From the time we are young girls, we are taught that our looks determine our worth. If you are lucky, you learn early on that this is simply not true. Unfortunately, I have found that many of us suffer from equating our worth with our looks well into our golden years - which to me, is really, really sad.
I grew up in the 1970’s believing that I had no value unless I looked like the flawless women in magazines and on TV. For me personally, receiving these messages from the media and society was difficult—but even worse--my dad contributed greatly to my low self-esteem with his constant criticisms of my mother’s looks and messages to me about what a “real” woman was supposed to look like. Placed carefully for his viewing pleasure on the walls of our garage were Playboy, Hustler, and Penthouse calendars. Each month a completely new crop of naked women with perfect hair, makeup and bodies would stare into my innocent child eyes; “Miss July” or “Miss December” would intimidate me with a provocative look meant for someone else.
Now in my fifties, I love to help women of all ages to believe in their true value and fall in love themselves, regardless of their looks or where they are in their fitness journey.
Having lived the lie for my entire childhood and much of my adulthood (and admittedly I still have my moments!), I am able to relate and understand when a woman tells me that she does not value herself because of the way she looks. And each story of self-hatred breaks my heart.
First and foremost, we must give ourselves permission to NOT be perfect. It should be our goal to only use that word in a positive light when referring to ourselves or others while we strive to be the best version of ourselves as we can possibly be.
We must learn self-love. This includes eating and moving our bodies in a way that makes us feel good, energized, vibrant and empowered.
we can break this vicious cycle.
And we simply must break this cycle--because this phenomenon can run its ugly course through a woman’s entire lifespan as she ages into her 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond! These deplorable messages are so deeply ingrained that many women do not feel they matter, or that they don’t measure up to the ever changing standards that society places on our looks. Isn’t it SAD that age only amplifies these feelings of worthlessness?
This lack of self-love and confidence is greatly affecting the quality of life for countless women who should be aging gracefully and enjoying their golden years.
Every time I hear another woman voice her disdain about herself because of her looks, it simply breaks my heart. Below is a sampling of the thoughts expressed by my female friends/clients in the last few weeks:
“I feel invisible. When I try to contribute to conversations, the younger people don’t even look at me and only want to hear what the “young pretty girl” has to say.” J, Age 65
“I look at myself in the mirror every morning and I am so grossed out. All I can see is how big my stomach is.” M, Age 73
“I am so insecure about the way I look, I don’t want my picture taken or posted on FB.” C, age 74
“I don’t want to attend your party because I know all your skinny friends will be there.” B, Age 48
“We don’t want to take your aerobics class because we are not skinny enough.” L, age 63 and B, age 61.
These self critical statements and the countless others that I hear on a continuous basis from women of all ages just wrenches in my gut. There is some comfort in knowing that we are NOT alone. Knowing that we can fix this can have a profound affect on our quality of life.
I have found that the best way to end this cycle, in addition to exercising and eating right, is to include a daily practice of innercise by starting each day with a positive affirmation--which can have a profound influence on your state of mind.
Change your thoughts – change your life.
Once we change our thoughts to be more positive, improve our self-talk, and learn to love the authentic and exceptional goddess that we were created to be, we can live a more healthy, powerful, and confident life. We will feel strong and in complete charge of our lives and our bodies – warding off depression and illness.
I love the following statement:
Don’t tell me it can’t be done. Tell me how we are going to do it.”
With a little innercise and exercise, we can change our self-defeating thoughts and make the rest of our life … the BEST of our life!
If you grew up the way I did, feeling your worth equated to your appearance, I recommend traveling back to that little girl and guide her to her most fulfilling place and claim the divine feminine that is her birthright. I believe it is our responsibility to help lift one another up, no matter our age, and be an example for our younger counterparts.
You’ve GOT this! NO MATTER YOUR AGE!
Innercise Affirmation Examples:
- I am strong and powerful.
- I am beautiful just as I am.
- I love myself just as I am.
- I am a good person.
- I am enough.