This is a true story:
A girlfriend of mine recently did a speaking gig. Packed house. Sold out. Hundreds of people in the audience. She worked hard for weeks leading up to the event and she SLAYED it. The audience exploded into applause. The producers of the show said, “When can we have you back again?” Total slam-dunk. She felt so proud.
“Great job! We’ll post the video of your performance on YouTube in few weeks!” the producers told her.
“Cool!” she said. And she meant it.
A few days after the gig, my friend found herself glancing in the mirror and wondering, “I wonder if I will look ‘chunky’ in the video when they post it online? Ugh. Maybe I picked the wrong outfit. That top was a bad idea. I should have worn all black.”
And then, just for a moment, my friend considered asking the producers NOT to post her video online. Ever. You know. Just in case she looked “fat.”
I am happy to report: she came to her senses.
She didn’t email the producers to ask that. She realized that she was acting craaaaay and she needed to get herself out of the body-hating pit that she had temporarily fallen into. She pulled herself together and moved on.
But that impulse that she had? It’s very common. I’m guessing you can relate.
– How many times in the past year have you strategically cropped and filtered a photo to make yourself look skinnier… because God forbid the Internet see your actual arms?
– How many times have you shied away from some type of public event, party, or experience because you didn’t think you’d look thin, young, or hot enough?
– How many times have you tucked yourself into the back row of a photo—or eagerly volunteered to be the photographer to avoid having to be in the picture?
– How many times each week do you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and feel some variation of: “Ugh, gross”?
I bet your answer to all of those questions is, “More times than I would like to admit.”
We all need to fight to change this—and the change begins with you, on an individual level. It begins when you actively fight to stop negative thoughts in their tracks.
The next time you hear that violent voice rearing its ugly-ass head inside your mind—that voice that says, “Crop that photo” “Suck in your stomach” “Skip that vacation, you don’t deserve it” “Get in the back row” “Get rid of that video, delete it so no one can see”…
Don’t listen to that voice.
Don’t hit the delete button on yourself.
Don’t silence yourself. Don’t crop out your limbs. Don’t hide your story. Don’t fade yourself into the background of your life.
You are needed. You are beautiful. You have work to do in this lifetime.
Step forward. Center stage.
I know it’s scary. I know it feels shaky and vulnerable, sometimes, to be “seen” like that.
But you came into this world full of love, curiosity and delight about your body—and you can get back to that loving place again. I promise you.
Those ugly, violent voices don’t have to rule over you. You can rise above.
You are strong enough.
Repeat after me:
I will not delete myself.
PS. I know it’s one thing to “talk” about celebrating your body—and it’s another thing to actually practice it, feel it, and live it. That’s why I am leading this event in July 2016: BARE NYC.
It’s a unique weekend in New York City where you’ll experience, firsthand, what it feels like to roll back the clock… back to that time, long ago, before you learned that you were supposed to hate your body. We’re doing photo shoots, styling, hair and makeup, cooking classes, yoga, all kinds of fun, creative experiences to help you reconnect with your “god-pod” in a positive way. It’s going to be amazing. I hope you’ll join me there.