It’s time for a very common question we get asked every day: how are you doing? “I’m fine thanks. How are you?” you say immediately back, and you’re already walking away in your head. It’s an old joke at this point; the fact that we ask this question so often without actually wanting to know the answer, or even worse, actually answer it. What a loaded question it would be if we actually had to answer it in all it’s gory detail, and I highly doubt we’d ever ask it if it actually required an honest answer. And the answer would possibly change from month to month, day to day, hell, moment to moment! I’ve had my day absolutely obliterated in mere seconds and I doubt I’m the only one.

So, how ARE you doing anyways? I know that for me, how I am doing is directly correlated to how I FEEL I am doing. I live in the moment, like a hamster. I do not consider myself as a whole. I do not care about my past accomplishments and I definitely don’t care how far I’ve come. Other people can try to cheer me on, giving me compliments and praise, but they are fools. Trapped between delusions and false flatteries. I’m busy beating myself up over here, and frankly, they’re killing my vibe. I’m the first person to admit that this is  a flaw, because being humble and being a downer are two very different things. If you can see beauty in others, you can see beauty in yourself, and don’t try to act otherwise.  Now, I’m going to make this completely clear: everyone, EVERYONE has the right to to be open with their emotions and struggles.  This is what our sisterhoods are for, to lift each other up.  We must treat others how we would want to be treated ourselves, and just as we would not want our loved ones to withhold our opportunities to lift them up during their low times, we should not deprive them of the opportunity to do the same for us.  However, I’m personally responsible for my own weaknesses and I have to be careful not to burden others with them. Every negative remark I make about myself is an affront to someone my friends care about (ME) and they have no choice but to rectify the situation, which could be fatiguing for them over time. So, I stifle my bad thoughts about myself. Because frankly, they don’t often deserve to be said out loud, and they don’t contribute to my conversations. I’ve made such a habit of biting my forked tongue that sometimes I forget to realize the thoughts are the problem, not the expulsion of them.

Our recent photo shoot (thanks Brittyni!) made me more aware of my nasty habit with a familiar instigator: kind words from another person. The lovely Sara commented a nice thing on a photo of mine in the instructor group page. Facebook alerted me, and honestly, I was surprised at the photo she chose to comment on. It was a photo that had curled my lip in disgust when I glanced at it the night before.  Nonplussed, I commented back that she picked a weird photo to take a liking to, as I just looked rather fat and bored. Now, I wasn’t saying this in a *crying emoji* “omg I’m so fat” *mortified emoji* tone.  It really felt to me like I was telling her the sky was blue, the grass was green , and you shouldn’t eat yellow snow.  Now naturally (Big cliche incoming. Brace for impact.), we all can be our own worst critics. But sometimes, I swear I’m looking at a pile of old pizza boxes and my friends are saying it looks like a bistro in Sicily, so I don’t even know where they’re coming from anymore. And instead of realizing I’M the unreliable narrator, I choose to think they’re full of it.  Now, having problems with your self image isn’t new, and it’s perfectly understandable.  We are all bombarded with fake perfection everyday, and I would like to think I’m smart enough not to fall for it, but I don’t think I always am.  I will also say, on a side note, that I CANNOT get over how amazing our students are.  I’ve seen so many girls share an entire ALBUM of photos of themselves with nothing but satisfaction and pride. I could not do that. I would rather roll down Trash Mountain teeth first than just share photos of myself that I didn’t triple check for any Unforgivable Flaws. And the reason you girls can do that is because you see the photos for what they are: a moment in time, capturing yourself doing something awesome. Cellulite be damned. Didn’t notice it anyways, on account of all the flying around doing awesome shit in amazing lighting. All of you ladies are stronger than I am, in more ways than you know!

Remember, negative self-talk doesn’t stop at appearances.  It can creep into how you view your abilities, your accomplishments, and your potential. I know this all too well. Please, PLEASE be mindful of when you’re crossing the line of realism into self abuse.  After all, we would most likely never speak to a friend the way we speak to ourselves. Do any of you out there feel like you struggle with negative self talk? Do you get hyper-focused on the negative? Ask yourselves, how ARE you doing? Because feeling bad about yourself isn’t admirable. I feel like when I am having a bad time with my self image, it can make me more vain and self obsessed than when I feel good about myself, which is frankly ironic. We were always taught by society to put ourselves down, because being vain is unattractive. How stupid is that??  How much can beat yourself up until you loop around into being vain again? This whole “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful!” BS needs to be thrown into the ocean with all of the statues of Christopher Columbus. Screw that guy. I’ve done better stuff than him at least. At the end of the day, all of us are better than Christopher Columbus, and we deserve a bank holiday in our honor.