Let me start by saying I compare myself to others just like you do. But it’s something I actually try not to do. And when I catch myself doing it, this is what I try to remind myself.
1. Nobody is perfect.
2. Photoshop is very real.
3. I’m my own worst critic.
Social media is great and I’m inspired every day by things I see people post online. But it can also do a lot of harm. Because more often than not people are only going to post the perfect picture, not the one that shows off their biggest physical insecurities.
For example this photo below! I couldn’t wait to post this one because I thought I looked fit, strong and happy! I want to inspire my followers to work hard to be fit and healthy, so why not show them all the perfect shots? Until recently, I never really thought too much about how only showing my favorite photos could actually cause a negative feeling instead of a postive one.
When you constantly see photos that feature only the best angles, perfect lighting and often times intense editing, especially in magazines, it’s easy to fall into that trap of beating yourself up and wishing you looked like someone else.
I can promise you and would be willing to bet anything, that any Victoria’s Secret Model, professional athlete or World Champion body builder has something that they are insecure about. There is no way that they are completely satisfied being exactly how they are.
And I’m not saying you should be completely satisfied. Working towards improving and making yourself better in all aspects of your life is a good thing. But beating yourself up for being exactly where you are right now is not.
I saw an article by Women’s Health today talking about a new trend on social media called “Body Honesty” and it inspired me to finally be brave and make this post like I have been wanting to. Basically it’s about people sharing more than just the perfect photos. If people share more of the real stuff and less of the fake stuff, I think it could really make a difference.
I don’t have 3% body fat. My thighs touch when I walk. I have rolls on my stomach and I have cellulite, just like 90% of other women. But you know what else I have? Confidence. And so can you.
The comparing stops TODAY. Who’s with me?
Before I get to my photos that I’ve been to embarrassed to share in the past, I first want to give a shout out to Aerie for starting the #AerieReal campaign and putting an end to retouching their photos. And to all of the women that have been brave enough to start something as powerful as #BodyHonesty and #BodyBeautiful, especially Shawn Johnson and Ashley Horner.
Ashley Horner is one of my biggest fitness inspirations and this is an example of a typical photo she posts on her Instagram:
But then one day she posted a photo sharing what her stomach looks like when it’s relaxed and when I saw this photo it gave me even more motivation to do this post!
I'm posting this because you guys ask me what happened to my stretch marks and loose skin from my now 3 beautiful boys (one standing behind me). Well surprise they are still there… You just don't ever see me sitting relaxed like this. Do I like it? Well no, but I don't allow it to be an excuse to let myself go or stop being healthy. Let go of your insecurities and #findbeautyinstrength I started out in the fitness industry so scared because I thought I had a flaw and I wouldn't be able to achieve my goals. Today I am confident enough to say I am one of the more successful fitness models, but I am nowhere near perfect. I am no different from you. And now that I have a voice in the industry I will tell you that it's okay; doesn't matter so get over it. I created these #becomingextraordinary trainers to take you down a different kind of journey; one that builds you up internally first where it matters most. www.ashleyhorner.co #ashleyhorner #ashletes #beautyinstrength #becomingviral #horner – Email my team at TEAM@ASHLEYHORNER.CO with your goals to get paired with the best trainer for you.
I’m not going to just talk the talk I’m going to walk it too. So here we go!
All of these photos were take on the same day.
Here is another one that I loved:
With this one I thought, “Yes! Love the angle, my stomach looks really flat!”
I was initially really excited when I saw most the photos from this day but then when I saw some of them I thought, “Geeze! I can’t post these my stomach looks bad!”
For example this one:
And when I saw this one my first thought was, “Wow that has to be one of my best crow poses ever! But OMG where did that cellulite on my arm come from?”
Enough with the negativity. Enough with comparing yourself to photo shopped magazine covers. Focus on making yourself better instead of trying to bring others down. I never claimed to be perfect. I don't want to be perfect either. I'm always blown away by how complete strangers feel the need to comment on other people's posts on social media making fun of them or accusing them of not being good enough. And I'm not just talking about my own experiences. I see it all over other pages as well. Pretty sure we all learned that if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all. I have flaws. So do you. And so does everybody else. Perfect is boring. Perfect has no room for growth. I'm not competing with anyone. I just want to be a better person and a stronger person every day. Everyone always seems to want what they don't have. Girls with straight hair want curly hair, girls with super long legs want to be shorter, the short girls want to be taller, skinny girls want to be curvy and the curvy girls want to be skinny. You are beautiful. Every part of you is beautiful. Every flaw. Don't let someone else's negative mind influence yours. Embrace what makes you different. If you are real it will show. Real is beautiful. Fake and mean, well that's just ugly. I just want to be real. ✌💖🙏
And here is another example of two photos taken on the same day. In one my leg looks very smooth but in the other you can see that there is cellulite. This is my number one insecurity but it does not define me. It’s something that I know a ton of females struggle with and that’s why I’m sharing this.
I know some people will look at these photos and think that they should never take fitness advice from me because I’m not “perfect.” I also know that these photos could and probably will make people mad, because to some people it wont even look like much.
But the point is, to me it is a big deal! These are my insecurities. I think of myself as someone that has always been an above average athlete and it’s hard for me to accept that I don’t have a 6 pack all year round and virtually no body fat like I used to.
Instead of being scared of what people think of me I’m going to just put my focus on being proud of how far I’ve come and using any negative thoughts as motivation. But I will not continue to compare myself to others. I am happy with just being me and working to be my best possible self. I have complete control over how I want to look and it’s in my hands and nobody elses.
In addition to comparing myself to others, I’ve also definitely struggled with comparing myself to my younger self! Most of my life I was always skinny, infact way too skinny! But I was young and an extremely active athlete with a great metabolism! Never in a million years did I think I would ever want to “tone up” or “be thinner.” In fact, I spent most of my high school years trying to gain weight!
And then Hypothyroidism set in when I was 19 and my body was never the same. Instead of not being able to gain weight my body did a complete switch on me and now because of an underactive thyroid, I am more prone to gaining weight!
But it really isn’t fair to compare my soon to be 26-year old self to my 17-year old self, hypothyroidism or not, it’s part of growing up and everyone goes through it.
So here’s to accepting my body and all that it’s been through! Every mark and every wrinkle or dimple just represents life and we all have different journeys and obstacles.
So next time you look at someone and judge them because of their appearance, remember that you don’t know their story and it’s not your decision to decide how they should look anyway. You don’t know why that person is so extremely skinny or maybe 40 pounds over weight or even 100 pounds over weight! And when you see the perfect models on magazine covers remember that it’s their best photo, with the best lighting and it’s airbrushed to look perfect.
Part of being healthy is being happy and if we can’t be accepting of ourselves or eachother than we can never be fully happy and free!
It’s your choice and your right to look and feel exactly how you want to. Never let society’s messed up standards make you feel like you aren’t good enough, because you are beautiful and you are perfectly you!
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” —Theodore Roosevelt
XOXO – Abbey
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