hike, leavenworth, colchuck, summer, freedom, beauty

I envision a world where all women feel confident and happy in the skin they’re in. A world where a woman’s self-worth is not tainted with comparisons to the women on the cover of that magazine, the number on the scale or the size of their jeans. I’m on a mission to help women gain body confidence and tap into self-love through mindset shifts so that they will feel confident in their ability to lead a life full of freedom and joy.

Can you imagine what this would look like? We would be surrounded by empowered women who confidently make every-day decisions about their life and how they choose to live it. Instead of having our thoughts consumed by our self-worth and how it relates to our bodies/worth/importance, our mind would be free to create, love, experience, and ENJOY life for the gift that it is.

A few years ago, I was in a place where I struggled with disordered eating, body image problems, low self-esteem, and sky-high anxiety. I would beat myself up if I skipped a workout or didn’t eat like I told myself I “should”. I was constantly comparing myself to those around me or the perfectly toned girl on the cover of a magazine. I weighed myself every morning and would be defeated daily by the number on the scale because that wasn’t the “ideal” number I strived for my entire life.

This toxic mindset had gone on for as long as I could remember. In my pre-teen years, I was bombarded with diet culture where girls in my grade were already obsessed with how they looked, trying to be thin, talking about their weight and what it “should” be, and going on diets to try and achieve their “ideal” body. This early exposure to diet culture and the young women around me being unhappy with their bodies made me look at my own body with disgust. I had developed extremely large breasts that didn’t fit into a shirt size smaller than a large, my hips were wider than any girl I was friends with, and my self-worth spiraled down the drain. These feelings persisted and grew stronger as I entered high-school and then went on through college. My mind was preoccupied with what I saw in the mirror and how that made me feel about myself.

It wasn’t until I started to become aware of the monologue going on in my head surrounding my body image, hearing girls who I perceived to be happy with their bodies complain about their thighs being too big or butt too small, I realized how much time we as women waste chasing perfection, comparing ourselves to others, berating ourselves over failed “diets” or not sticking to a workout plan. I realized that the stress we place on our bodies by worrying about how our body looks, what we eat, or tirelessly pounding pavement on a 6-mile run to make up for “bad” food choices are all far worse than actually eating a piece of cake on your best friend’s birthday, enjoying a glass of wine with your husband, or choosing to do yoga because you love the way your body feels after a session on the mat, even if you don’t break a sweat.

What I have learned over the years is that no one sees me the way I see me, and why should it matter what other people perceive me as. I create my own reality. How I perceive myself is what truly matters. I get to decide how I want to present myself to the world and no one else gets to make that decision for me. I choose to love myself, every damn day, in every phase of my life, exactly how I am. I have stopped trying to make my body into something that it’s not, punishing myself with a long cardio session or comparing myself to anyone else. I have finally found freedom in loving myself completely.

Now, I am blessed to serve women who are stuck in the vicious cycle of self-doubt, insecurity, and low self-esteem. I guide these women into loving themselves exactly how they are, free of diets, the scale, extreme workout regimens, or negative self-talk. It’s a daily practice that we will conquer together with patience, grace, and love.