What up Monday? Hope your week is off to a great start. I’m wanting the sun to come out. I do better with some Vitamin D in me. We were supposed to go to a Braves game yesterday, but decided not to go because we didn’t want to deal with all the rain. Which apparently it ended up not even really raining like we thought it was going to in Atlanta. Only Anderson and Greenville (where we stayed). Who knew? 

We (as in the people at the gym I go to) have been squatting a butt load (see what I did there) since the Open wrapped up. So, today people tried to find their new one rep max back squat. So far, pretty much everyone is PRing. Except me. That’s cool though. I PR’d like 3 weeks ago after like a million heavyish squats, because that’s usually when I PR anything – if I do. I blame it on needing to be really warmed up. 

But, way cooler than that, it’s awesome to ask a class who all PR’d, and have like 3/4 of the people in it raise their hands. So go all of you for getting better at squatting. Daniel told me yesterday that he can tell by looking at me that I’ve been squatting a lot more, so I’ll take that over PRing any day. 

Which nicely transitions me into what I wanted to talk about today. Last week I started talking about self confidence and all that positive body image jazz. I said I wanted to talk about 4 focus shifts in regards to that over the next several weeks. Last week I talked about doing the best you can with what you’ve been given – just trying to be your best self, and being proud of that. You can find that here.  

Today I want to talk about beating this little issue of insecurity and negative self- image by focusing on what your body CAN do, not on where you don’t match up to the standards you put on yourself about what your body should look like.

Because truth is, two years ago, or even maybe a little over a year ago, I would have been offended and even a little sad if someone told me my butt looked like I had been squatting more – even if it was meant as a compliment from Daniel (husband). I would have probably whined about it and decided that I needed to lay off the squats. I would have turned it from a compliment into something else I didn’t like about myself. 

But here’s the thing. Now I’m proud of my muscles. Because I’ve worked hard for them. But that hasn’t always been the case. Even a little over a year ago, when I would get weird stares from people, or stopped at the grocery store and asked about my muscles, I would flip out on the inside. Because it used to make me feel HUUUGE (D Trump voice), and as a girl, I didn’t want to be known as the girl with muscles. Because if a guy is jacked, and walks into a store, no one is going to say anything to him. But if a jacked girl walks in, that’s just weird. Or I felt that way at least. But thankfully, my perspective has changed. I’m ok with weird stares and comments now. In all reality though, 90% of the comments that get said to me are positive, and the other 10% usually come from older men with big bellies or under 100 lb guys. Sometimes I will legitimately turn the corner in the grocery store and a boy (usually under 100 lb) will jump back and be like, “whoaaaaaaaaaa.” It used to bother me, but now I don’t hide my muscles (if you know me, you know I unapologetically don’t hide them – especially since it’s 90 degrees + outside). Because I’m proud of them. I love talking about lifting weights and CrossFit when random strangers ask me how my arms got jacked like that.

I’m not trying to tell you this to be like, “ooohhh look at me. Here are my muscles, and I’m going to tell the whole world about them.” I can see where you would think that though. But I’m just typing away over here about what I’ve observed and experienced, and more importantly, how far my attitude has come. Because I used to want a whole new body. One with little legs that I will never have. But truth is, if I would have grown up that way, I wouldn’t have had 13 ish good years of competitive soccer, and now, I squat, I do lunges (when my hip feels ok), I lift heavy weights, ok? I can do all of that because of these thunder thighs. I eat relatively healthy 90% of the time. AND I’m the most content with my legs than I ever have been. And most of that is because of what they can do. 

I want you and I both to quit focusing on where we are lacking, based on our standards for ourselves, and start focusing on what our bodies are actually capable of doing. Because truth is, those standards you set for yourself – the ones about your legs, your butt, and your stomach – are too high anyway. As long as you’re doing your part to make good, healthy lifestyle choices, I hope you can come to a place of not only contentment, but I hope you can learn to be proud of what your body can do. 

I want you and I to be able to look in the mirror and like what we see – not because our legs or arms are finally that size we’ve been wanting, but because of what we are capable of doing with them. 

I want to be thankful for how far I’ve come and celebrate what my body can do, instead of focusing on what it can’t do. I want to still be mobile when I’m in my 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. If I want something, I want to be able to get off my butt and get it done, without any assistance. Thankfully, by the GRACE of GOD, I have a healthy body right now that is capable of getting things done, and getting to where I need to be and doing what I want to do. I know that because of my lifestyle now, by the GRACE of GOD, I’ll be able to do the same things when I’m older. 

Here’s the thing…comparison sucks. We’ll talk more about this next week. Celebrate what YOUR body can do, instead of focusing on what you don’t like about it. Yeah, set goals to get better, but remember the big picture. Remind yourself what you are capable of doing with that body. 

Is my butt ever going to look like BeyoncĂ©’s? Nope. She looks good though. But I can work hard in the gym, -and more importantly, in how I eat – and find a place of contentment with me.  Are my legs ever going to look like Carrie Underwood’s? Hellz no. That used to be a legit goal of mine – um, like 2 years ago. But I finally DON’T CARE  that my legs look nothing like Carrie’s, because I’m thankful for my body that I’ve worked hard for, and my muscles that allow me to do cool things.

[Also,  life hack, if fitness magazines, or people you follow on instagram or facebook leave you feeling like you can’t keep up, or that you suck at life, or that you’re not “good enough,” all because you don’t look like the girl on the cover or instagram picture, DON’T LOOK AT IT! The UNFOLLOW button is majestic. I remember after I got married, I finally canceled my Women’s Health subscription because it put my mind in a bad spot and never made me feel good enough. Oh, and the workout and diet advice sometimes sucked too.]

Well, that about wraps it up for today.  I’m trying not to take up too much of your time. I pretty much got told today that I talk too much – which is most likely true. In fact, I would 100% agree that I talk to avoid the quiet or the awkward moments. Anyway, I hope you and I can both get to a place where we are confident in who we are, first and foremost – as in our character and the way we go about our day to day lives – all without caring about the opinions of others. But second, I hope we can not only come to terms with, but be proud of, what our bodies are actually capable of doing – despite any setbacks we have faced. If there isn’t something you’re happy with that IS in your control, take the steps to get where you want to be. But remember, there is only one of you. So, use your body (the only one you got) to do cool things, and you’ll be way more content in life.