Take a peek at Jacob and Lindsey Black’s open-concept kitchen. photos by Keith Borgmeyer When Jacob and Lindsey Black were in the process of...
I’m a pretty happy person, but even I have whispers in the corner of my psyche telling me, “You’d have a better love life if you just lost some weight.”
We all have our mean little lies our heads tell us.
For example, one of my favorite fictional characters is Eddie Monsoon, from the British sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous.” Eddie is funny to me because she vocally struggles with body image the same way I do in my thoughts. One of her better quotes is, “In this body, there is a thin person dying to get out!” I can relate to that.
But Eddie obsesses over it. Her whole life revolves around the fashion industry, and her weight complex drives her to the point of ruining her career. What Eddie fails to remember is that she’s a funny lady. She has qualities unrelated to physical appearance that make her a super fun person to be around.
The thing is, everyone’s best version of themselves should be a little different. Eddie (and many people who aren’t fictional) has tied up her self-worth in an unattainable body type that she sees in the fashion industry. But she has so much more to offer than that. We shouldn’t all conform to the same body type — we can’t! Plus, that would be so boring.
And why waste time in a foul mood because you don’t have the perfect thighs? Even if you attained some air-brushed perfection, you’re going to age. And besides, the norm is different everywhere. I’ve seen men in business suits rocking nose rings in Madrid. In Washington state, Patagonia is practically office-casual. In the 1920s, the ideal body was stick thin; now, a thick behind is the height of popular sexiness.
There is no need to conform to the nearest norm, or the face you see in the media. You can make up your own norm. A norm that fits you and your body type.
That said, it’s okay to want to change. Being healthy is a goal we should all strive for. But you can want to change and still see the beauty in exactly what you are today.
It helps to curate the people you listen to and take advice from. We live in an age of information, and we have so many experts at our disposal. We just need to listen to the right ones.
So where do you go for inspiration while working out all the ways you love your body?
Feeling Good on Social Media
Isabel Foxen Duke: @isabelfoxenduke Follow this awesome lady for good body vibes. She posts gems like: “You don’t have to be pretty like her. You can be pretty like you.”
Sam Johnson: @Samjohnsonwrites She survived an eating disorder and uses her Instagram to inspire people to redefine what “fit” is. Favorite one-liner? “The best thing I ever did myself was to stop living in fear, and start living with love.”
Help balance emotions and thoughts as they pertain to the food you eat. A wonderful tool for those of us who deal with eating disorders.
Record affirmations in your own voice for those moments when you aren’t feeling your most confident. It can be so empowering to hear yourself say, “I am blessed to be aging” or, “I love my body as it is today.”
Dance it out
Making self-care a part of your daily routine can help reframe the way you look at your body. Instead of listening to inner doubt, set yourself up for success by making a positive playlist to up your confidence before leaving the house. Some of my favorites include:
. . . or list it out
Pick out the prettiest notebook you can find – yes, you can buy the overpriced one for this – and write down one thing you love about yourself each day. What you love each day can be anything – maybe you love the gap between your front teeth or you love the way you put others at ease with humor. Maybe you’re just really a badass at applying mascara. Whatever it is that makes you awesome, revel in it.
And write it down for a rainy day. Someday soon, you’ll come home feeling low, feeling like you ate too many cookies or could have handled a situation at work differently. Pull out your beautiful notebook and read those items out loud to yourself while sipping on a glass of wine or some herbal tea. Give yourself a pat on the back — bad days will come and go, but those things you wrote down about yourself will get you through.
Women we love:
Amy Schumer, comedian
“I’m not going to apologize for who I am, and I’m going to actually love the skin that I’m in. And I’m not going to be striving for some other version of myself.”
Lizzie Velasquez, motivational speaker
(Do yourself a favor and go watch her Ted Talk)
“No matter where you’re at, no matter who you’re around, always stay true to who you are. Don’t ever change who you are to try to be popular or make friends. Stay true to who you are, be proud of who you are. Walk into a room and be confident and own your personality, your values, and everything about yourself. And everything will kind of just fall into place.”
Karen Byrd, owner of Natural Girls United
“There is a serious need for our young girls to be able to have dolls that look like them. It is something that affects their self-esteem and confidence and how they feel about themselves. But each day we learn that it is important to show them and teach them that their beauty is beautiful.”
To boost your mood, check out these links: