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This week, Work On It Wednesday (coming to you on Thursday...sorry about that!) is going in a little bit of a new direction. As I was working out yesterday, I was inspired by a podcast that I was listening to that was talking about women's issues. It covered a broad variety of topics, but the first one that I was to discuss with you is the problem with women being so critical of themselves.
I don't really have a good explanation of why this is, but I see it every single day in the women that I am around (and even in myself). We are so critical of our bodies, and so aware of every imperfection in them. Jillian Michaels was saying on the podcast that she was at a book signing where a woman came up to her and wanted her to sign her "Making the Cut" book, and the woman was talking to her about losing the "last 10 pounds." Jillian was saying that the woman was in great shape, and really didn't have a single pound to lose or need to do anything with her body, but the woman just obsessed about a tiny bit of skin on her stomach from having two children in two years.
Basically what Jillian said, and what I agree with, is that the problem at that point is not a physical one, it is a mental and emotional one. Instead of focusing on the positive aspects of her body - like the fact that she had two healthy, beautiful children in the span of two years time, and that she had lost all of her baby weight and was really taken care of her body, she was focusing on the one tiny little aspect of herself that she wasn't happy with. What makes us so critical of ourselves? Ultimately, why do we feel this pressure to look like we are ready to be on the cover of a magazine every single day? I don't have a solid answer for it, but I presume some of it comes from the pressures of women around us, some of it comes from society and the pressures of Hollywood and all that, and some of it comes from within ourselves.
The goal for this Work On It Wednesday is to stop. Stop criticizing your imperfections. Stop only seeing the negatives of yourself - your looks, your personality, or whatever. Each person has good and bad, and your personality is a balance between those. Focus on the positives - maybe you are really athletic, or really smart, or a great mother. Maybe you have wonderful arms, or eyes, or hair, or feet. Maybe you have extra skin because you lost a lot of weight - but you are so much healthier now than you were before, and no longer have the chronic diseases associated with obesity. Appreciate your body for what it can do, and where it has gotten you so far in your life. There are always going to be things about ourselves that we don't like, but so what? Who do you know that is perfect? This week, I am going to make an effort to look in the mirror every single morning and point out something that I love about myself. To begin to appreciate those small things that we see as positives is the first step in beginning to appreciate our beauty and uniqueness as individuals - and the first step to accepting ourselves as whole.