“How to drop 10 pounds fast”, “Do these 3 exercises for two weeks and get a six pack”, “Lose body fat fast with this simple ingredient”, “Get summer ready in 4 weeks!”. Everywhere we look, society is telling women that we need to improve the way we look. Just existing in the world as we currently are is not enough. The work we put in to being out strongest self should be kicked up a notch to reach this societal ideal of what strong looks like.

The latest in conflicting messages is to embrace who you currently are but always continue to strive for your best self. How do I embrace who I am currently when the world around me is telling me I need to lose another 20 pounds to be deemed acceptable? Wither we realize it or not, we have let society tell women what they should look like in order to gain worth and love. When in reality, we get to decide this each and every day.

As we enter into summer, the messages our culture is throwing at us will get stronger. The magazines in the checkout line will scream at you with headlines on how to lose weight, look great in a bikini, burn fat, and more. If you don’t believe me, just take a look next time you are at the grocery store and happen to not be in the self-checkout line. But, when we look to people like Kelly Roberts, Mirna Valerio, and Candice Huffine (among countless others), we are seeing strong women who are embracing their bodies and encouraging women to do the same.

As we march into the summer, I am reminded that it doesn’t matter what society tells me I should look like. My worth is based on how I feel. My body is a machine that is doing amazing things. And when I run a race, in a sports bra, showing my rolls and stretch marks, I feel strong and worthy. My encouragement for you in these summer months are to embrace your body. Each day you get a run in, chase your kids around, eat a delicious meal, or show up for yourself, thank your body for getting you to this place. You are worthy of love. You are beautiful, regardless of your size. And you are strong, even if you feel weak.

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