Everyone has a weakness, a voice that whispers “You can’t do this because…” But every once in awhile, someone comes along who defies the odds, and comes out on top anyway. People who overcome seemingly impossible circumstances are the ones that inspire us the most to conquer our own demons. Here are just a few examples.
Ernestine Shepard has shattered the stigma that older people can’t be fit. At 79 years old, she is a professional model, a competitive bodybuilder, and happier than she’s ever been. Another example is Misty Copeland – American Ballet Theater’s first black prima ballerina. She was told she didn’t have the body of a dancer, but went on make history and prove her doubters wrong. Bethany Hamilton overcame losing her arm at age 13 in a violent shark attack and continued her passion – surfing. Anthony Robles was born without a leg – yet went on to be a national high school and college wrestling champion. And the list goes on – history is full of incredible and inspiring heroes.
The only thing that can truly stop us from achieving our dreams is our own minds. If you really believe in something, there is a way to make it happen. You think your personal struggle is too much to overcome? That just means you have an even greater opportunity for self growth and becoming your own hero. And can I tell you a secret? No struggle can keep you from success. Sure, it might be tougher for you than for someone without your personal struggle. But you have the choice to let it beat you, or make you that much stronger.
This especially applies in the world of women’s fitness. Too often, girls grow up believing that the only way to be beautiful is to be skinny. They see the seemingly perfect models in movies and fashion magazines, and assume that is the standard of true beauty. And when they try to live up to that standard and find out it’s impossible, they sink into despair and self-hatred. It’s no wonder eating disorders are such a prevalent problem in our world today.
If you are one of the girls or women who struggles with body image or who believes the only way you will ever be beautiful is to look a certain way, you are not alone. Countless other women share your struggle. But I have good news for you – you don’t have to let it kill your dreams. Fitness is a choice. A tough choice to be sure, but a choice nonetheless. There is nothing apart from your own mind that can stop you from living a healthy lifestyle and becoming the best version of you.
Here are 5 simple truths to change your mindset and your life for the better:
- Make your goal to become healthy and strong, not just skinny.
- Aim for progress, not perfection.
- Strive to be beautiful from the inside out, rather than the other way around.
- Be passionate about finding your own personal version of fit and beautiful, instead of comparing yourself to others.
- Believe you are capable of achieving fitness, no matter how many times you have failed, and no matter how far you are from your goals right now.
Be honest with yourself. What is holding you back from being the fittest version of you? What is keeping you from living a healthy lifestyle? Self-doubt? Excuses? Fear of failure? The first step on the road to self improvement is always facing your weaknesses and working through them. When they come back to haunt you, you have to beat them over and over until they die. It will be hard. But it will also be so worth it. There is no reason you can’t be a completely different person by this time next year. As the saying goes, “It’s actually pretty simple. Either you do it, or you don’t.”
The great part is you don’t have to do it alone. Find someone who can make the journey with you. Someone who encourages you when you feel like giving up, and holds you accountable when you fall back into old habits. Decide exactly what you want, then go for it!