Yesterday I was honored to speak to 5o young dancer girls aged 8-18 about positive self-talk, feelings, desire, and body love at Elite Dance Studio in Homer Glen, Illinois. I took a moment during my speech and I became quiet. I said to the girls, “What I am going to say is very important.” They all sat up a little taller and the room got silent. The adults even leaned in a little bit.
I said, “No matter what you look like at any point in your life, you always deserve to feel happy and you always deserve to have what you desire.”
Allow what you desire to come into your life when it feels right, not when you finally fit into a certain size or weigh a certain number; not when your hair is a certain length or you are finally satisfied with how you look; not when you feel you finally “deserve” it.
Some people might say, “don’t wait until you are your own version of perfect” to go on that dream vacation, or try surfing, or buy that fitted dress, or get on stage in front of an audience. Possibly true. Sometimes, though, now is not the time. Everyone has their learning process. When your desire to feel something, experience something, or accomplish something is greater than “the wait,” you will know when it’s time.
I’ve never spoke about this publicly, only with select friends, but my great experience with “waiting until I approved of the way I looked” related to guys and dating. I didn’t date (at all) until my mid-to-late twenties. I didn’t even have a boyfriend until I was 32. Oh, I had crushes galore since first grade, but 1) I didn’t believe anyone would want to date me because I was overweight and 2) I didn’t want to date anyone until I really liked my own body.
It makes sense. Until you love yourself, you cannot wholly love another. If you do not love and accept your body, you cannot receive another person’s love and acceptance for your body. It’s more important that you love yourself!
I am a PRIZE, and I knew it. I know it now. I’ve always known it. But I felt like more of a prize inside than outside, and I wanted to feel like both. I absolutely do not regret that I didn’t date. It actually worked out perfectly because when I finally entered my first real romantic relationship, I felt like hot stuff. I felt secure and confident. I felt self-love and I felt like I deserved a guy who felt similarly about himself. Because I felt like that, I attracted a man to me that enjoyed my inner and outer radiance, and I could accept his compliments excitedly and fully.
Accept yourself now. Take responsibility for it. If you feel like your disapproval of your body is hindering you fully experiencing life, then think about what your next step is.
In my reality, I feel that the extra weight I used to have hindered me from fully SHINING and EXPRESSING myself in all sorts of ways. The extra weight didn’t make me any less of a person, but in my reality, I was hiding. As I sculpted my muscles and ate better more consistently; as I felt joy and gratitude and excitement more often; as I started hanging out with people who liked to shine; and as I lived in alignment with my values, my body became a physical representation of the gorgeousness I’ve always felt on the inside.
If there are changes you want to make, start the second you feel inspired. Like right now. Throw out the processed food. Put on your shoes and go for a walk. Pour yourself a cup of water and quit drinking those caffeinated beverages loaded with artificial crap. Write a list of things you like about yourself. Give away the clothes that you don’t feel great in. Buy yourself some flowers. Begin today. Begin again tomorrow. Begin the moment you feel inspired.