A FB post from a high school classmate of mine caught my eye the other day. A very successful, smart, funny (as I remember her, quick satirical sense of humor) now 46 year old woman opened up about having issues being super critical of her body. Her hopes of not passing this habit down to her daughter was at the forefront and all I could think of was that it felt like such a heavy load. It broke my heart.
In one swift swing of the low self esteem, she managed to erase every single positive aspect of her life. What. The. F*k! A few of her friends also commented about the magazines that tell us we should be a size zero, blah blah blah. I had 2 or 3 different replies written out and rewritten until I finally said, “What shape is strong?”
First off, stop reading those stupid magazines. It’s like getting a group of women together and having an hour long discussion on the best kind of diaper to use. Pointless…an hour of your life you’ll never get back. That’s Glamour magazine (although they usually have a free sample tucked somewhere in there…free samples are fun), pointless. We’re in our 40’s now, we should expect substance when talking, reading, watching, or doing. Truth.
But it got me thinking, really, what shape is strong? The above picture is from years ago at a Burgener Olympic lifting cert with members of his family and crew. Lots of shapes and sizes, lots of strong. It never occurred to me to look at Natalie or Aimee and say, “gee, I want to be the same shape as them.” I looked at them and said, I want to be STRONG like them (I’m still not.) Women have crossed my paths over the years where I have had the same thought.
To name just a few; Dawn Currin, Shawna Mendelson, Erin Walterman, Katie Steingraeber, Angie Bryant, Tammy Kentner, Veronique Faust, Lynn Brady, Rosanna Estes, AoD, Anita Sciscoe, Carmen Buchmann, Donna Manning, Leigh Niven, Jenny Oltmann, Brittney Boswell, Sara Hilgers, KCon, Heidi Ziegele, and Saysha…to name a few off the top of my head, heh. The shape of STRONG? Here…
All shapes and sizes, all strong by their own right. Body issues? My body issue right now is trying to figure out why my body isn’t throwing a 60′ LWD. Damn body.
And as for my daughter and what I’m “passing” down to her? I dunno, I guess I’ll ask. Oh wait, my daughter is strong, beautiful, independent, useful, active, athletic, smart, a good friend to others, and fifty other amazing things I’m not thinking of at the moment. Did I teach her all that? Probably not, but I’ve tried to show her strong and let her come up with her own version of it. That’s the best we can do.
Body issues? Stop it. It’s pointless, really. Just decide you’re done with such nonsense. You’re given the body you have, take care of it. And if you’re not already, get to YOUR version of STRONG!
To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.
Simone de Beauvoir