(Psssst! If you’re “late” to the challenge and just getting started, that’s OK too! Just go at your own pace! Start with this blog post and scroll to the bottom, and make sure you have what you need to complete the challenge and fill out the 10 questions you need to fill out before you get started. Then you can take it day by day at your own pace!)
Yesterday was Day 4 of the Love Your Body Challenge and it was beautiful. We discussed how every single one of us is a miracle. Our existence is not an accident, and we all have a purpose. Simply knowing that makes me feel an incredible sense of responsibility to leave this world better than I found it. And clearly you all feel the same. Here’s what a few of you had to say about your life’s purpose:
“My life has purpose and meaning and that purpose is to teach my daughter to love herself, know her worth, know she can do anything she puts her mind to.”
“My life has purpose and meaning, I exist to love God and to love others, and to offer support to students who learn differently or at a different pace than their peers.”
“My life’s purpose and meaning is to bring joy and optimism to the world.”
“My life has purpose and meaning, and that is to give glory to God.”
“My existence is a miracle. I am not here by accident. My life has purpose and meaning, and that purpose and meaning is to hold out my light and help others to find theirs. Especially those who have given up. I have grown through a neglectful and abusive shame-based childhood, through alcoholism and drug addiction, through blocking myself from joy and vulnerability to protect against further pain, of course using food to numb out. Now, I have been sober for 21 years, I am 50 years old and am learning to play for the first time in my life. I’m helping other people, just by being myself, to see that it is possible to grow through hard experiences, not just survive but actually grow and excel, and I am so glad I have the opportunity to keep living this amazing life. Every one of my difficult experiences in life was gift that I am now grateful for. I love when I have the chance to share that sentiment with others who are going through things too. The only thing that limits me is my own fear and I am learning slowly to loosen my grip on that and really live life fully.”
I swear every day of this challenge I think that your stories can’t get any more incredible, that I can’t possibly be brought to tears again… but every day I am. I am feeling your pain, your heartbreak, your devastation, your utter hopelessness… and as I continue reading I start to feel your strength, determination, resilience, and ultimately, your triumphs.
You are all bright lights shining in a sea of darkness. Even if you don’t feel like you are — even if your light is but a mere glimmer at this moment — your decision to make this commitment to yourself, to participate in something scary, and to allow yourself to be vulnerable… this shows that you’re different.
As you continue to learn and grow and evolve over the next 23 days, your light will only shine brighter. And as Marianne Williamson says,
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
Choosing to participate in this challenge doesn’t just change you. You will change the world around you because you will be different.
As I said yesterday (and will likely say every day of the challenge), PLEASE if you have someone you think that might benefit from this challenge, have them join. It’s never too late.
My mantra yesterday was:
“My existence is a miracle. I am not here by accident. My life has purpose and meaning, and that purpose and meaning is help women discover what their best body looks and feels like, and to help them have grace and compassion for themselves.”
My action step was:
Remembering how my journey began. I simply wanted to lose some weight and get in shape. I didn’t know what that meant, but it sounded good. Over the last 10 years I’ve fallen in love with everything nutrition and training related, but as I got deeper and deeper into the industry, and as my own body image issues and problems surfaced, (and as I got farther into my own therapy work) I felt an incredible responsibility to start helping women with theirs. I wanted them to know that they are not alone, and that they are beautiful and worthy.
This challenge was an idea I had almost a year ago, but with a lot on my plate, it took a while to bring it to fruition. Here it is. And I am so proud.
And now, Day 5.
Reason #5 To Love Your Body
5. Because it’s beautiful.
Yes, you. You are beautiful. Not 20 lbs from now. Or 2 clothing sizes from now. Or the perfect spouse/house/job/salary from now. Right now. You are beautiful.
So why is it so hard for us to believe this?
Because the societal definition of “beauty” is consistently changing.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
If you’re constantly trying to keep up with society’s definition of beauty, you will always fail.
But you know what kind of beauty never goes out of style?
There’s a reason that we are attracted to traits like clear skin, and a nice smile, and a symmetrical face. Those signify health to members of the opposite sex and increase the chance of having healthy offspring. There’s also a reason that it’s called a “healthy glow.” People who are healthy shine from the inside out. And that’s always beautiful.
How many times have you met a really conventionally attractive person (male or female), and the instant they open their mouth, their attractiveness goes out the window? Whether they are making fun of someone, spewing hatred, whatever… their physical attractiveness is almost impossible to see once you realize how nasty they are on the inside. On the flip side of the coin, how often have you met someone that might not have caught your eye at first, but once you hear how warm and kind they are, their attractiveness grows and grows?
Now I’d be lying if I said that physical appearance doesn’t matter. I like to feel attractive, and so does every other woman I know.
And you know what’s incredibly cool? We ALL hit the genetic lottery in something. Maybe you have thick, shiny hair, or straight, white teeth, or calves that kill in a pair of heels. Whatever it is, we have something about us that is genetically elite, and it can feel really good to highlight that part of your body, and feel awesome about it.
And the stuff you don’t like? Do what you can within reason if you’d like, otherwise, don’t sweat it. Personally, I highlight my hair and try to get a little sun on my fair skin, but I don’t worry about my freckles, or stretch marks, or extremely fine hair. I guess I could get lightening cream, and use lasers, and get hair extensions…but it’s not worth it to me, so I don’t mess with it.
Mantra: “I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I ________.”
(fill in the blank… am kind to a stranger, make love to my spouse, light up a room with my smile, etc.)
Repeat this (to yourself or out loud) 10 times right now, 10 times during your action step, and 10 times before bed.
Me? I feel most beautiful when my boyfriend can’t stop staring at me. Sometimes it’s when I’m dressed up. Sometimes it’s when I’m in workout clothes. Sometimes it’s first thing in the morning. He makes me feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt.
Action Step: Write down the two things that you find to be most beautiful about yourself, one external example, and one internal example, and when you’re writing them down, really take yourself to that place of feeling beautiful. Make sure you repeat your mantra during your action step.
Me? I get a lot of compliments on my eyes, so I would say that that’s my most beautiful external feature. But to be truthful I am still working on seeing their beauty when they’re not all “made up.” My most beautiful internal feature is my desire to help others lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
1. Make sure you’ve signed up for my newsletter so you can get links to the new challenge every morning!
2. Make sure you’ve filled out the 10 questions at the bottom of this page (DO THIS BEFORE DAY 1) so you have your “starting point.”
3. Say your mantra 10 times immediately, during your action step, and before bed.
4. Complete your action step.
5. Check in with your accountability partner if you have one.
6. Check back tomorrow for more.
OH! 3 more things —
1. PLEASE post about what you’re doing on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #LoveYourBodyChallenge or #LYBC. This will allow you to connect with others doing the challenge, offer support and encouragement, and get ideas for your mantras and action steps.
2. PLEASE comment below and let us know what your mantra and your action steps are each day. Again, this helps build support and community as well as offers ideas to those who might need them.
3. If you’re so inclined, feel free to send me pictures of your amazingly beautiful selves and I’ll post them in my Facebook album. It’s essentially an album of pictures similar to what my fitness professional friends and I did on Day 1. It’s a picture that you might normally not want to post, but you post it anyway along with a short blurb about your journey. You can see the album here, and you can send pictures and your blurb to: 28DayLoveYourBodyChallenge@gmail.com It’s such a supportive community of women (and men) over there. It’s awesome!
That’s all for now. See you tomorrow!
FIND DAY 6 HERE