Dear Body Buds,
Many of you may know that I have a moderately severe case of scoliosis. Many do not know because I have trained myself to hold myself normally and still do everything I love to do–I find workarounds.
I have done my very best to love my body and accept this difficult obstacle in my life that keeps me from doing much more in the realms of fitness and dance, but I will admit there are times I struggle. There are times that I am a little bit bitter and resentful. I have to pay attention to my feelings, catch them, and filter them into being grateful for what I can do and the blessings I have been given.
We all have physical traits that we wish we could change.
Perhaps we can, perhaps others we can’t.
But how much of your time is spent wishing you could be different instead of ACCEPTING who you are and loving yourself for it?
I used to hate my dark hair, dark eyes, and high-bridged nose. I grew up in a community where the blonde-haired, blue-eyed girls were popular, and I felt like I was ugly . . . until the internet came out and I saw photos of beautiful, Greek women.
Hey! I look like them!
It was a real game-changer for me. I didn’t understand how my conditioning and perspective were limiting me on what I viewed as beautiful!
There seems to be every product possible on the market that will change our body to become something it is currently not. I drive down the freeway in the Salt Lake Valley and am disgusted by the billboards that feature everything a woman should be doing to change her body.
As if that will buy happiness?
And that is where I draw a careful line, and where I have had some deeper thoughts this weekend that I would like to share.
Between spiritual beliefs about the body and temporal beliefs about the body, I feel I have found an appropriate balance for where I find the greatest happiness. It’s tricky–I can’t deny that. An intense passion for the body and creating high-level aesthetics in body sculpting is an obsession I seek to manage and keep in perspective. I competed in Figure Competitions for over 3 years–11 total competitions and many trophies.
I have since taken all of those trophies to Deseret Industries (local donation center). The feeling I got when looking at them didn’t make me feel good–it led me to focus so much on the way I looked that it was distracting from my focus on my internal power and happiness!
With all of my experience in being a master aesthetics trainer, it’s unique for me to be one harping on the ACCEPT AND LOVE YOURSELF movement, right?
As you hear more of my WABI SABI story, you’ll get it. And for those of you who have heard me speak and tell many of my stories, you do get it. And I appreciate the fact that you trust me, and share your own unique experiences with me. I LOVE doing what I do and building people every day to be their best as well–inside and out.
This video is from my presentation at the “Total Transformation Seminar” in 2015 where I spoke about WABI SABI for the first time. It’s where you accept yourself as perfectly perfect.
WABI SABI is a sentiment from the Japanese culture where one’s view is on acceptance of transience and imperfection. These aesthetics are often referred to as “flawed” and “incomplete” which is what makes it beautiful, unique, and special.
Perhaps some of the boundaries and guidelines I have set for myself might help some of you in your quest to find happiness with yourself and your body image:
#1: There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve the body I have been given. I should ensure that I am only taking maintainable, sustainable steps through proper nutrition and healthy exercise to make these changes. While this may require me to step outside of my comfort zone and practice higher discipline than others see fit, I will seek to keep balance in my life by focusing as intensely in other categories of my life.
#2: I will never tell myself that I hate my body.
#3: I will monitor progress on a bi-weekly basis and applaud my victories. Where there is weakness, I will make a plan of attack and choose to focus on improving my behavior. I will always focus on better behavior, instead of letting results be my guide.
#4: I will not surround myself with photos of women with bodies that will make me feel inferior or resentful toward my own body. This includes who I follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the magazines I read.
#5; I will accept compliments when I receive them, even if I do not believe them. I will do my best to look at the compliment objectively and appreciate the reason for which it was given.
#6: I will seek to gain a better relationship with each part of my body through muscle isolation training, cardiovascular activity, and stretching. I will seek to be able to understand how my body responds to certain training styles.
#7: I will listen to my body. I will seek to fuel it according to how it wants to be fueled, and push it to be stronger and more adept in physical activity.
#8: I will cultivate my mind and spirituality just as I do my body. I realize that I am the combination of spirit and body — I am a soul. I will not neglect any part of my development in becoming a better and more refined individual.
Am I perfect? Heavens, no.
But I do put forth effort in seeking to filter my mind and stay focused on what is most important.
What can you learn from this? Is it time to set your own personal standards for the way you think about and treat your body?
Perhaps you would like to explore some coaching with me where we go into your nutrition, fitness, mindset, and spirituality and uncover the REAL you beneath your lack of motivation and self-judgment. I coach you from a place of strategy, love, and compassion–with just enough dose of tough love that we all need.
Love your bud,