It wasn't me that I expected to change and inspire when we created "Love Your Body" month at the Carlsbad Forum store.
We created a recent store window display to educate on body dysmorphic disorder, running rampant in fit rooms across America, especially in our community.
Jacquie and Kenna created a story showing a fit woman looking in the mirror, which to passers-by is a standard mirror. To her, the reflection back is similar to that from a funhouse mirror. As she comments how much she hates her muffin top, a woman behind her says she wishes she looked like that, and two men trailing behind exclaim their interest in getting to know her better. This scenario is all-too-common.
To correspond with our window, we rolled out a challenge to said guests and educators in the fit rooms. We all hold each other accountable for not complaining about how we look. If anyone is "caught" we enroll them in dropping and doing 10 exercises corresponding with the area of complaint.
We are doing this to bring awareness to unnecessary complaining and inspiring taking a second thought first, not so much to fix the alleged problem zones.
I've found my abs stronger and chest more sore than ever these past few weeks. Why? Because I am complaining!
Who do I see in the mirror? I don't see what others see. I've become (alarmingly) aware of this and make every effort now to not make disparaging remarks about myself.
So what am I doing about this? I talk to trusted family and friends for support. During my yoga practice I "let go" of concern for what I may see in the mirror. I focus past my reflection, and look into myself. When I run, I focus on elongating my spine and legs, not for vanity – to feel long.
No complaints will come from my direction any longer. And if they do, my fellow educators – and guests – now have permission to hold me accountable to this.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from a body image or eating disorder, please visit here for help and resources.