I’m thrilled to have a Guest Blogger today! She is an amazing woman, runner and friend. Her name is Ruth Coffey and she has this wonderful post to share with us…..Enjoy!
This post comes with a challenge. Over the next few days, consciously notice how many times someone compliments you and you brush it off as nothing. Why do we do that? It’s as though we’re not comfortable with others noticing the good things about us. We’re not even ok with acknowledging the positive in ourselves! Girls with Sole is helping girls and young women turn that around.
The world for women is filled with judgments about body image and how we should look in order to fit the current aesthetic of what is considered beautiful. Check out the magazine covers next time you’re in line at the supermarket. I’m betting you’ll notice three things:
(a) There will be a variety of recipes listed. These will be right next to
(b) Headlines telling you, you need to lose weight and here’s how. These announcements will be placed around
(c) A celebrity with no wrinkles, no blemishes and no flaws whatsoever.
When you are fit, you gain confidence. Making fitness and exercise a part of your normal routine early in life is one of the best gifts any young woman can receive. You are armed against the craziness and unrealistic expectations being sold by magazines when you are strong, fit and healthy. From a physical standpoint, exercising as a child and on into your teenage years means that your energy level is higher. This results in blood carrying more oxygen allowing your brain to function better. Learning is easier when your body is fit! When you exercise from childhood on, the body develops muscle, making tone and definition part of your natural body shape.
Most importantly, exercise becomes part of who you are. You start to feel strong inside and out, knowing that if you’re tired you can push yourself that little bit extra and reach that mile-marker. Your team mates know they can depend on you to get to that ball first. Running, walking or whatever activity it is that you enjoy, becomes your positive place. Even if you don’t feel like it when you start out, you know that you’ll feel better when it’s done. Nothing feels as good as post workout when lungs are pumping, sweat is pouring and your spirit knows you’ve given 100%.
Girls With Sole is letting young women know it’s ok to be proud of who you are. It’s important to accept the compliments you receive, graciously. You are worth that compliment. You have earned it. If someone says you look fit, strong, healthy, beautiful, say thank you! If they say something negative, let it go. Think of it this way. Someone with perfect skin may say to you ‘you’ve got zits’. Then you have a choice. You can either get upset and decide to hide indoors feeling bad, or you can realize ‘yes but they’ll clear up and I can still go out and run fast today.’ I’m going for that option!
Girls With Sole is sharing this secret of taking control of self-image to the amazing young women who participate in their programs. These young women will not be slaves to the propaganda touted by magazines. If they want to cook that recipe, they can do it! They will laugh at the ridiculous fad diets, knowing that a week existing on lemon juice and grapefruit only to return to unhealthy habits on the eighth day, is not healthy in any way. They will know in a split second that the celebrity on the cover has been airbrushed beyond any resemblance of an actual human.
Girls With Sole have control of their own bodies and of their own body image. They are strong, active, fit and in charge. They are on the move and are learning to focus on all the positive things about themselves. They’re worth it. They’ve earned it. They deserve it.