Let’s talk about our bodies. More specifically, what kind of body is a bikini body? Answer: ANY body that is wearing a bikini, DUH!
If you heard my talk with Sadie Lincoln, the CEO of barre3, earlier this week, you’ll know I have mixed feelings on this subject. And well, it’s downright scary to open up and discuss it, if I’m honest.
But here goes…
If you struggle with loving and accepting your body, this is likely bleeding over into your work life. How do I know this is true? Because I see it in my own life.
My ‘bikini body’ story
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my midsection. Basically everything from my boobs to my pelvis is my least favorite part of my body.
Flashback three years ago. I was rushing around one morning, attempting to get the kids off to school and then boot-scoot over to work to get down my to-do list. And something devastating happened.
I was wearing socks and I lost my footing going down the stairs. And BAM! I fell straight down onto my tailbone. Luckily, my 6 year old son (at the time) was just ahead of me on the stairs and he caught me from tumbling down the entire way. He very proudly tells me, “Mom, remember when I saved your life that day!!?”.
Long story short, that tailbone injury was horribly painful and it took a long time to recover. Since then, I’ve managed to pack on about 10-15 pounds to my midsection and this chronic pain flares up every now and again, for good measure.
Tack this onto a shaky self-esteem, and you can imagine the effect on how comfortable I feel in my skin, on a daily basis.
How it affects my work
At work, I’m the face of The Simplifiers brand. I show up daily on Instagram, and I can’t hide when I’m in front of the camera, in the press, or when I’m doing webinars. This is a massive problem.
When I coach clients via video chat, I can tilt my webcam up and pretend like my midsection isn’t in view. But the residual body dysmorphia issues still remain. Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance.
The reason I share my story is this… while I haven’t healed completely (yet), I want to let you in on my journey because you may be experiencing the same struggle in your life, as well. We are not alone.
And while you might need to hear this reassurance (as I do), I want to remind you of a couple of simple truths:
Truths about the perfect ‘bikini body’
- There is no ‘perfect bikini body’ shape or size. This goes for speaking onstage, pitching clients, selling and even networking.
- You don’t need to be a size 2 to create your art or show your face on video calls with your clients.
- Your curves, your chin, your tummy rolls, your juiciness is where your strength actually lives. The second we embrace this is the second that our ego is set free. Truly.
So, if you struggle with believing this, may I recommend a few resources that are helping me rewire my brain, at the moment:
Resources to help you feel better about your bikini body
- @i_weigh – Surprisingly, there is a resurgence of kind media popping up on Instagram these days and this is one of them. Launched by Jameela Jamil of NBC’s The Good Place, it’s an inspiring feed of every day people who describe themselves in every sort of way besides how much they weigh on the scales. For example, I weigh my identity with kindness, empathy, being a helper, creativity, love, being bold and using my voice for the greater good. So in light of this, how do you weigh yourself? Let me know.
- @the_feeding_of_the_fox – Another really great Instagram account to have in your feed, this one is brought to you by queer disabled femme, Imogen Fox. Every now and again, she’ll do a run of InstaStories. They spotlight 20-30 beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and disabilities, that truly take my breath away. I find that the more and more I see photos of radiant women who look completely different from the norm you see in magazines and on TV, the better life is. This is creating stronger data points in my brain that says “Yes, we all come in different shapes and sizes. And just like these women… yes, your shape and size is radiant, too Mary.”
- Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass by Jes Baker – I’m just starting to listen to the audio version of this book and really enjoying it. She’s a voice to be reckoned with and I’m loving her intimate, gutsy memories of being a ‘fat’ woman. Check it out.
And just one final whisper, from me to you, dear friend… come in closer.
Look, I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. And I’m willing to bet, your co-workers, your clients and the people who follow you on social media are nowhere near being perfect either.
So, can we drop that myth faster than a hot potato? It’s doing us no good.
How would our world change in these next 7 days if…
… we made a conscious choice to focus the time, money, and energy we spend on worrying about how our bodies look, towards something more positive?
How would that feel if you could rock your bikini body, in all your glory? Giving zero F’s, loving your curves, standing radiant in your own personal spotlight. How would that change things?
And what if (go with me for a hot second)… what if society is just feeding us with these photoshopped, face-tuned filtered images of ‘perfection’ as a way to distract us from making real, positive change in the world? What if this is the way modern marketers keep us:
- Feeling ‘less than’
- Constantly comparing ourselves to one another
- Silently competing in our minds, so that we busy ourselves from actually focusing on what’s most important?
And what is most important?
What if we simply asked ourselves:
“Does this thought still serve me, and is it helping me get closer or further away from what I really, really want?”
I’m willing to bet you already know the answer to this, deep down inside. Part of my process to simplify my work and my life is letting go of things that no longer serve me (including negative thoughts). And decide that there is a better choice.
So dear friend, say no. Step up and into your spotlight. Be gentle on yourself. And know that you are not alone.
As a business leader and a Simplifier, you are ever evolving. You are simply magnificent. And you are worthy – take up as much darn space as you like!
You can do this, I believe in you.
It’s time to SIMPLIFY.
If this thought of the day inspired you…
Snap a photo of you doing the thing and send it to me via Instagram, privately or publicly… Just tag @thesimplifiers – I’ll be your virtual accountability buddy in your quest to simplify your life.
Big thanks to our undercover superheroes at The Simplifiers Podcast that help us create these episodes for you – Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Janine Yardley, our Show Notes Editor. Lyden Yardley, our Director of Brilliance. Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Our advisory board includes: Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for listening and telling your peeps about us.
As always friends, keep things simple.
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