You Are Not Alone

Published July 20, 2015

I had a great blog post written to share with you. It was simple. It was to the point.

In a nutshell, the message was this: nearly everyone struggles with some form of body insecurity. There are a few who do not, but they are actually very few, the tiny minority. The message was that if I were to actually list the people I've had conversations with in the gym about different insecurities surrounding weight (too much, too little), shape (too big, too small, over-developed, under-developed), diet (maybe my least favorite word, but I'll save that rant for another day), and everything, your chin would be on the floor.

On. The. Floor.

Seriously. I've never done an actual count, but I would guess at least three-quarters of you have at some point have had a conversation with me around 'body issues.' Maybe it's only a sigh as you look in the mirror. In some cases it's much more serious than that.

The point of the post I'm not writing is that you are not alone. Stop thinking that you are.

The point of the post I am writing is that you are not alone - and you need to stop deciding that you should be.

By which I mean, comparison is an ugly thing and does no one any favors, least of all you. Doesn't matter who you are comparing to - Jillian Michaels on the cover of Shape or the athlete front-squatting across from you on the rig - any comparison flatly misses the point.

And the point is not that they are different from you. You already know that. You've been told that how many times? They have a different metabolism. They have a different frame. They have never gone through childbirth. They have gone through childbirth and they're breastfeeding. They're vegan.

The point is that your comparison is unfair - to both of you. It forces them into your mirror and holds you up against someone who you simply are not. It also denies the possibility that someone else may have their own issues, their own battles, and that they actually matter as much as your own.

Just because someone else's battle is different from yours does not mean that it is any less significant than yours.

So as we open this conversation over body image and body issues, a conversation which we will come back to often to try to tease out a little more depth of understanding, we want to lay down this one simple directive:

Accept that you are not alone.

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