Fifteen years ago I was 15 lbs lighter and wore a size 0 or 1 jeans. I worked my tail off in the gym 6 days a week and I was never satisfied with how I looked. Today, I have two beautiful children, I weigh more than “the standards” say I should weigh, and I love how I look. Why?……. Fifteen years ago I was the typical female. I “used” weights and was a cardio junkie. I thought I had to do two hours of cardio each day to be a small size… be thin……to be beautiful. And if I weighed 110 lbs, I was beautiful. Looking back I can see how misguided I was and it makes me sad to see how many years I wasted looking at myself through the wrong person’s eyes…..other people.

Since having my kids, a lot has changed. My body is definitely one of them. (and some of those changes I don’t like, but I’ll take it if it means me having those two awesome kids). However……even after two kids, I love my body so much more than I did ten years ago. These days my workouts include pull ups, barbell deadlifts & squats, kettlebell swings, snatches, get ups, burpees, handstands, primal movement, tire flips, rope climbing, sprinting, the list goes on…..and I weigh 125ish lbs. You’re probably asking (if you’re a female)….why in the world would you be okay weighing 15 lbs more and wearing a bigger size pair of jeans?? And my reply will be…..because I am stronger today than I was yesterday and for me being a stronger version of me is more beautiful than the size jeans I wear. I no longer define beautiful as a size zero. Beautiful is seeing a woman who can push her body to becoming something she never thought possible. Screw the scales. Screw what the media says I should look like. I like how I FEEL.


With that said……do I have areas I need to improve?? Of course, we ALL do!! Do I have areas I still don’t like about myself? Yes, but I approach it differently. Instead of beating myself up over a little dimple or flab, I look at it as another challenge to better myself, another chance to set a goal and conquer something new. And I also look at the reasons why I have that little extra flab and then I smile. So, why is this article so important? I want women to look at themselves differently. We are all strong in our own ways. We all have a different genetic make-up. We come in all different shapes and sizes. We all have our own strengths and talents. And we are all beautiful in our own way. We ALL have areas we can improve. We all (should) have goals. I challenge you to stop measuring yourself up to me, to your sister, your mother, your best friend, your workout partner, the women on TV……and start measuring yourself up to who you were yesterday. Have you taken steps to improve? What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to be? Don’t measure yourself by a number on a scale, or to someone else. Instead, measure yourself by what goals you have set and conquered, then set new goals and move on to conquer those too. Do you want to learn to do a pull up? Then work your tail off and train for that specific goal. Do you want to deadlift 300 lbs? Get your hands dirty and do the work!! Do you want to be strong?…….it won’t happen by starving yourself and getting on the Elliptical for two hours each day. We don’t even need a fancy gym or fancy equipment. We already have what we need…….our bodies are our machines. Now it’s our turn to start training them and discover what our bodies are made to do.

Ladies…….look in the mirror. Not through the world’s eyes……and definitely not what you think the world wants to see….but through your eyes and who YOU want to be. Try it. Who do you want to be? What is beautiful about you? Write down what you like about yourself, what your strengths are, what makes you beautiful, what makes you unique, and then look at it every day. STOP pointing out the negative, or what you think is negative, about yourself. Then, get busy…… do the hard work, get your hands dirty, develop some calluses…….make yourself a stronger version of you. And don’t measure yourself by anyone else’s definition of strong or beautiful. Remember, we are all made differently. My version of strong is different than yours and my genetic make-up is entirely different than yours. There are a lot of women who can lift more weight than me, a lot more weight. That’s ok. Because I am a stronger version of ME than I was yesterday and that’s all I am after. Stop letting the scale, magazines, or a TV show tell you what’s beautiful. Start each day with a simple goal in mind……to become a better version of YOU. Never strive to be someone else. Your body, your mind, and your soul will love you for it.