A couple weeks ago there was a hoax going around the internet about the so-called 'bikini bridge' trend where very thin women take pictures of the gap between their bikini and hips, and then tweet them out with the hashtag #bikinibridge.

As you might expect, the internet, including many of my strong female friends, went nuts over this. Headlines like, “Has 'bikini bridge' become the new thigh gap? Disturbing new selfie fad circulating on social media,” rang loud and wide across the interwebs and heated discussions of society’s lack of respect for the female body were rampant.

bikini-bridgeMy perspective on this topic is a bit different than the masses. What do I think, you ask? It may surprise you. I think...

Who freaking cares about bikini bridges and thigh gaps?

Yes, I agree that it’s not healthy for women to be comparing themselves to others or trying to measure up to society’s standard of what is beautiful, even if that template is a photoshopped version of the real deal.

Of cooooourse I agree that these sorts of warped images across the internet are not setting a healthy body image example for ourselves and our future generations of strong, confident, self-loving women.

Realization: I don’t need to push against in order to get what I want.

For me, there came a point where I realized I don’t need to push against what other people are saying or doing in order to live my best life and love and appreciate myself.

I used to be 35 pounds heavier than I am now and I hated it. For sure, I wanted a thigh gap and I probably would have even checked to see how my bikini bridge measured up too if this trend had happened back in that time of my life.

But now I don’t even care... even though if I were to check right now, I probably do have both. I tell you this because in my perspective, it’s not wrong to be thin, have a “bikini body,” or to want one. You want a thigh gap? That’s okay! Don’t judge yourself for wanting that or hate yourself for not having it. Shelve that desire for a bit and just read on…

My strength is in showing women that you truly can have these things that you want for your body and your life, you just have to be willing to do the work in a different way… working on the emotional side of yourself rather than just dieting, exercising, willpowering, and forcing yourself there.

Measuring Up vs. Being The Best Version Of Yourself

Looking back, I now see that the root of what allowed me to get the body of my dreams while loving the body I had all along the way was a shift from believing I needed to "measuring up" over to being the best version of me each step of the way, feeling confident and sure of myself and what I wanted regardless of what anyone else is saying or doing.

This journey from unawareness and disconnection with yourself to awareness and deep connection is almost like a formula. I’ve seen it time and time again. It’s a switch from reacting to everything that is happening around us, i.e. what society, friends, family etc are doing, saying, telling us we need to be… over to inward reflection and guiding our decisions and desires based on what is truuuuuly important to us.

We don’t need society, our friends, or our family to change or to say anything different in order for us to do this. We just have to pay attention to how we feel and accept ourselves, on a daily basis, in seemingly small ways.

For me that started as appreciating the muscles in my shoulders as I lifted weights at the gym. And then that expanded into appreciating my calves and how muscular they are. I consciously practiced appreciating every little thing I could about my body until one day I felt strong enough to look myself in the mirror – in the eyes – and feel love for myself, true heartfelt love, and then… to say it out loud. I love you, Sheila. And I meant it.

How To Stop Being Stuck

Pushing against the media and things like the thigh gap… arguing over who’s right and who’s wrong, trying to BE RIGHT… it just keeps us stuck. It keeps us in resistance.

I say, don’t worry about what everyone else is saying or doing. Just focus on you. You do you, meaning do the work on yourself, keep your focus on what truly matters, and let the rest just roll off your back.

This is exactly the path that got me from being 35 pounds heavier to where I am now – extremely happy with my body, healthy, and open to experiencing life in what I am calling an “open-hearted” way (my theme for 2014).

I can teach you the steps to traveling this path too. I want to be honest, it’s not a diet, and it’s not a quick fix overnight process. It takes work and commitment to yourself. But I promise, the freedom…. and the peace… and the love… is worth it.

If you are struggling with this yourself and would like to work together to get you there, shoot me a note. We’ll set up a time where you and I can jump on the phone for a 30-minute discovery session to discuss what you’re going through and what I can offer through my 1-on-1 coaching.