In June, my husband and I completed this silly race called Storm the Beach – totally out of my norm, it was only 5 miles 🙂 and included things like climbing, crawling, wading through the ocean, balancing, rope swinging, and running through soft sand. It was nuts, but so fun, and I'd definitely do it again! After the fact, one of my girlfriends sent me this photo:
The warm feelings of joy, silliness, and fun rushed in as I took a few minutes re-live this hour and 10 minutes I shared with my favorite race buddy. And then, the photo self-critique stepped in. My thoughts – “Check out my shoulders! That’s impressive!” And yes, those, strong, toddler carrying, weight lifting, swimming shoulders ARE impressive. This thought took me by surprise. Years ago, I might have been sad, angry, or disappointed that such a photo was posted online. I would’ve cruelly picked apart my body, disappointed that my less than tiny belly and thighs were on public display. Today, I see
- Joy - reflected in our faces and smiles.
- Love – beside me, my cherished partner in crime, favorite running buddy, and my main man.
- Strength & Beauty – a beautiful, strong body. A body that carried two babies, endured 2 C-sections, and nursed two little boys. A body that has supported me through countless miles running and cycling across America. A body that is strong enough to pick up pretty much anything I need to and allows me to work and play as I’d like. This body is a gift, a vessel housing my spirit, to honor, serve, and love humankind. It’s all I need, and it is beautiful.
It’s amazing what a few more years, hours on my bike, running on the trails, and in the gym, lots of yoga, a conscious practice of gratitude and ahimsa, and faith will do for you!
The thing is, we’ve all been there – self-conscious in our own body.
I see these moments in my office with personal training clients, in the classes I teach, in the gym, at the pool, on the beach, and in the dressing room. Know that #1 - you are not alone and #2 YOU have the power to change your thoughts, and if not for you, how about for your children?
I’m in that comical stage of life with my boys where they’re actively soaking in my words and repeating them. You know the time, when you say something and then it comes up awkwardly later at that in-opportune moment. J We call it “tape recorder.” Research shows, just like we believe what we tell ourselves, so do our kids of any age. If your kids hear you talk negatively about yourself, how do you think they are thinking about themselves? How would you feel if you heard your son or daughter say the things you say about yourself about their own body? Want to do something about it? Here are 25 affirming phrases to say OUT LOUD where YOU and YOUR CHILDREN CAN HEAR YOU. Let’s get started right now!
How are you reshaping your children’s body image? How are you reshaping your own body image?
Read more on positive self talk: Letting Go and Finding Everything: Practicing Ahimsa
This made me tear up!!! I've felt the same way you did in the past. Maybe it's age maybe it's a sign of the times and posts like yours, but I don't feel that way anymore. I'm much nicer to my self now! I've carried three babies, each bigger than the last, been able to have vaginal deliveries, something I know is a blessing as you mommies who had to have c-sections are my heroes. How you handle a new baby and healing I have no idea!! I also have two very important reasons to stop hating on myself, my little girls. I never want them to feel anything less than amazed at the skin their in, they are perfect!! They too soak up everything I say. I no longer critique myself and especially not other woman. It's hard enough being a woman and especially a girl (hormones and such) we need to be stop self hate!!! I'm with ya sister!!! #realsquadgoals
Oh, Ashley! Thank you for your sharing your story! You DO have beautiful girls and they will be strong and brave just like their momma!
Great blog, Amanda!
Thanks, Amanda. So many of us need this reminder. Such an inspiration. Storm the Beach is a great event for families too. Really, fun without too much pressure. Just enjoy!