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Dear Cassey,

I really need some advice on body image. I am quite short (5ft) and am naturally a bit more curvy looking. I eat healthy and workout regularly, but I just never feel good enough…on social media all I see are these beautiful/sexy/curvy/fit women and I feel like I’m doing something wrong. It’s like I’m not working hard enough, eating clean enough, or just not working as hard as they are. It has really impacted my self esteem and self worth…any advice on how to get over this would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Sad on Social

Dear Sad on Social,

You are not alone.

So many of us women are constantly comparing ourselves against the latest beauty ideals. Be it putting ourselves up against magazine cover girls, Instagram influencers, actresses, models, or the pretty girl in the front row of your yoga class – I guarantee that you’re not the only one doing this and you are DEF not the only one who feels terrible afterwards.

Let me remind you of this: Comparison is the thief of joy.

The less you can compare, the happier you’re going to feel. It’s really that simple.

But…how do you stop yourself from comparing?

First, it begins with you understanding that comparison is a waste of energy. Why use your precious energy to pick yourself a part when you could be using that same energy to build yourself up? We all have 24 hours in a day, and what we choose to do with our limited time here on earth will dictate how our future self will look. I choose to focus on me instead of focusing on other people. That’s the secret to getting ahead and getting what you want. I want you to CHOOSE to stop comparing. This is a choice you can make.

Secondly, please realize that what people post on social media is simply a portfolio of the best moments and the best angles they’ve chosen to share. That’s right – they’re not sharing the the tears, the exhaustion, the frustration, the anger, and the sadness that’s very normal for human beings. Why? Simple. It doesn’t get likes and engagement. So the social media algorithm has trained us to share the better parts of our lives.

Additionally, a lot of people hype things up and make things sound wayyyyy better than they actually are. (Trust me – I personally know people like this. I’ve either muted them or unfollowed them because I can’t take the exaggeration.) And then you have the people who actually photoshop their pictures so that they have perfectly smooth skin, teeny tiny waists, longer legs, skinnier arms, and enhanced butts. There’s so many free photo editing apps out there that can allow anyone (like even my mom) to make believable edits to a photo. So again – you cannot take to heart everything you see!

Finally – you mentioned that looking at other perfect bodies on social media makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough. I get how that can feel. So I’m going to ask you a tough question: Do you, in the deepest part of your heart and soul, think you are actually doing enough to get where you want to be?

If I asked you that question and you suddenly feel attacked or offended, then I think you know what that means. It’s tough to be honest with ourselves because when things are bad, it never feels good to realize that you are where you are because of well, you. But know what? The good thing is that if you got yourself here, you can also get yourself out! You are in control of your destiny. It’s okay to take a moment to feel sad or angry with yourself, but let those emotions be short and temporary. Once you start creating a specific plan for how you’re gonna get to where you wanna be – girl, you’re gonna be on fire! A girl with a plan and determination is UNSTOPPABLE!

That’s how my 90 Day Journey started. My goal was to get in the fittest shape of my life mentally and physically. I declared my goals, how I was going to eat, how I was going to work out, and how I was going to reflect daily. And you know what? It’s been over 100 days AFTER my 90 Day Journey has ended I’ve not gained back any of that pre-journey weight and any of that pre-journey timid mentality. It all started with me being brutally honest with myself.

On the other hand, if you genuinely and truly are doing everything to the best of your ability, then girl, you’re doing your best and I am so proud of you!!! That is all anyone can ask for!! YOU ARE AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL!!!! If no one has told you that lately, I am telling you that now.

Listen, your version of best looks different than someone else’s version of best. Your version of happy is different than someone else’s version of happy. Your version of success is different than someone else’s version of success.

We are all made up of different genes and DNA – so how can we expect the same results? Biologically and genetically, we are different.

Accept your body for what it is and focus on the things that make you feel strong…things that make you feel skilled…things that make you feel happy. When you shift your focus from the physical to the internal, life gets so much better. And you know what? Sometimes all that stress from worrying about your body, makes your body stagnate in progress. Letting go will let things flow. And maybe, just maybe, your body will end up transforming without you obsessing over it so much.

Hope that helps Sad on Social!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

The Conversation (21)

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  • Moonlight says:

    Dear Cassey,
    In the last 4 years my body has changed a lot, negatively, and I don’t feel good with it at all. I’m not overweight but I would like to flat my stomach a little bit. I’ve tried your abs workout but I couldn’t do the majority of the exercises and I didn’t understand why. This year I’ve found out that I have a slight scoliosis and that was the reason. I would like to know which exercises I can do without damage my back and flat my stomach at the same time. I’m trying to work on myself and I hope you could help me.
    Cheers from Italy
    Moonlight

  • Karen says:

    Dear Cassey,
    How can I keep a healthy lifestyle while everybody else isn’t? Where can I find the motivation to keep going, scaping from the chocolates they offer me and the invitations to the McDonald’s?

  • Simon says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I would like to know how to get myself in shape for my upcoming physical fitness test in five weeks! I am horrible at pull-ups and long runs, would like to know what type of workouts you recommend for me to improve in those areas. Also, I have a busy packed schedule in school. My lessons ends between 2pm to 6pm, and getting to squeeze some time into getting my physical good self back is really challenging. I would like to know what type of time management techniques should I adopt and how to not get overworked by all of this. I also would like to know what to do in a classroom situation. Recently we have gotten ourselves into more gym lessons that are focused on strength training, and our gym teacher recommended that people who are bad at the fitness test should be with him. However, there are some people who are super fit that are in the group, and showing off to others that they are better than us. Things like running super fast during training and doing pull ups with one arm is making me very angry and discouraging. What should i do in this situation?

    Love to hear your advice.

    Yours sincerely,
    Self-improving Simon

  • Yusra says:

    Dear Cassey,
    What is the best way to recover after a workout? During the week I go to Zumba class, swimming, badminton and participate in yoga and pilates at home. However sometimes my body aches so bad the next day that I’m not able to do anymore exercise or I feel like my muscles haven’t grown stronger due to them not recovering fast enough. My main priority at the moment is to gain muscle, especially on my arms because I’m so weak! But I feel like I’ve been working my arms for a while now and I still don’t see much of a difference. When I lift weights I don’t push myself like I do with other workouts because I’m afraid I might tear my muscles and won’t be able to recover fast enough due to my lack of knowledge on building muscle mass! I’m not sure what to do 😕

    • risaa says:

      hihi, I recently learned that gaining muscle isn’t just about lifting or exercising! In order to build muscle, we should be eating enough protein (apparently .5 grams per pound you weigh) and working on progressive overload, which is increasing your reps/weight/etc. In that sense, you absolutely have to push yourself when lifting, otherwise you can’t judge whether you’re getting stronger! if you’re using the correct form it should tire you out, not hurt. oh and regarding the soreness: stretching post-workout is a necessity in my opinion, foam rolling works really well, and eating foods high in potassium like bananas or kiwis should offset the worst of it! if you have instagram, check out @cindyelizabethlifts! she’s not necessarily influencer famous, but she shares a whole bunch of really well researched information :) hope this helps :)

  • annafld98 says:

    Hi Cassey! I want to know that you also know the situation when you eat a lot of sweet things those days? and after you can see what you eat but when you are in the moment you actually cant. I will graduated in summer, and I feel stressed sometimes in afternoon and I noticed that I eat a dark chocholate… and after I feel so fustrated cause I eat that chocolate… and I hate myself for it…

  • Sad Girl says:

    How can Cassey be so kind and never jealous of others? I can’t stop comparing myself!

  • Paola says:

    How do you keep mentally motivated and physically active when you have to rest because of an injury and therefore you cannot work out?

    Injured in Recovery

  • Tegan says:

    I definitely get this. Cassey, I’m not sure if you have but could you do more in-depth with what you eat / how much you workout each week. I know I am not doing enough but I don’t know what steps to take. I also keep forgetting to do 1 self-care thing a week but will start prioritising it!

  • Tara says:

    I compare myself to… You! You are the same height, same age, and same body type as me. But you look so much better! And are so insanely successful! But I’m okay with it. You are amazing after all!

  • Malia says:

    Okay… At first I didn’t think reading this would have any affect on me as I don’t struggle with comparisons. Instead I use motivations to get me going without being jealous. But reading this actually did make me think. I like reading things sometimes even if I don’t think it will apply to me, because It is information that I could potentially use to help someone else. But reading this actually had an affect on me. At the end where you said that worrying about your body can make it stagnate; that’s where I had a pause…. And thought… I do tend to do that. So overly focused on what I want. There’s nothing wrong with focus, but when you’re stressing about it and, things aren’t happening right away, and you start stressing about that more….. It does slow your progress down. Thanks for doing this series and helping us all reflect on ourselves.

  • Julie3723 says:

    Hi Casey,
    so… my question is very simple – should I eat a breakfast? I wanna lose weight and be fit and you know, stuff like that but everything is going so slowly that sometimes, I think that I will never lose some weight. So I read about intermittent fasting and I tried it. But it was hard for me. I realized, that breakfast is so important for me and it’s my favourite food during the day. My ussually breakfast is greek yoghurt with banana, cinnamon and oats. Or oatmeal porridge without sugar but with fruit. Or avo toast sometimes. I really love this food and I enjoy it. Also I’m a high school student and during intermittent fasting I realized that I have the worse mood in the morning and school is more horrible for me. I think it doesn’t make a sence. So I wanna ask you, if I should skip breakfast, because in.fasting is a helpful with losing weight. What’s is your experience with this? Thank you for your answer and also sorry for my not so good english.
    Jojo

    • Corina says:

      I am not Cassey, but if you enjoy breakfast, eat it! Please do not do intermittent fasting especially because you are still young and developing. I did this junior year of high school and resulted me into losing my period! It may sound good, but it can cause early menopause and osteoporosis. I had to gain all the weight back I lost just to keep my body functioning correctly again. Your breakfasts seem very well nourishing and I am positive you can get by without skipping your favorite meal :)

    • Apolline LT says:

      If breakfast is your favourite meal of the day, do not cut it ! You seem to be eating healthy food in the morning, and seem to need it to have energy for the first part of the day, so don’t stop it ! You should never stop something that brings you joy if it isn’t harmful to you. What’s the point of life if you’re doing things that makes you feel all bad ? If you ate two boxes of doughnuts in the morning, I might tell you to slow dioxin, but you seem to eat healthily !
      If it really worries you, maybe eat just a little less in the evening. Intermittent fasting might work for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Find out what works for you – and something that makes you feel bad throughout the whole morning can’t be it !
      Do not get discouraged because your progress is slow. I know it’s easy to say, but weight loss IS a slow process. It can be frustrating, but if you lose weight slowly, it means it will be sustainable, and you won’t get everything back the second you stop being careful.
      Your body has to go through a whole process, to adjust to its new needs when you lose weight. Give it time, and keep up the good work ! It will show.
      Better to go slowly and not obsess over it. If you do diets that aren’t adapted to you, you might put your body in shock or even survival mode, and you might achieve the opposite of what you want.
      Slow and steady won the race applies quite well to weight loss !
      So be patient, don’t lose hope, and eat breakfast if it makes you happy ! Your body won’t thank you if you punish yourself.

  • I am guilty of that no matter how much weight I lose I always feel like I need more. No matter how good people say I look it outfits there is always someone better than me that makes me want more and even go to dangerous length to achieve such goals. I have lost close to ten pounds but still don’t feel confident enough to show off skin. What should I do ?

  • Krystal Wine says:

    Through the years my weight has been up and down . I was up to 203 @ my heaviest weight. I’m only 5 6 so through diet and portion control over two years I very gotten down to 148.6 .I have to do alot of the modification due to my left hip surgery at 26 & I deal with pain & stiffness from that but just started the 28 day summer calendar by recommendation of my mom and I feel great want to tone up some before my big day on june 13 2020.

  • Comparison is truly the their of joy, I don’t even like comparing me to previous versions of myself! We are always ever evolving beings on spiritual and physical journeys.

  • Emily says:

    This one hit home for me. I’m guilty of comparing myself all the time. Mostly to the friends and people around me rather than photoshopped celebs. I really liked what you said about ‘my version of success’. It’s so true. And sometimes, we forget to celebrate the small victories – Even just showing up to the yoga mat each day is a huge thing. Every one of us is different and we’re all on our own unique journey. I must remind myself of this whenever those comparison feelings creep in. Thank you for writing Cassey! Xx

    • Oh Emily. You sweetheart.

    • Oh Emily, you sweetheart. 💓 you are perfect in every which way. Just showing up is already more than half the work. :) Stay strong! Because I know you are.

      • Emily says:

        Thank you Linda! Your kind words have really made my day! Thank you so much! I wish you all the best Xx

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