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  • Susie Csorsz Brown

More than

It’s horrible, isn’t it? Why on earth do we put ourselves through this? Who came up with this ridiculous concept anyway? There is no reason we should dread ‘bikini or swimsuit season’ and there is no reason we should try to refocus our energy/efforts/nutrition in order to meet falsified and impossible goals … not even those that are paid for their looks and beauty can accomplish them! We read more and more often of photoshop feats that end up with inches carved off of already-dangerously thin bodies, and larger eyes cheekbones painted onto already beautiful faces … it’s not real. A lot of it is not even physically possible. Don’t try and accomplish what only a surgeon or a photoshop artist can.

What is ‘pretty’ anyway? It’s a completely arbitrary value based on one’s opinion that can change, literally, at the drop of a hat. Or the blink of an eye. Or country of residence. Wrinkles are beautiful. Age can be beautiful. Knowledge can be beautiful. Health is always beautiful. Value what is real, now what is on the surface. You can’t air-brush what’s really there, inside.

Be real. You can definitely accomplish that. You’ll rock that bikini anyway because what they don’t tell you with those touched-up photos is that a good portion of that ‘bikini body’ is the proper mindset and attitude. Being real and being healthy and having energy is so much more meaningful than being 110 pounds and thin.

This is what I want for you:

I want you to know that you are more than your body.

I want you to be active for enjoyment and health, whether that is inside a gym or playing outside. Just move more. Be free, and do what you love.

I want you to eat for nourishment so that you can live your best life possible. I want for you to be mindful about what you eat because that will help you focus on the best nutrition you can give your body. Focus on foods with shorter ingredient lists and those that are closer to how Ma Nature created them; those are the kind that will keep you feeling your best. Be physically active because you like doing it, and it makes you feel strong, and not because it will get you into the teensy, weensy, itty, bitty bikini.

I want to encourage you to ask yourself some questions about what the "perfect body" means to you and what you think would change about your life if you were thinner or more muscular. More blonde or less petite? Would you know ‘better’ people? Would you be happier? Would you accomplish great professional goals? The one thing that would improve your life, I dare say, is to focus on being more healthful, whatever that looks like to you (e.g. more stress-relief, water, or veggies; less preservatives, smoking, or sodium; ‘more healthful’ is what you make of it).

I want to challenge you to stop the "diet camaraderie" with your friends and start encouraging each other that you are enough. Exactly the way you are, right now.

I want to tell you that if you enjoy being a personal trainer or going to a personal trainer, keep doing it! There is nothing inherently wrong with personal training or gyms or even weight loss. But just because "diet culture" is everywhere does not mean you have to be a part of it if you don't want to be.

You are more than your body. You are an amazing person. You know how to laugh. You know how to be real. You know how to connect with others. You know how to be a supportive and present parent. You know how to be patient. You know how to reach out to others. You know how to listen. You know when to talk and when to shut your mouth. You know what is important. You know that one + one is more than two and that community is to be valued and cherished. You know that there is beauty in what is around you. You know that we have to look out for those who need it.

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