It’s ingrained in female children from an early age. Maybe it was drastic for you. Do you remember seeing your mother, aunts, or older cousins critiquing themselves in the mirror, inhaling deeply, holding their breath, and imagining what it would be like to have a flat stomach? Perhaps it was a bit subtler; images of women with long legs, tall torsos, and tight derrieres with no indication of cellulite littering every piece of media around you. Let’s face it: body consciousness has an origin that goes far beyond what we call #bodygoals today.
I’m a little young, but I remember the Phen-Fen craze of the 90s. Women were prescribed diet pills by their doctors and managed to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. They were so eager to lose weight that they didn’t consider the warnings of potential heart issues. Years later, Phen-Fen survivors are still feeling the negative effects. I read an article from Cosmopolitan online this week confirming that women are still using a version of this medication. Sadly, this isn’t the only extreme example that some women would do to fit into a dress. Eating disorders are a longstanding pillar in the disturbing #bodygoals scene that no one wants to talk about as well.
Comparison is often the basis for body goals. Do a search on this hashtag and you’ll find a variety of images: before and after photos of average janes alongside rock solid abs and pecs. With all of these tight bodies in gyms, on beaches, and in restaurants, it can be difficult to sift through and find positivity, especially if you’re lacking confidence.
I’ll be honest, ladies: I was tardy to the #bodygoals party. I spent my 20’s eating and drinking as I pleased. I didn’t feel great in hindsight, but I was always happy with how my body looked. My 30’s have been different though. I had my first child when I was 30, a son, and shortly after came my daughter. Having children is such a blessing, but it’s easy to forget about the miracle of childbirth when you look in the mirror and find yourself unhappy with what you see. That happened to me one day, as I know it inevitably happens to a lot of women.
There was an advantage to waiting so long to worry about #bodygoals. I had an easy time knowing what would work for me and I was aware that there was no single way that I was going to achieve the body I wanted. In today’s society, we often want results overnight, but as I’ve grown older it has become evident that things that happen fast often do not last.
Navigating the trove of fitness influencers and trainers has taught me these important rules:
Be Kind to Yourself
Everyone has had to learn to love their body. Even people you perceive as confident could be struggling with body issues. Speak positively about yourself, not just in conversations with others, but when looking at yourself in the mirror too! Anybody and everybody can beat you down if you’re not building yourself up, Sis!
It can be challenging to build a habit, but you’ll need several good ones to make any real progress toward your body goals. Are you ready to make some changes?
I love seeing women holding each other- and themselves- accountable. When you get on the path to achieving goal after goddess body goal, make sure you enlist the help of some friends! There are few things better in life than working toward a common goal while motivating each other. Seek community and embrace it! Raising a child isn’t the only thing that takes a village; think of all that you could accomplish as a woman with the support of a village! Build your village and thrive, Boss!
Have you ever found yourself lost in the #bodygoals tag? What are some realistic body goals you’ve set and met? How open are you to being an accountability partner in a sister’s fitness journey?
Until next time Bosses, stay blessed.
Jeannelle “Jean” Lundy