A couple of days ago I posted this photo of myself on Instagram...no make up, hair with a mind of its own and a genuine smile because I just had done something good for myself. I got some really nice comments on IG for which I’m really grateful.
The truth is I don’t look as slim in real life. I’ve mentioned this the first time I posted a photo of myself in these shorts and it’s really not false modesty. I’m aware of my flaws the same way I’m aware of my achievements. I’m not that lean yet but this photo still made me feel good because it was a testimonial of how far I had come to be comfortable enough at the age of 45 to put a photo of myself out there without make-up and showing my wrinkles….until someone close to me crushed me and pointed out that my legs were not really looking like this.
It’s one thing being aware of your flaws and body issues. It’s another thing having someone pointing them out. I don’t even want to be angry at that person. I know she would move mountains if anything happened to me but some people are not really good with their verbal delivery…and it hurt like hell (it still does) and I felt like giving up all my efforts and then I thought…no, not this time.
We all get hurtful, unsolicited advices and comments when we embark on a new lifestyle and make change to the way we eat and exercise and the bad news is that we can’t make people like, love, understand or accept these changes. The good news…it doesn’t matter. You’re doing this for yourself so if you’ve been hurt by unsolicited comments and advices, here are a few tips:
1/ Fake it until you make it: You don’t have that lean body yet but the lens of your phone has graced you with a shot of you that is pleasing, put it out there. The lens may have been kind but you can’t be far off from your goals anyway so if you have a photo of yourself where you look good, focus on that.
2/ Feed your emotional bank account with positive images of yourself: I went through mild depression two years ago, I spent the first 8 years of Mila’s life shying away from the camera because I didn’t like myself on picture and the lack of photos with my daughter during all these years makes me really sad but I can’t change that. What I can change is the way forward and this year I have decided that it is the year I will re-invent myself to be the lean, fit and happy person I want to be (remember my post about What if…?) so yes this year, you will see more photos of me on Instagram because the changes I’ve made to my lifestyle are finally paying off. Feed your emotional bank account with happy memories, with images of the kids smiling and photos of yourself smiling and accept the flipping compliments you get! I don’t know why women find it so hard to take a compliment but gee take it and run with it!
3/ Focus on the things that make you feel good when you’re hurting: For me, they are simple things like having a fresh lemon in lukewarm water first thing in the morning, drinking green tea throughout the day, making a green smoothie, eating healthy, clean food because each time I make a decision to feed my body well, it has a positive impact on my mind. By doing simple things with a mindful, you are re-centering your focus on the positive side of things
4/ Move on and let go: The hurtful comment or the person who made it are not the issue. They may have their own issues to say something hurtful in the first place. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people think. You’re doing this for yourself. When I look at this photo of myself, I see a genuine smile from someone who felt good after doing yoga, not the lean legs that I know are not real (yet) and it’s this smile I will hang onto until the pain goes but don’t be angry. Anger is not something you want bottled inside you, let it go…
5/ Don’t give up: You’re doing this for yourself. You’re not in for a quick fix but for a long, sustainable lifestyle that will enable you to be at peace and happy with your body regarding its form or shape. It’s a process, enjoy the journey, write down your achievements, cry one day if you have to but pick yourself up the day after. You can do this because you’ve achieved a lot already.
I hope this helps, love.
Just wanted to say that I follow your feed on IG and it’s been great to see your progress. Just read your post this morning and I thought of something I read which is apt. It’s a quote by Theodore Roosevelt.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Thank you Kiran, what a glorious, strong and empowering quote, thank you!
I usually regularly follow along with your progress on IG and comment there, but I’ve been having an IG break lately – however, I was fortunate today to have a quick peek and to see your post on this – so I came over here for a read.
This is such so beautiful, it’s wonderful to read how you’ve dealt with this in a positive way – even though the comment was hurtful and I would have been terribly hurt too. I dearly wish more people could have this perspective, I love your honesty and authenticity and how you look at how you can learn from experiences.
I don’t doubt that you are going to get the body you’re working so hard for – but you’ve already got a beautiful heart and a wisdom that can only come with being a few extra years over 20 :-)
Enjoy the skiing!
Oops, ‘such’ shouldn’t be in there – too many words and grammatical errors drive me crazy! :-)
Why do women always have to focus on the negativity ? You can bet this frenemy pored over every detail of that photo and picked out the one thing she could snark on. If she did this on IG you can bet she does this in real life too. People like her consciously or not only choose friends who they feel are ‘equal’ to themselves. In her eyes you are surpassing her and she is bringing you back down to earth. It is pathetic. I don’t care how nice she may be otherwise no one needs someone chipping away at their self esteem. There are plenty of positive people out there. Stay strong, feel reassured that you look great. I personally think you look and are fabulous.
Thanks for your comment. The comment wasn’t made on IG, it was made to me directly and I know the person well enough to know that it was more a case of being not good at saying things rather than being mean to me, that’s why I said, it doesn’t really matter what people say. It could have well been someone I didn’t know, the important thing is not to give up because of what people say to us, sometimes they mean well and it’s still hurtful but you’re right, it’s much better when people focus on the positive rather than pointing out the negative. It takes practice I think to consciously bring everything back to a positive point of view :-)
Thank you Esther. I always love your kind comments. Enjoy your IG break.I desactivated my Facebook account after Christmas and I’m not missing it at all but I’m still enjoying IG for now
Wow! I found this post so motivational. Go Karine! #thisgirlcan
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To the next! Best wishes!!
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Brava, Karine! Dwell on the post-yoga feeling – that is the truth. You clearly are a beautiful person both inside and out.
I just love the things you write about being kind and good to your body. We all need to. Thank you for your inspiration.
Thank you so much for your post! I understand you so well.
A little bit over one year ago I also decided to change my lifestyle: shed 10 kilos, eat healthier, do more sports and put myself first more often.
A person who once meant the world to me didn’t believe in me – but I proved him wrong!
Having turned 40 some weeks ago I feel better than ever in my life!
I want to encourage you to continue your path. It’s worth it! Believe in yourself and don’t let other people hurt you!
Thank you so much for your comment and well done on your achievement! I’m so pleased for you. 10kg is about what I need to lose and it feels quite close as I have lost 3 kg since the beginning of the year, yet so far away but I will continue.
Besides the weight issue, I find that changing my lifestyle, stopping drinking coke, eating clean rather than processed food etc has actually a massive positive impact on my well-being so it may take a while but I’m not going back to my old self, only forward.
Congrat’ again on your achievements!
I’ve been following you for quite some time now and just wanted to say i love your style and I think the way you took charge of your diet and life style is very inspiring. You posted on Instagram that you have been struggling with bloated stomach recently and so I’m sending you a couple of articles on the subject. I’ve had this problem most o f my life and it has also gotten worse once I eliminated gluten and sugar from my diet, so I did tons of research on the subject and found some things that have helped me. I think the most effective thing of them all is drinking mint tea on a daily basis. Oh and kefir.
But there is more:
I hope you find it helpful.