When I was teaching elementary school, I was appalled at the comments and confused conversations of these young 9 and 10-year-old girls. I can specifically remember the moment I knew I wanted to do something to help these girls understand more about body image and fitness. A student returned to our classroom elated that one of her former teachers actually accepted a birthday doughnut from her because the teacher “FINALLY wasn’t on a diet!”
They had witnessed an entire year of this woman, who in their eyes was “skinny,” continually turn down birthday treats from students because she was on a diet. They didn’t understand why she was “dieting” because she was certainly not overweight.
Plus, add to the confusion the fact that several times a week she would come back from her fast food lunch with a super size soda in hand and these poor girls were all sorts of confused when it came to “dieting” and body image. (*Please know that I am definitely not criticizing this teacher either – it’s just an example of how many women are unhappy and confused about their own bodies and how to eat healthy as a lifestyle not a “diet” [future LINK]).
For that reason, I started a group we called F.I.N.S. It stood for Fitness, (Body)Image, Nutrition, and Self-Esteem. In its initial years, we met for lunch once a month for conversation and then took field trips highlighting various fitness experiences around the community (yoga, boot camp, dance, self-defense, etc.). One of the most powerful concepts we discussed was the technological advances of photo shoots and magazine covers. I can never watch this DOVE Evolution video enough. It’s totally worth your 1 minute 14 seconds.
Listen, it’s YOUR body. Regardless of what’s pictured on magazine covers. Regardless of what society says is ideal. YOU are in charge of YOUR body – and how you feel about it. One of my favorite movie lines comes from “Junebug”:
God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you too much to let you stay that way.
If you have been neglecting your health, I encourage you to change your path today. I’d love to help you take the first steps to becoming a healthier, fitter you.