with noise about how if I went back to the gym today, I could be back “in shape” in just a few weeks.
This anxious brain chatter was telling me that I need to look like a personal trainer– that I need to be hard and tight and toned and fit– in order to be respected and trusted.
I had stumbled upon a belief that without a “fitness model” body, I would lose credibility as a coach.
Mind you, I don’t intellectually give a shit what anyone thinks about my body.
My body is my business, and my business only, and I know that. But I still had this emotional tornado of stress and fear about what will happen as time goes on and I look less and less like a personal trainer, and more and more like… oh, I don’t know… me?
I calmed myself down by reminding myself that I’m choosing to soften my body to release the residual tension and holding that I carry, as well as to embrace my yin/feminine energy. This is a choice, and a success.
Plus, my coaching business isn’t built on muscles, it’s built on authenticity and integrity.
“Oh right,” I remembered. “I don’t have to worry alone, I can just tell people what’s going on in a #TransparentTuesday email and invite them to discuss it with me, and maybe it will actually help someone.”
Lolllll. So simple. Such a mindset shift. I instantly sat down to write, feeling proud of my softness, and filled with a sense of ease and purpose.
I’m sharing this all with you because it’s important to remember that there is no end to the journey, for anyone.
There is no “there, I fixed it!” when it comes to personal development or healing. It’s just an ever-evolving journey deeper.
Even those of us who have been practicing and developing (and teaching!) self-love for years run into sticky spots, and we have to sit down and work through them.
We live in a world that is constantly blasting you with messages about your worth and your role as a woman, and while you might totally reject those messages intellectually, often the programming is so deep that you still stumble upon them, lodged deep in your psyche.
It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, or that you’re not “body-positive” enough.
It just means you’re human, and you’re evolving. Take a deep breath, recognize that you’ve stumbled into a trigger, and examine it plainly and without judgment.
If you get in the habit of treating triggers this way, you will gently peel back layer after layer of the stuff that holds you back, moving ever deeper into a place of authentic confidence, compassion, acceptance, and love.
Wishing you all a most dazzling Tuesday, <3
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