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Learning to Embrace

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I usually talk about a handful my favorite things on Fridays, but I wanted to spend today’s post just talking about one favorite thing.

Yesterday, I received an email from the Huffington Post, highlighting some of the stories of the day.  I was immediately drawn to this headline:

This Woman Wants To Change How All Of Us See Our Bodies

You may have seen this story circulating around social media, Tara Brumfitt is on a mission to change how women think and talk about their bodies. Tara “is on a mission to convince every woman to love her body as it is, to stop buying into corporate messages about beauty, and to change the vocabulary listed above for good. She plans to do so by creating a documentary called “EMBRACE,” that will explore why body loathing is so commonplace and what we can do to change that reality.”

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I highly recommend you listen to her story here:

Watching this video, tears welled up in my eyes, I got chills, my stomach sank…. I felt like she was inside my head. She talks about how her body image did not change even when she was at her fittest. She says that even when she was in amazing shape, the body bashing still continued in her mind.. .she was never good enough. As someone who has been critical of herself her entire life, I completely resonated with this video.

I can’t recall a day when I have been ‘at peace’ with my body. I have never EMBRACED my body for what it is, I have always just talked badly about it (mostly to myself, like Tara does in the mirror). Here I am training for an Ironman and I’m probably in the best shape of my life, yet I still find ways to criticize my body, daily. Disliking my body has just seemed ‘the norm’ all these years, and that’s why this video really made my heart sink. Sometimes I don’t even want to look in the mirror because I know I will be critical. I envy women who are CONFIDENT in their own skin (this has never been me). At thirty years old, I am getting to the point where I am fed up with these negative thoughts and I want to change how I view my body. It’s not an easy task, but I am sick and tired of feeling like this.

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As I watched the video, I could not believe how many of the women she interviewed said negative things about themselves.  It was then I realized, this is exactly how I am. It’s so sad. What’s the point? Instead of getting angry at myself for feeling like this, I am on a mission to change it.

In a HuffPost blog post, Brumfitt admitted that the journey from body hater to body lover was not easy. “It’s taken a lot of effort, time and energy but I can tell you there is nothing better than a.) loving your body wholeheartedly, lumps and bumps and all and b.) telling society where they can shove their ideals of beauty,” she wrote.

Here’s to feeling confident in your own skin. Here’s to embracing who you are. The way I see it, we are only given one life, one body, we should respect who we are (inside and out). All of it.

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How do you deal with negative thoughts about your body?  

What do you do that helps with body confidence?

 

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19 Comments

  • Reply Abby May 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Such a great post- thanks Kristin! I can’t wait to read the article.
    I get so angry when my friends/family/bloggers/women in general negative self talk. Yet, I look in the mirror and never like what I see. Great reminder.

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you Abby!!I also get angry when all I hear is negative self talk from others. Yes, I am guilty of it, but I think there is power in surrounding yourself with supportive women. It’s easy to get caught in a negative talk cycle!

  • Reply Hailey May 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Loved this post. When I’m feeling critical about myself, I try to think of the positive things about my body- how it carries me through tough workouts and races and I try to think of how that type of thinking is not going to help get me anywhere. It’s hard sometimes, but it usually gives me a better perspective of things.

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you so much. You bring up such a good point here, it’s so important to remind yourself how STRONG your body really is. Negative thinking won’t help anything and it’s important to remind ourselves of this! I need to think more like you do:)

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats May 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Great post! I know I don’t have the perfect body nor will I ever have the perfect body. But I definitely embrace how strong it is. I always try and have positive thoughts and a good mental outlook. I wouldn’t be training for Ironman #4 if I didn’t live inside this body! 🙂

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you Leslie! I am starting to embrace how strong my body is, and Ironman training is definitely helping me gain some confidence. Ironman #4, that’s amazing! I think I will be addicted after #1! 🙂

  • Reply Lara @ Uptite Mamas May 17, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Thank you so much for your candid post. As much as it’s hard to admit to yourself, you took the extra courage to tell us! I realize that I fall into this negative thinking all the time. Just the other day I said something along the lines of – I know I just dropped two pants sizes, but my muscles still aren’t toned enough. I clearly still have some work to do on my image of myself!

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      You’re welcome, you are so sweet. It took a lot for me to write the post, since I have always been afraid to talk about this stuff, but it helped to get it off my chest! It’s hard not to fall into negative thinking at times… I wish I could just flip a switch and the bad thoughts would go away. Good for you for dropping two pant sizes, you should be very proud! The muscle tone will come with time:)

  • Reply Megan @ Meg Go Run May 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Working out and eating well gives me body confidence. Sometimes that doesn’t work and I have a bad moment when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see. Then I try to put something on that flatters what I do like about myself!

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I agree with you there, working out and eating right can absolutely boost body confidence. I’m happy to hear this works for you:) I also find that having positive messages and quotes near my mirror helps me get rid of my negative thoughts!

  • Reply Kecia May 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Awesome post Kristin!! I work so hard to remind myself of the strengths that my imperfections provide me. I also work hard to help my girlfriends, sisters, students, colleagues , nieces, etc. find their strengths as well. It can be a challenge at times, but it is definitely worth overcoming!!

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you so much! It really is SO hard and takes work to gain self confidence. I’m glad you can relate to the post and I’m happy to hear you work with others to help them find their strengths.. the world needs more people like you:)

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust May 18, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Kristin, I relate to this post 100%. I have struggled with perfectionism and body image struggles my entire life. Heck, I even did my dissertation in graduate school on body image so that I could relate and learn more about my own issues (so selfish, but I think a lot of people study what they connect with). Honestly, these last months of triathlon training and seeing my body evolve into a strong machine has helped me overcome some of my insecurities. I don’t think I will ever be as confident with my body as I really, really want to be, which is sad, but I am trying to do things each day that change this mentality. Triathlon definitely contributes to my confidence. Also, as I grow older I realize more and more how much personality and character define appearance. Great post, Kristin.

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      I am so happy I posted about this because now I don’t feel alone. Honestly, it has been my ENTIRE life, feeling like this. I think it’s really neat that you did your dissertation on body image, I would have done the same(you absolutely study what you connect to, I don’t think you’re wrong at all here). Honestly,the only time I actually feel slightly confident is when I am training or racing, it’s my happy place. It is amazing what the human body can do. I also don’t think I’ll ever be as confident about my body as I want to be. As much as my husband tells me to be confident and that I have no reason not to be, this has to come from WITHIN. It’s SO hard! Thank you for being honest, it is so sad, but I’m glad we can relate to each other.

  • Reply Louise@FitRadiance May 19, 2014 at 9:51 am

    It’s such a shame most women dislike what they see in the mirror. I have my moments too some days! I try to just focus on the parts I do like, and think about how much I’ve improved my whole body in these last few years. I guess that keeps me going, and also knowing how much stronger and fitter I’ll be in a years time. It’s all progress 🙂

    • Reply Kristin May 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      I agree with you and I think it’s really sad. You are doing the right thing by focusing on what you DO like about yourself! I need to start doing more of the same…

  • Reply erin May 26, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Fantastic post… I can relate 100 percent. A positive body image is a struggle, and even though I’m in the best shape of my life, too, I still occasionally focus on the “bad” parts. But, after reframing, I remind myself of all the things my body CAN do… I can sustain X-watts, run at X-pace, and I feel powerful when I do! Thank you, legs and heart!

    • Reply Kristin May 29, 2014 at 1:02 am

      Thank you so much Erin. It is sad how we all tend to struggle with body image, even though we are in SUCH great shape. I find that training for this Ironman is helping me focus on the GOOD and not the things I don’t like about myself. What you say is a great reminder of how we need to focus on what we CAN do (because it’s pretty damn amazing!). I am so grateful for my legs and heart… and the ability to perform at this intense level. We rock!

  • Reply ig February 27, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Peculiar article, exactly what I wanted to find.

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