Is "looking thin" the biggest compliment you can get?

If I asked you what would be the biggest compliment anyone could give to you, what would you say?

For me, I’d say the most flattering comment someone could say to me would be that I inspire people and change lives.

But it wasn’t too long ago that if I was asked this same question, I’d have a very different answer.

A few years ago, the best thing anyone could say to me?

You look skinny.

You look thin.

You look like you lost weight.

It’s actually crazy to me when I think about it.  Any time someone told me I looked thin, I would devour their comment, soak up the praise like I’d just won a grammy.

So much of my days were spent “trying” to get to this point of being thin and then torturing myself to stay there. I strived, yearned, pleaded and desperately wanted to just be skinny.

Now, I think back, almost in sadness…THIS was my main goal and what I wanted to achieve?! Crazy talk!

And I know I’m not alone. There are so many women who spend so much of their lives desperately trying to be thin, to lose weight, and to fit back into their skinny jeans.

When did we get this message that our bodies should be our biggest achievements? That if we are thin, toned, and a size two, then we’ve somehow “made it”?

How much of our lives do we painstakingly devote to this relentless pursuit? Of losing those last five pounds? Of having a tight, toned body? And of achieving the perfect figure that we long for?

When we did start striving to LOOK good rather than FEEL good? Think about how much time we spend in front of the mirror-scrutinizing our bodies and scheming about how we will “fix” our perceived flaws.

Where is the inner happiness in all of this? And what about how we actually feel on the inside?

If I could go back in time and give my younger self advice, this is what I would say:

Let go of trying to lose weight. Your self-acceptance comes from within, not from some size you are trying to achieve.

Surrender your obsession with wanting a magazine worthy beach body. The happiness you long for doesn’t come from having a smaller figure. 

It’s time to focus on more than striving to be thin as your benchmark for success and a measure of who you are. There is so much more to you than just your body. Who you are is on the inside. 

Focus on what moves you, what lights you up, what brings you joy. That is what is going to bring you lasting contentment and peace.

Find something that excites you, that energizes you, that fills you with passion. This will be the fuel that propels you forward in life.

Cultivate your strengths, your strong suits, your talents. You become who you are meant to be when you allow these to be your guiding light.

Pay attention to your heart, your intuition, your gut. This is the path to living your own life of fulfillment, of creating a life you are proud of.

And most importantly, don’t spend another second relentlessly pushing yourself to be skinnier. You will regret the years you spent not enjoying your body.

It’s time we set the bar higher for the women in our lives. For our daughters, friends, and the younger generation whose attitudes and views are being shaped as we speak.

It’s time to release our obsessive focus on what we achieve with our bodies, and instead emphasize what we achieve in our lives.

It’s time to let go of our focus on how we look in the mirror, and instead concentrate on who we are being out in the world.

And it’s time to relentlessly pursue the “finding” of our greatness, instead of relentlessly pursuing the “perfecting” of our bodies.

How would your world change if you let go of the focus on losing weight? What would you say to your younger self in regards to body image and appearance? Share your thoughts below.  Pass the message along on facebook-it’s something every woman needs to hear 🙂

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