Let’s normalize that when we sit up our stomach will fold over, and if we’re relaxed it will stick out…
Your body is allowed to not look posed or smooth or “flawless” at all times and it’s natural for it to bulge and bump and wrinkle.
Are you going to stop being my friend or value me less because my body moves and jiggles and looks different in some places when I move? I didn’t think so 😊
But we stop being friends with OURSELVES for this stuff. Over and over we judge and criticize, and it steals our ability to be present and happy in the moment, or wear a bathing suit in the summer and feel good.
I know maybe you found me or followed me first because you were like “I want her body!” But then you got to know me and realized that while you liked my body, you really liked the person I am, and what I’m about.
I bet this is true for a lot of the relationships you have. They’re not shallow or based only on appearances. That’s because being attractive isn’t really about your appearance as much as it is about who and how you are.
My body, like any woman’s, goes through seasons of change. Sometimes it’s easy to meet the goal of getting stronger or leaner and other times it’s harder, or NOT actually the goal. Other things can be the priority. Life isn’t about how you look in a bikini.
Not to mention, the way we’ve been taught to envision a “bikini body” is inherently flawed. Every body has natural sags and dips and curves and dimples and grows hair in places and is a dynamic, human body. We call the things that don’t match up to our old Barbie’s plastic bodies “flaws” but they’re really just the natural beauty that makes us all unique and human, and serves a biological purpose.
Don’t lose joy in the moment feeling you have to cover yourself up because parts of you don’t match the mainstream narrative. It’s often such a false narrative. Remember that YOU get to define what healthy looks like for you.
And yes of course it’s ok to care about your appearance; in my opinion that’s a self valuing action – just remember that it’s just one small part of you. How you look (and feel most importantly) is a byproduct of how you take care of yourself and so much of that is about living a balanced, healthy lifestyle of nourishment, movement and self-loving thinking and actions.
Your true, unique beauty shines through in everything you do and every part of who you are.
To be clear, this is NEVER a comparison of how your body looks different from mine, we are different women with different histories and I’m just sharing that while I can stand for a picture with my high waist pants smoothing my belly and legs, my stomach is going to roll and poke forward when I bend over, and my skin has sags and bumpy spots when I’m not wearing the workout pants.
I’m not posting any of this for tips to change my body, I love my body and am grateful for all it does for me. I’m just sharing my body at angles not normally photographed to remind all of us women that images like the ones on the right aren’t shown enough, and that they are normal, absolutely fine, and not something we need to feel we have to cover up or hide away.
It’s great to work on a fitness goal and great to have a goal of changing body composition, however we too often feel defeated and bad about ourselves during that process because our present appearance doesn’t match our expectation of the outcome fast enough.
Our bodies change throughout the day, around meals and hydration and for other factors as well such as inflammation, illness, from your monthly cycle and from the transitions we go through as women from puberty through pregnancy to menopause.
Expecting the body to “bounce back” after having a baby, after being injured or ill, or around any life transition is doing ourselves a great disservice.
Sometimes your fitness goals will be easily achievable with application of the 4 pillars of health, and other times it will feel like you simply aren’t seeing results despite your diligent application of them. During those times it’s important to acknowledge that some things are outside of our control, and check in with a health care professional to see if something is going on that’s impacting your ability to thrive.
It takes patience and consistency to shift body composition, to add muscle, to lose body fat – and I feel like we not only need to respect that process (and that it’s about more than working out) but we need to accept and love our bodies along the way. And respect that not everyone has the same goals we do, and that doesn’t make them any less worthy. If we don’t accept ourselves how can we accept other people?
These next shots were taken within a 5 minute time frame, I got all these shots from videoing myself in different light. I have cellulite on the back of my legs, and as you can see it is more or less visible depending on the lighting. It’s normal and natural to have it regardless of your size or level of fitness; it doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy or that you should cover up.
The female body is just amazing and spectacular. Capable of so much, and worth so much more than simply “how it looks.” Our perception of how it’s “ok” for us to look has been sold to us since we were small, packaged up in airbrushed images, carefully controlled lighting and more, designed to teach us what was desirable and undesirable in a woman’s appearance.
If that shot above doesn’t convince you of how lighting and how you stand play a role in how cellulite appears, here’s a picture of me from the back without the shorts and T shirt in direct sunlight in two different poses.
If anyone I was with ever judged me or gave me a hard time for some part of my female appearance they wouldn’t be around for long! People project their insecurities onto others. That’s about them, not you. Move on! Love yourself. Don’t be the person in your own life who’s bringing yourself down.
Our daily experience deserves to be filled with gratitude and self love and not be filled with negative thoughts toward ourselves and how far we have to go.
We’ve learned to call these things we see on our bodies flaws, so I use “flawsome” to help us lean into loving ourselves flaws and all. Of course we are “imperfect.” We are unique! We are perfectly imperfect. Remember that!
Love your flawsome wonderful self and wear the bikini, wear the short shorts, wear whatever the heck you want to wear and feel good in your amazing body.
We talk about these topics (and more) in Rock Your Life, my online home workout studio and women’s fitness community!
Come join us and let us support you on your journey of fitness and health – with home workout challenges, workout classes, healthy recipes, and our private support group!