The recent changes in the Miss America Program provoked me to think about my beliefs, values & perspective of the swimsuit competition.
For background, I’ve struggled with a negative body image, disordered eating & low self esteem for years. Before I competed I was under eating, over exercising & had so much anxiety I wasn’t sleeping & my hair fell out.
It wasn’t until I decided to compete that I started making changes in my lifestyle & with the help of my nutritionist, Brandy Seal (& Jesus) was saved from this vicious cycle of punishing & hating my body.
Because of the swimsuit competition I was motivated & challenged to learn how to take care of myself, physically & mentally. To the surprise of many I actually ate more & worked out less during my prep & focused more on work-ins than work-outs (self care, meditation #NotDoingStuff, etc)
The results that occurred may have shown in my physical appearance, but the true transformation manifested in my heart & this new found respect for my body & why I should take care of it.
When I walked across stage in a swim suit & heels it wasn’t to flaunt & exploit my body, it was to celebrate that I HAVE a body & rejoice over all the hard work & things I had to overcome to love myself again.
What I think is so interesting is that we place such an emphasis on what someone “looks” like. What I think we should be more concerned about is women’s health & teaching them how to nurture, strengthen & take care of their bodies so they can reach their fullest potential.
You can’t judge a girl’s health by the size of her body or how healthy she “appears to be” based on the way she looks.
Just because a girl is “skinny” & appears to be attractive in a swim suit (which is all subjective anyway) doesn’t mean her insides are healthy & she’s taking care of herself.
On the flip side, a girl might be eating a wholesome, nutrient dense diet, moving frequently, getting good sleep & be at optimal mental health but her body size might be physically bigger than said “skinny girl”. BUT THATS AMAZING!!! Shes taking care of her body & is healthy; her physical appearance or size has nothing to do with that.
My point is that there should be less focus on physical appearance & more focus on HEALTH. Whether you believe in swimsuit or not, the goal is to educate women on how to take care of themselves & encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle so they can go out & achieve their dreams.
The job of Miss America & any state title holder is a physically & mentally demanding job requiring stamina & good health so if you’re not in shape, you might not be able to do the job well. Notice I didn’t say if you’re not skinny or “ultra fit”. I said healthy & that looks different for everyone.
Your body is your vehicle to make a difference in this world so it’s important that it moves, functions & gives you the ability to serve at your 100% best.
What matters is that you have a body. You should be proud of that whether you’re a size 0 or 16.
God gave us these incredible bodies that breathe, digest, reproduce, feel, & heal so we should love them & keep them in great condition.
I’m passionate about helping women know their value & worth & rediscover a love for their bodies that go deeper than what people see on the outside.
I have an ebook about nutrition & health that I would love to give you if you’re struggling with eating/body image & am always open to chat about these issues, so please, drop me a line, ask your questions & let’s grow together.
I’m not writing this as someone who has it all figured out, but I’m overcoming these struggles daily & on this journey with you!!!! So let’s be a team & do life together. Let me know how I can help.
Please join the #DoStuff team for more encouragement and tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle. I love y’all so so much
xx Nicole #DoStuff