I wanted to share something important with you all. You see, I’ve started practicing self-love. What that means is I am literally practicing loving myself, like actively practicing. I submitted the above photo with one of my blogs a couple weeks ago and before I clicked send I thought “my stomach is sticking out, people will think it should be flat.”

 

In quick succession I critiqued my arms, my forehead, and then right as I started to criticize my smile I remembered this moment. I was so uncomfortable getting pictures of myself so my husband started cheering me on and my son started clapping, that smile is genuine; that stomach carried that child. That forehead holds 31 years of knowledge, mistakes, worry and joy. Those arms are open to loving myself and open to helping you love yourself but in order to do that I believe I owe you an apology.

I wasn’t born with the desire to have a flat stomach. The idea of a perfect body is not an original one. People, places, and things taught them to me… and by taught I mean hammered them so down deep that they became parts of me. I worked really hard to have the ideal body.

I’ve always known there was a serious problem here so I rode the fence. I’ve never been in the business of selling a “bikini body”, I’ve never sold products, fad diets, or quick fixes so I had let myself off the hook. On this path of self-love and healing I’ve realized that I can’t let myself off the hook so I need to apologize to you: I am so sorry for anything I did to perpetuate this never-good-enough culture. Fitness is a billion dollar industry and an industry who’s ultimate goal is to profit off your failure. 

The other night someone sent me a meme that said Me: You’re only one workout away from a good mood. Let’s hit the gym! Inner Me: You know what else will put you in a good mood? A honeybun. And I responded by saying “The workout good mood has lasting positive affects though, the honey bun just has lasting affects.” I thought about it again before I went to sleep and then I couldn’t sleep. I sent her a text the next morning letting her know that I shouldn’t have said that, that she can workout AND have the honeybun if she wants it.

What I should have done is help her explore which one of those is the actual “inner me”. I should have asked her questions and worked through those feelings about both the workout and the honeybun. While my way has always been kind, I am so sorry that it’s hurt you. I’m sorry that I’ve rolled my eyes at your grocery carts. I’m sorry that I judged you for food choices.

I’m sorry that I told you scientifically why foods are good and bad. I’m sorry that I only taught you the physical benefits of exercise. I’m sorry I didn’t teach you that there is so much more to all of it. I’m sorry that I haven’t been helping you to love yourself. Some of this may not make sense to you yet. Or you may be sitting there thinking ‘is she quitting her job?!’ The answer is no.

I’m still a personal trainer right down to my core, but I’m putting the personal back into it. I’m an intuitive wellness coach and my goal is to end the constant conflict inside of us and empower others to live better, happier and healthier. But first I needed to apologize.

If you’re ready to start mending your relationship with your body and your food all you have to do is talk to yourself. When you’re craving something ask yourself two questions: what am I feeling? And what do I need? Challenge your beliefs of food (or yourself) being good or bad. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat whatever you want and then explore what you actually want.

Workout because it’s your primal instinct to move, because it feels good, never because you are punishing yourself. And most importantly start practicing self-love, and I mean actively practicing, because you, my friend, are enough just as you are. 

Sweat & Smiles,

Melissa

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