body

Body Image and Ideals

During one of my gym sessions a few days ago I stopped in front of the full length mirror and did something that I hate to admit; I looked at myself in disapproval. There I stood, nit-picking all of my so-called faults. “Trim up your legs, Theresa. Geez, I have man-sized traps. You could be a bit leaner, Theresa.” My subconscious was taking over, and there was nothing I could do about it.

  Attractive? More like unhealthy.

Attractive? More like unhealthy.

 

Now, for those of you who know me or have seen me, you know that I take care of my body. I’m in the gym daily and I eat clean. So you’re asking yourself why I’m thinking these things about my body. Well, I suppose there are two reasons. The first being societal pressure. We’ve been raised in a society that, for so long, has constructed these women in the media to be the pinnacle of perfection. These slender, desirable bodies. Since I was just a small girl I believed I was suppose to look like that, and sadly that mentality is hard to shake after living it for years on end. The second reason, I may be slightly obsessed with the idea of perfection. In every aspect of my life I consider myself a perfectionist. My hair must always be done. I won’t dare be caught wearing sweatpants. I will always look presentable. My house must be clean….you get the gist. I’m like a robot! The funny thing is, no one else in my family is like this. So where did I get it? Again, society is to blame. As a child I envied those girls in magazines.

I have come a long way since then but like every girl I still struggle. I battled anorexia on and off from 5th-11th grade. I felt like I had to look a certain way. I had to look fragile and petite, like those girls in magazines. I know what it’s like to feel pressure, to hate yourself.motivation1

About a year ago, something in me changed though. Maybe it was my silent way of saying “screw you” tosociety, but out of the blue I no longer wanted to be just skinny. I wanted to be powerful. I wanted a sculpted body, my muscles saying “look at me, look at the dedication it took to get here.” Anyone can be slender, but it takes work, determination and diligence to be fit. And so my journey began. Since then I have been the most confident I’ve ever been in life. I stopped worrying about the numbers on the scale, but rather about how I FELT.

So here I am telling you about how confident I am with myself, yet I prefaced this post with my body concerns. The truth is, I’ll never stop trying to achieve more. There is always something that I will want to change. And you know what, that’s okay. I will never pollute or harm my body as a means of changing it so why not?

I will always preach doing what makes you happy, so long as it is safe. If you want to change, make a change. Just be healthy about it. Do you know why I work out and lift hard? Yes it boosts my confidence, but there is something deeper than that. A FIT body, not just a skinny body, says something about the person. It shows that they are determined. They are dedicated. They do not quit. This isn’t just for working out, these are the traits that show in every aspect of their life. Their career, their goals, their family, etc. I want to inspire and motivate people. I want to be a role-model for girls who need one. How can I accomplish these things if I can’t take my fitness and health seriously? THIS is why I workout. I want to be the best version of me possible, so as to influence others to make a positive change.

My phone's screen saver. It motivates me on a daily basis.My phone’s screen saver. It motivates me on a daily basis.

Pressure from society will always be there, I don’t care what you say. It can be completely subconscious or right in front of your face, but it’s there. Once we get more comfortable with ourselves is when that pressure lightens. So, find what makes you confident. If you have to make a change to do so, then do it! The only person stopping you is yourself. What makes you confident?

-Your Miss Outdoor Girl

What Makes One Beautiful?

Disregarding the title of this post, I’d like to first start out by saying Happy New Year! I ended 2012 with a fantastic day of hunting deer, and began 2013 with an even better day of hunting squirrels with my dad! Who needs the ever-sought after midnight kiss on New Years when you have that?!

Anyway, a few people have inquired if I made a New Year’s resolution. It took me awhile to think about this. Last year it was to get in shape…okay, who am I kidding, EVERY year it’s to get in shape! I can’t help myself, I know that I can always do better than the present. After a particular incident, however, I decided on something new. Here is the story;

A week ago I had the official Miss Outdoor Girl photoshoot with the highly-talented Lisa Blake (pictures to come soon). As part of the photos, I asked that her 12-year-old daughter be in them with me. After all, I was the one who had encouraged Elli to pick up archery a few months ago! So, here we are getting our photos taken together and all I could think about was how stunning and photogenic this girl was, and at only 12 nonetheless! To give you an idea, she’s as tall as I am (5’7), blonde hair, fair skin, and the bluest of eyes.

Suddenly I remember feeling sorry for her. Why, you ask? I have two reasons. One; Throughout her entire life she’s only going to be complimented on what’s on the outside, her looks. Not her creativity, not her beautiful soul, not her intelligence. And soon she will think that’s all she has going for her. Two; How many girls do you know that are so aware of their beauty that they place themselves on a pedestal? I am so afraid of that happening to Elli. As sad as it is to say, I’ve seen beauty ruin people.

After the photoshoot I asked Elli if she would enjoy coming to Cabelas with me. We needed to get her bow adjusted anyway. So here we are in–let’s face it–a male-dominant store, and Elli kept pointing out every single man that stared at us as we walked by. I told her that she had better start getting use to it because that’s the life she is going to live. Am I aware that I get stares at Cabelas? Of course, but never do I let that affect my humility. Rather, I thank God for his gift. At that moment I decided to give her the most valuable of lessons. I said, “Elli, you are gorgeous. And because of that a lot of opportunities will present themselves to you that aren’t there for other people. What I want you to do, is be humble about it. Be grateful and appreciative that so many things happen for you, but never let them go to your head.”

External beauty is a gift from God, so of course you should acknowledge it and appreciate it. What you should not do, however, is revel in your beauty. There is nothing more unattractive than a person who knows they’re attractive and thinks they are above others because of it. I recall my highschool days when I saw the “popular” girls doing this. All of you have seen it at one point or another.

Now, I’d like to make a clear distinction. Just because you may spend a significant amount of time on your appearance, doesn’t mean you are self-absorbed. Not in my opinion at least. I spend at least 2 1/2 hours in the gym on a daily basis, and if I’m getting ready for the day I’ll spend the same amount of time getting ready! I enjoy feeling like the best version of me. I enjoy feeling like a woman. Is that vain? Superficial? To some it may certainly seem like it, but as I said, that doesn’t make you self-absorbed or conceited.

Every single one of you is beautiful on the outside, but what does it matter if your inside beauty is lacking? Are you humble? Are you compassionate? Or are you judgmental? Vindictive? Jealous? In a moment God can easily take away his gift of external beauty. And then what will you be left with?

So, my New Year’s resolution is to focus more on my inside beauty. To have a caring heart, a beautiful soul, a sound mind. Are you internally beautiful?

-Your Miss Outdoor Girl…