We are inundated with messages about body image, and unfortunately most of them are not very positive. This time of year, magazine covers tell us to “get ready for bikini season” with images of bodies that have been airbrushed, cut, cropped, and distorted – images that are not real. And images that usually don’t make us feel very good about ourselves. These are intentionally focused on flaw-finding (hoping we’ll buy something to make us feel better) vs. truth-telling. TRUTH: the only way to feel happy is to practice inside-out.
So we were thrilled to hear that a survey, commissioned by The Dailey Method, revealed that 60 percent of women say improved mental well-being and stress reduction is a key fitness motivator compared to 20 percent who pursue a bikini-ready body. Additional key motivators for women include the need for increased energy (38 percent) and improved self-confidence (38 percent).
I could not be happier to hear that a large majority care more about how they feel on the inside than how they look on the outside… and I am grateful to have a community of women (and men) who are practicing together – developing and celebrating authentic understanding of what being healthy, happy and fit actually is. Notice I said “practicing” because developing healthy esteem and body image is not easy. It really all boils down to working on finding that inner happiness, no matter how you look in a bikini, or a speedo!
As a parent, it’s important for me to remember that my children are watching me and learning from me. They will notice what I eat and if I have a healthy enjoyment of food; they will notice how I talk about myself and my body; they will notice how I use practices like The Dailey Method to move, breathe and feel good; and they will learn from me that any activity can be a “moving meditation” – as long as you are focusing on what you are doing as you are doing it! They will notice how I take care of myself, my energy and how it feels to be around when I am calm, centered and content. This is what I want for my own kids, so I KNOW I have to practice it first.
My “call to action” for all of us this spring is this: may we use our fitness routine as a way to find self-love and radiance within! Choose thoughts that build you up. Look in the mirror every day and notice something beautiful. Feel gratitude for your body and the ways it supports you in this life. Feel grateful for each breath. Give yourself more grace – nobody is perfect and perfect is BORING. Expand your comfort zone. Embrace what makes you different because that is what makes you beautiful. Be you! And most of all – be happy :).
This month please post pictures of YOU feeling healthy, happy and fit! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #happyfit! Let’s put some positive messages out there and share the love.