When I was just 12 years old I began hating my body. I was growing up and a life-changing scar on my right butt cheek no longer laid smoothly as I began filling out in areas I had previously been (dare I say) petite.
This one “flaw” – a scar from hip surgery as a baby – became the bane of my existence. Indented, dimpled, irregular and oh so obvious, I began to feel self-conscious and ashamed of my entire body. I wouldn’t wear certain materials of clothing; I stood solely on my left leg in an attempt to “hide” the monstrosity on my right hip, and I obsessed about it 24/7.
The ugliness of it was all I could see. And it helped to distort my vision of myself for close to two decades.
“How to get rid of cellulite” was something I regularly pursued – creams, diets, and Buns of Steel type workouts cycled in and out of my life with the desperation of a thirsty man in a desert clawing his way to a flowing river oasis. But it was all a mirage.
No matter my weight, my jean size, or my attempts to pose a certain way – I knew better. I knew that I was no good. Fat. Unacceptable. Shameful even. All because of a scar that had actually changed my life for the better…
It wasn’t until my twenties that I really began to see clearly the destructive nature of pinning my happiness on achieving physical perfection. Even at my leanest – the only time, by the way, that I haven’t had cellulite on my body – I was still miserable. More in fact, because I now had the reality check of all that time and energy I wasted pursuing a vain and empty goal.
Our society has taught us that cellulite is disgusting, something to be ashamed of. And we bought that message along with all the trappings that come with it… There is not one of us who doesn’t experience shame about their body and immediately tie it to their worth as a person.
I don’t know how this happened but it has got to stop.
It’s time to remove the shame of having an “imperfect” body and the idea that a “perfect” body even exists. I mean, seriously!?
What on earth does a perfect body look like anyway? Cellulite, stretch marks, birthmarks, scars, moles, freckles, grey hair, and wrinkles… These are part of every single one of us. And more importantly, they tell the story of who we are – the story of our uniqueness, our courage, our hope, our pain, and our progress.
You are more than your body.
You are more than the size of your jeans.
You are more than a number on a scale.
Learning to love and accept every part of yourself – the sunlight and the shadows – takes time, practice, and lots of compassion and respect along the way. It requires the ability to say, “Oops, I did it again – I judged my worth based on my physical features.”
It requires the diligence to lovingly rewrite your inner monologue. It requires the desire to be Whole. Healthy. Alive. Loving.
There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than men and women being themselves; comfortable in their perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.
When I was finally ready to stop hating my body – and therefore, myself – I recognized the opportunity to let go of my hypocrisy and take up my responsibility as a woman in the fitness industry.
No longer was it acceptable for me to look good and healthy on the outside while inside I felt damaged and abused. It was time to heal from the inside out, to demonstrate that my body is precious, hard-working, and yes, flawed.
I know now that I can be super fit, strong, flexible, athletic, and have cellulite or a belly roll or some arm flab; and amazing as it seems, I can also be intelligent, capable, attractive, and an expert in my field while baring these so-called flaws. My professional responsibility is to let you know that you can, too.
My personal mission became more about the health and fitness of my mind and spirit and through that expression, I developed a new kind of strength and acceptance that poured life into every relationship – the one with myself, with close confidants, clients, and strangers alike.
And so, for over a decade I have been healing myself – body, mind, and spirit – and helping others do the same.
The task of unknotting our beliefs and behaviors from societal standards of physical perfection is a monumental feat – yet, I can assure you the return on investment for boosting body love will be wildly fruitful.
My personal mission has taken years to achieve and I’m still a work in progress. But what I know now is this:
I have grown rich in health, peace, joy, and passion. I am respectful, curious, and grateful for all my body has done and will do for me.
Cellulite is not the enemy.
The enemy is what you believe the presence of cellulite says about you and the power you give to it.
Stop giving your power away. Stop taking other people’s power just because their bodies are “flawed”.
Stop dumbing down your worth, your talent, your creativity, and your ability. Start empowering yourself and others to reach beyond the physical.
When I finally let go of yearning for physical perfection, I actually got the body I always wanted…
In Love & Gratitude,