"5 foods to eat to get that perfect body"
"3 ab workouts for a flat tummy"
"How to get your bikini body"
I'm sure you've seen at least one of these headlines online or in a magazine. Years ago, I would read everything 'perfect body' and 'flat tummy' related. What foods to eat, what exercises to do, should I do cardio before weight lifting or after? How many calories a day should I consume?
This exhausted me.
I worked with a personal trainer for 3 years, starting when I was 15 years old. In our first session I told him that I want to become really slim and have a really toned tummy and arms. (I was already small and toned, as I've been working out for 6 months - every day - myself.) Me and Mike trained twice a week, and I trained by myself 4 times a week. The gym was my life. I was unhappy and bored with school, nothing really excited me, so fitness was my obsessive passion.
I had long, hard sessions. I ate incredibly clean, and I was obsessed with the idea of looking like a Victoria's Secret model. I wanted to be 5'10, size 0, with barely any curves. In my eyes, this was the perfect body.
Which brings me to... perfection. Perfection is an idea that isn't real. No one thing is perfect, because perfection isn't based on the thing itself, but on our perspective of that thing. There's a quote that I heard a long time ago:
"You could be the prettiest rose in the garden, but someone will still prefer tulips."
Your idea of the perfect body is different from someone else's. I'm 5'8, I have curves and I'm nothing close to a size 0. (Size 6 to be exact.) For the longest time, I felt like I wasn't enough, I wasn't pretty, and I tried to do everything to get rid of my curves.
2 hours of working out every single day. Clean eating. Lots of running. I even used to wear a lot of loose clothing to try and hide my curves. My idea of a perfect body was so different from my ACTUAL body, I constantly felt like I wasn't beautiful. Like my body wasn't right.
Oh, my dear... how wrong I was. First of all: we are the ones who set these standards for ourselves. Yes, yes, in this day and time thin tall women are idolized and called 'perfect', and society does make us feel like we need to look like those VS angels, but at the end of the day... we decide how we feel about ourselves, and we decide what we see as perfect.
I have a booty, hips, curves. That's beautiful. That's okay. It's frigin' amazing, actually!
I am done setting these impossible standards for myself. I'm finally feeling okay about not having a six pack, not being a size 0, not having tiny hips.
Yes, sometimes I still catch myself looking in the mirror, thinking 'This isn't right... Why do I have hips, why do I have a butt... I wish I was tall and lean and not curvy.' However, instead of beating myself up, I now accept these thoughts as patters of old, non-serving beliefs, and I let them go.
Some days it's harder, some days it's easier.
I want you to let go of the idea of perfection. Stop comparing yourself to others, ESPECIALLY to someone who is so different from you. You're unique and beautiful in your own way. I don't think a tulip is prettier than a rose. They're both gorgeous, unique flowers, and I appreciate and adore them both equally. Start seeing others and their bodies as beautiful flowers.
Whether you're a tulip, a rose, an orchid or a carnation - you're beautiful just the way you are.
Appreciate your own uniqueness.