I’ve wanted to speak about this for a really long time *throat clearing*… but until a few weeks ago, it just hadn’t quite clicked! I mean, it made sense, sure, but not in the way that it does now…
I want to talk about self-love/beauty/perception. We all know it’s important, we deal with it every day, yet I talk to so many girls (involved and not involved in fitness, might I add) who wake up every day and think they’re not physically good enough. Not beautiful enough, not fit enough, not tall enough, not ‘shredded’ enough, not muscular enough, not tanned enough, not ‘toned’ enough, the list is endless! And you know what, I’ve had enough.
Let me tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve been that girl in that vicious cycle for years and years trying to fit society’s ideals. You know that’s ultimately what it comes down too, right? What society has to say is beautiful? Frig, what even is beautiful? Beauty is so subjective! What it means to one person will be completely different to another. For instance, what is beautiful in Africa right now would certainly not fit what is ‘beautiful’ in America or Europe or Australia, not the masses anyways. Or maybe it does but this is exactly my point! ‘Beauty’ and what people consider ‘beautiful’ are constantly changing! Try telling someone 50 years ago that tattoos or balayage hair at some point would be a reflection of beauty and they would have screwed their face up at you. Get me? If you’re forever trying to fit what is ‘beautiful’, I can nearly guarantee you’ll be chasing your tail your whole damn life.
Let’s do a quick little throwback to the day of my second comp. Why you ask? This is one of the most significant times when I realized perhaps I wasn’t as convinced as I thought I was on this whole idea of my own version of beauty.
I sent my coach this photo and he asked me how I felt. I’m going to be real honest here. I looked at that photo and thought ‘I don’t look lean enough’, ‘My stomach needs to be flatter’, ‘Thank god I have a tan’, ‘My legs are too big’ and responded to his question with “I feel okay…”.
Okay?! Are you damn kidding me Schae. I should have been strutting around like my shit don’t stank that morning but instead I looked in the mirror and picked myself apart like the Bakers Delight Pullapart bread I wished I was consuming. And for freakin’ what.
Now I get it, “Oh, but Schae you were entering a body building competition so those are legitimate concerns”. Don’t worry, I thought about this. You can be concerned about something, especially things such as above, without tearing yourself to shreds and letting it affect your mood and day. That’s what I’m referring too. I should have acknowledged that things could have been different in regards to my body composition that day, moved on and celebrated my journey and how far I had come. But it didn’t quite go like that and that’s when I realised I seriously needed to take a big, giant even, step back.
It wasn’t until last weekend that it seriously just clicked with me. I needed to start convincingly fitting my own ideal of what I personally find beautiful, physical aspects aside. Beauty in my opinion is being smart, having a sense of humour, utilizing creativity, treating people with kindness, being strong. Notice what all these things have in common…
You don’t need to be physically beautiful to anyone’s standards.
Strip away the physical nonsense, right now. What do you find beautiful about a person internally. What do you find about yourself internally beautiful? Are you quirky? Are you calm? Are you curious? Are you kind? Are you smart? Are you funny?
Recognize that the people in your life (that are there for the right reasons), hang around you, like you, love you… because they appreciate you for having all these qualities you personally hold internally beautiful. These are the things that make you who you are. I bet you that these people don’t care if you’re 55kgs or you’re 52, they won’t care if you’ve had the same hair style since you were 4 (unless it’s a bowl cut), they won’t care if you paint your nails the latest shellac colour or have them bitten down to the brim. So ask yourself, why do you place so much emphasis on these minuscule things?
Now here’s another thought…
The physical component of yourself, it houses all these internal beautiful things you individually hold. You have complete control to work and change whatever you like to make yourself a better person… AND it holds all of them and gives you the ability to do so. Is that not in itself abso-freakin-loutely physcially beautiful?!
I think it is.
Every conversation you have, every book you read, every course you complete, every deadlift you hit, every choice that you make… You owe it to yourself to let these things be a direct reflection of what you find beautiful as an individual. I am enough, you are enough.
All my love,