‘I AM’ was written to be the change in society that I believe we need. The idea started as a campaign to inspire empower and encourage women to not only nourish themselves from the inside and be physically active, but to find happiness in all aspects of their lives and learn to love and be kind to themselves through positive body image. But it wasn’t enough. A positive mindset challenge here or there, a Facebook page or an inspirational video wasn’t going to be enough to make a real positive difference in society.
You’ve probably all seen the dove body love campaigns or the special k positive body image video, and thought wow thats really touching, or you’ve thought it’s great that those women love themselves, and you genuinely are happy for these women. But the truth is we generally don’t associate ourselves with the ‘average woman’, we live in a society where we are constantly patted on the back, told how amazing we are as we grow up and that we can be anything. The truth is we are all women just trying to love ourselves. If these type of campaigns actually worked to make a real positive difference, 98% of women in today’s current society would not still describe themselves negatively or in a cruel way.
Here are some current body image statistics:
On top of 98% of women describing themselves negatively or in a cruel way when asked to describe how they look in the mirror, 98% of women also want to change something about the way they look.
7/10 women wished they were smaller, and said that weight was their biggest concern.
88% of women said their body image affects what or how much they eat.
1/3 of women will stay inside the dressing room while trying on clothes because they lack body confidence.
45% of women in the healthy weight range think they’re fat.
While 20% of women who are underweight see themselves as overweight and are still dieting to try and lose weight.
82% of women worry about the way their stomach, bum and hips look.
This is just the start of the information that I could give you on the way we feel about ourselves as women but you get the point and it needs to change now.
Now for the better part of 12 years, I have trained, massaged and met a LOT of women. I am going to put it out there that I don’t think I have ever come across a woman that has not been negative about herself, her environment or her life, at some point or another. From a PT perspective, the core root of this is that as women we exercise because we hate our bodies, not because we love them. You might be sitting here reading this thinking well that’s not me, I exercise because I love myself. But if you have ever wanted to lose weight, get more toned, get fitter, get smaller, or lose the cellulite, the list goes on, you’ve actually been driven by a negative thought. I could write a novel of all the negative reasons why we exercise, and if we aren’t doing it for those reasons, it’s generally out of fear of being fat or getting fat or losing tone or fitness or strength. But either way we chose to start exercising for a negative reason. Yes the result is positive but the internal reason or driving force is negative. It’s these small negative subconscious thoughts that turn into a bigger issue when all added together. Being a Personal Trainer, this is what I have experienced most so thats the example I give, but on a day to day basis there are hundreds of these negative thoughts or reasons that become driving forces in the decisions and actions we make in life, it is not just about exercise.
I am going to ask you a question and I want you to be brutally honest with yourself.
When looking in the mirror, what is one word to describe the way that you look?
My guess is that it was in some way it is a negative word or connotation. If it is positive, go you! You are part of the 2%!
So here I am, telling you to love and be kind to yourself.
Words you’ve probably heard a lot throughout your life, we are constantly told that we should, or could or have to love and be kind to ourselves, but we are actually never taught how to do this... so this is why I wrote I AM. To teach women everywhere HOW to do this. How to love themselves, how to be kind to themselves, how to feel empowered and encourage them to not only know it but believe that they are absolutely beautiful inside and out. To inspire change and give them the tools needed to believe in their own worth in this world and to shine with confidence and self esteem no matter what we look like. Looks fade, it is what is inside that really counts.
Go back to the word you used to describe yourself in the question above. I want you to now shift your perspective to a more positive one, by writing down three things that you LOVE about your beautiful body and who you are as a person.
Anything from loving your bum, to your skin, to loving the way you have pulled off your outfit today, to the amazing human you’ve been today and the good you’ve brought to the world… whatever it is love how you look, and who you are inside and watch how things change.
With that piece of paper, stick it somewhere you will take notice of it, and read it every single day until you actually start to believe it! My favourite place is in the bathroom, but find what works for you and run with it!!
The words you speak and think become the house you live in. Your energy introduces you before you even speak. So tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up because you have the freedom and power to create the positive life that you deserve. It's in your hands (and thoughts).
Repeat after me… I AM amazing, beautiful and all round a bloody incredible person!!!
If even one woman can read I AM, and get to the end of that knowing her worth in this world then I AM has been a total success!
I can't wait to read all your feedback, growth and stories that have come from reading I AM. SO much love to you all xx