Your body is NOT your worth.
I know – bold start.
But this isn’t something I want to dance around. It’s a message I need you to hear loud and clear.
Why? Because it’s a message that often get’s lost amongst the social media parade of perfect.
Social media is great. I honestly and truly believe that when it’s used appropriately, it has an incredible capacity of inspiring us, calling us to action, and really moving us.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Uncle Ben.
But honestly guys, the more I delve into the realm of Social Media, I realise that I have a huge responsibility to post things that are not only true to me, but also to my core values. Among those core values is helping people develop a real sense of Self-Love.
And being an advocate for Self-Love has been a really tricky path to carve amidst all of the social media. Pictures are worth a thousand words, but unless I’m guaranteed you’re going to read the post below it, I need to make sure my pictures are sharing the right kind of story. And when I say right, I mean right to ME – for my core values.
And the reason I’ve been so reflective of this lately is because of how my own IG page makes me feel about myself.
Being a huge fitness enthusiast, I follow a lot of fitnistas (is that a word? like fashionistas, only for fitness? anyway… people who post mainly fitness and wellbeing photos).
And while I’m scrolling, I’m usually in the frame of mind that allows me to realise that what I’m seeing is a presented reality. It’s CONSTRUCTED. Why? To stop my scroll, make me curious about the words underneath, and to share a message.
Now 9/10 I read the messages and they’re uplifting, inspiring and very pro-self love (yay!) however, sometimes, and though it is a small fraction of the time, sometimes it causes me to second guess or critique myself.
Sometimes I catch myself saying
“ugh if only I had a body like that”
And I’m immediately ashamed! I’m presenting myself as this person who wants to promote a positive self-image and here I am comparing myself to others.
and sometimes this train of thought leads me on a negative downward spiral of “crazy train” thoughts. You know what I’m talking about… the over blown, very dramatic, never ending, all consuming overload of negativity. Ya, that crazy train of thought.
Other times though, I’m able to forgive myself for these thoughts – because they are human, and remind myself that I can’t compare an apple to an orange.
That is to say, I can’t compare myself to someone else because I am NOT them. Their successes are due to the work they are doing and the goals they have, and the two of us just aren’t twins in that way. My goals are DIFFERENT.
And then I can carry on my day, feeling happy and motivated towards my GOALS.
But I want to return to that sometimes time. The time where I go down the rabbit hole of negative self-talk.
I want to address this, because like on the video I shared live on my Facebook yesterday, I want to reiterate how we can sometimes get so caught up in the negative train that we forget the simple message: your body is not your worth!
So, this negative crazy train of self sabotaging thoughts…. I’m sure I don’t have to get into it, as I know I’m not the only one, but I’ve been asked since yesterday’s video by numerous people how I get out of the negative mind frame.
Let me just start by stating that this is directly reflective of my own journey and refined to my own abilities. This is in no way a one size fits all process, and it may not work for you.
BUT, if you are stuck, and not sure what to do to get past a particularly dark place, give this a go. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
In 2015 I moved to the UK to follow my dream career in teaching. I was overjoyed to be leaving my smallish home town and going out into the big, wide world of possibility and travel.
When I arrived, my beautiful pot of gold promised at the end of the collegiate hard-working rainbow, was jut a pot. No gold.
I felt cheated.
I had given up living in a town I was settled in, with friends and family who loved and supported me in order to pursue what I was told and believed would be my happily ever after.
And truth be told, it was more closely resembling of a nightmare.
When I decided to be a teacher 7 years ago, I dedicated my life from that day forward to work on myself so I could share with others. I thought that being a teacher would mean teaching children about life, how to be good humans, make good choices, think creatively and critically, and empower them to go after their dreams.
In many ways I was wrong.
Teaching is a small fraction of that.
But a big fraction of teaching is of paper work, meetings, DATA, DATA, DATA.
And amongst all my efforts to maintain my narrative of finding your passion, and building self-love and respect, I began to feel defeated and unsupported.
I fell into a deep depression.
It was my mom who finally broke my silence and made me speak out.
When she finished wiping away the tears that it brought her to hear me in such pain, she said Sarahlynn, write a list.
- Write a list of everything that makes you happy. Everything.
That list was 3 things long for me on that day. I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to think about the positive, let alone accept that there is always a positive.
As the days went on, and with her constant encouragement to try and add new things, writing a list became much easier. Soon, my list held over 200 things that make me happy (I still keep this list and add to it!!)
But even though I was feeling a bit happier, I still wasn’t completely myself. I was outwardly happier, but inside, I was still feeling cheated of my pot of gold.
2. Then F*ck it by John Parkins happened.
I can honestly say – what a life saver. Literally. Without this book, I don’t know if I would have been able to sort my life out so quickly, or even at all. It really pushed me to reflect on what made me happy, what made me sad, what excited me, what I need more of, what I need less of. It’s essentially a step-for-step guide on de-cluttering your life and getting back to the basics: YOU. It reminded me that you don’t get a pot of gold at the end of your hard work. It reminded me that you collect the gold as you continue down your path of fulfilment and service to others.
3. Then it was up to ME to decide
With this incredible new personal mission statement and a stronger understanding of my core values and what I stand for, I was able to make some once seemingly unbearable decisions. I ended a toxic relationship, I ended my contract at a school and made myself a health and mindfulness leader in my new school, I started speaking to other people about my journey, and created a stronger community of people who understand the trials and errors of life and don’t look for a perfect Instagram photo – but ones who take the time to read the story and who want to get to know me better…. in an organic, behind the photo kind-a way.
And since then:
I’ve taken a month off to launch a Health and Wellness project called Inspire
A project focused on children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being addressed through Performing Art, Art, Yoga, Sport, and Cookery.
I’ve joined an Outstanding school to teach year 5/6
I’ve worked incredibly hard to bring my ideologies with me, and I’ve integrated them in every day, including yoga in the mornings, mindfulness activities, nutrition and fitness talks, and even trialling a Health and Wellness Day on the upper Key Stage 2 which I’ve since used in other schools as it was such a success.
I’ve boxed in my first Ultra White Collar Boxing tournament
I trained incredibly hard, gave it my all, lost in the ring, but won in the lessons I’ve learned.
And I’m currently in a transition phase of leaving the classroom and living out my passions.
Now, this is like an Instagram snap of what I’ve been up to – this is my highlights reel because after a deep and personal post, I wanted to end on a high – but I promise, keep reading, and you’ll soon discover the girl behind the highlight reel – and realise, she’s a lot more complex, with a lot more ups and downs than appears: She’s just like YOU.