Sometimes titles for my posts come to me quickly and other times, like now, I have so much to say that I want to pull you in with but I can't fit it all..#thestruggle
While I wish I could've learned the things I'm going to talk about below in school. I won't blame school for not teaching them to me. I won't blame anyone. Because now,
I I'm learning through incredible life experiences, both good and not so good--what I've always wanted to learn. Now, I can do something about it. I can work every day through Strong Chicks Rock to teach women what I wanted to know. know
1.) Women empowerment is rad as fuck. High school Rachel didn't understand this. See, my friends lived off gossip and tearing others apart. While it never felt right to me, while I'm not proud of many of my actions in middle/high school--I let myself live in a reality I deemed normal, where if I wasn't dressed right I was looked down upon, where if we didn't gossip we didn't fit in, where the thought of supporting another girl wasn't heard of. How sad is that?
What is cooler than women joining together and supporting each other? Nothing. To let go of the need to compete, to support each others dreams and goals. To STOP bullying. To stand together and live in the awesomeness that is being a woman. Ladies let me tell you something, life isn't a competition between us all. So if I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: Support one another, be kind, encourage and support each other, don't let someone sit alone at lunch, compliment someone, speak nothing but goodness, be fucking good.
2.) LOVE AND ACCEPT YOURSELF. I spent hundreds of dollars that I saved from working in high school to buy extensions because I thought pretty meant long hair. I thought accepted meant Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, fancy VS underwear, highlights in my hair, eyeliner. Never did I look in the mirror and say: "Hey you beautiful girl, you are perfect just the way you are". I was so caught up in doing my hair (2 hours before school started) that I had ZERO idea of what self love even was.
Think back on your high school experience. Can you imagine the kind of life you would have lived if you had learned to love and accept yourself. Not feeling the need to change for every.single.person who made a comment about you. Not even that. Changing for what you thought people would want. Can you imagine the chain reaction that would have happened from starting to love yourself, then exuding confidence, happiness and peace? If I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: It is okay to be different, it is okay to not conform to what society says you should wear, how to act, what color to make your hair. Practice self love daily. You are allowed to love yourself.
3.) Healthy and strong aren't a joke. Though I knew better, and I have to apologize to my dad...because growing up with a strength and conditioning coach as a dad, I know what healthy is. In high school though, I went to a "normal" gym for the first time because I wanted my ex-boyfriend to see me working out. I literally would run with my bestfriend past the lacrosse field only so he could see me (yup, I was that girl). Though I knew better, I opened up Seventeen Magazine and searched for workouts, but because I had 0 self confidence and was too embarrassed to ask my brilliant dad(because in my heart--I wasn't doing this journey for me)--I went to the treadmill every time. I'm sure you know how this story continues, following the treadmill I did a few core exercise and called it a day. I didn't understand the gym, but who was I kidding. I wasn't there for me or my health.
The extent of learning about what "healthy" is, stopped in middle school after I learned what the food pyramid was--well fuck that(7-8 servings of grains a day my asshole). If you didn't play a sport you didn't learn how to workout, or what it means to be strong. Not in the sense of simply picking up a weight and putting it down, but strength in all aspects of your life. Because of fitness, because of knowing how to honor my body through food that fuels me well and through movement--I'm able to walk through life with confidence. I would have killed to feel the way I do now back in high school. I wish that someone would have talked about learning to eat healthy, not dieting, but how to honor your body with nutrient dense food. If I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: Don't be embarrassed to make healthy choices. Make this journey about YOU and no one else. Try not to fall into fads and what Seventeen says. Start moving to feel good, eat to feel good. Do those things out of an act of self love and respect
I don't share these things to diss my school, more so to speak to the women who and girls who have ever ONCE felt like I did.
I went through a lot of my life never feeling like I was enough. Like I had to change for everyone. Its not a new story. It's been told 100x over. Instead of letting it continue though, and letting the story repeat for girls for the rest of time. I want to do something about it, I want young girls, women my age and women everywhere to be able to take my stories and my past life experiences and learn from it. I want them to take the things I wish I would have learned and start making moves to change those things. How?
If you're a woman who wants to make a change in society, in how women see themselves, in how we act, do one of the following(or all--you don't need my permission):
- Be kind to women
- Let go of the need to compete with other women
- Compliment another woman
- Speak words of kindness. Gossiping needs to stop!
- Lift other women up who you admire
- Stand up for yourself
- Don't change to fit into labels you think you need to
- Practice self love (AND SHARE IT)
- Share your journey of loving yourself. It INSPIRES other women to do the same.
- Advocate for your health.
- Start to honor your body through movement and food that fuels you well
If you've ever wondered why I started SCR, what you just read about my own personal experiences with life is why.
It's not enough to go through something shitty and change then be done. To go through something shitty, change and then advocate for women to do the same--that's it. To be the change, that's why this started. Strong Chicks Rock was designed to be a community for women to grow and learn through their fitness journeys HOW to love yourself, HOW to be kind, HOW to rock your life, and HOW to create your own version of healthy. So we produce women who come out knowing their worth, loving who are they, knowing who they are and then those women inspire others to make the same change.
Will you be the change today? Will you take the reigns on your life and do something about the things you want to change?
In Light and Love,