We live in a society that is constantly telling us that who we are as individuals is not good enough.
You may be thinking that this statement is not true. I challenge you to do this: look around you, right now and tell me what you see. Magazines with overly edited men and women, television shows with thin actors as the main characters while average people play side roles, athletic companies portraying slender individuals as the only type of athletic people, and the list goes on. Yet, in a world filled with this adjusted view of what is good and perfect, there are a few individuals and companies blazing a new trail towards what our society actually looks like.
You see, as someone who has been overweight her entire life, it has never been easy to see the media’s view of what is “good enough” because I could never live up to this expectation. For a long time I believed I did not have value because I do not look like people in Hollywood or magazines. I could portray a life of happiness to others, but on the inside, I was falling apart. Until one day, I realized I held the power within myself to make a change about my life and the way I looked and felt.
I started tackling an eating disordered I did not know I had, told myself various words of affirmation until I actually believed it, and found the help I needed to change my perspective on myself. It is still strange to say, but my Godsend came from one women on Instagram, who was brave enough to share her own journey with the world and help women who wanted to make a change. I am forever grateful for the wisdom and guidance she gave me and the ways it has influenced my life. Though the main goal was weight loss, she made it very clear that it was more important to change our thinking then our gravitational pull against the earth.
Through working with her, I found running, and from there it changed my life in one of the most amazing ways. Yes, running was a challenge and most of my time spent running was more walking in the beginning, but slowly it began to change me. Running has taught me what it means to be strong, to be brave, to believe in myself, and recently it has taught me to love my body just the way it is. My body has taken me many places, carried me through long distance races, and has changed as I have grown stronger.
It is through this newfound love for my body that I have found out what it means to have value and worth, regardless of the size of my body. You see, when I compare what the media tells me healthy looks like versus what those around me show me what healthy looks like, I see a huge divide. Those around me are of various shapes, sizes, and abilities. They are capable of doing these great, amazing things, regardless of looking like a model in an athletic advertisement. These real people encourage me to be the best that I can be, in the body I have, because it is the only one I will ever have.
More recently, I have seen individuals stand up against what society tells us is strong, beautiful, athletic, or valuable. These individuals are sharing their own message with the world that everyone is beautiful and strong just the way they are. I have had the honor of working with Oiselle, a women’s athletic company that is striving to show the world what runners of all shapes and sizes look like. These small steps are making a huge splash in a world that shares a different message. And their ripple effect is spreading through me.
Over the past few weeks I have taken the things I have learned about loving my body and I have shown it in an outward way. I’ve started working out in just a sports bra, sharing with the world one of my biggest insecurities. Though this is something that sends fear through my mind, it is something that I realize only really affects me. We all are our own worst critics when it comes to ourselves. We tell ourselves things we would never verbally say to anyone and we care excessively about what others my think of us. By running in a sports bra, I have found freedom from what the world tells me I should do. Through this freedom, I have begun to realize that I have value, worth, and strength beyond anything I could have dreamed. What is something that you fear doing? How do you think facing it head on would change your perspective on yourself? You are capable of doing so much more then you realize if you are willing to let go of what you fear.
Until next time
-Be Fearless, Go Boldly