I asked the amazing Heather L. Moyse, 2x Olympic Gold Medalist in Women’s Bobsled, to film a personalized video for my gymnast daughter a number of years ago. Why? It’s not uncommon for girls (as well as those who define as he/him and they) to struggle with body image issues or the adjustment as bodies change.
Gymnasts, swimmers, dancers, and others who have to wear tight clothing while also developing, while also performing in front of crowds may face this even earlier than most.
(And let’s be honest. We carry that self-criticism shame into adulthood, robbing us of acknowledging our greatness by fixating on “problem areas”.)
Take a look at this beautiful video by Heather, and how at the moment she is getting almost choked up at the importance of this message on healthy body image and the importance of building STRENGTH as a girl. (Which I think we adults could benefit from as well.)
We need more role models like Heather professing strength, power, muscles and healthy food over being slight, meek, waif and denying food as the hallmarks of teenage beauty. Who is someone comfortable in their body? Who is perfectly imperfect and owns that? How have you become more self-accepting of your body and self-image, and what difference has it made in your ability to recognize yourself?
Arm Yourself With Resources – For Yourself and Those You Love
This video is particularly fitting to share this month as it’s Healthy Eating Month as celebrated by the Dietitians of Canada. For all kinds of great resources brought to you by the over 12K Dietitians in Canada, visit this site.
Heather also has a powerful book about our mindsets. Not long after she filmed this video for my daughter, Heather released a book “Redefining Realistic,” that I devoured. It’s a powerful read for any of us. If you are a mom/dad, coach, grandparent, aunt/uncle of someone who might need a reminder, feel free to share.
A special thanks to the folks in last week’s Q&A (following my “Flip Side of Failing” #IWD2021 keynote) for asking about supporting our girls to ditch perfectionism, spurring me to share the story of this video, and then asking for permission to share it with their girls. In responding to your question, I realized it’s a much broader question and an important topic for us all to reflect on. Huge thanks to Heather for generously allowing me to share this video with you.
In the wisdom of the Dalai Lama XIV written in our Great Book of the Month, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World:
“Acceptance, it must be pointed out, is the opposite of resignation and defeat.”
May we accept our bodies as the gifts we have been bequeathed without ever having had to ask.
PS – Here’s a shout-out to the 12K Dietitians of Canada for your work on the frontline of healthy eating, lifestyle change, and eating disorder healing. Having had the privilege of speaking for you a few years ago, I KNOW your passion. The energy for positive good was palpable among the almost 1000 of us in the room, and the fact my daughter could be in the room with all of us was all the more special for me as a mom of a tween girl. Keep doing the important work you’re doing. We NEED your professional greatness in the world!
Here are a few more resources that will help you to give yourself a bit of self-care: