Words To Live By

In the Spring I had the privilege of running a 10k with the fabulous women of the NTC Lincoln Park community. The run was great, but the best part of the morning was the discussion led by Celebrity Trainer and host, Jeanette Jenkins and Olympic Gymnast, Shawn Johnson.

NTC_Jeanette Jenkins

Shawn is one of Jeanette’s clients (along with Pink and Alicia Keys and other celeb bombshells) and their dynamic energy was seriously awesome to be around. Jeanette and Shawn spoke about their commitment to fitness, what being healthy meant to them and the playlists that soundtracks their sweat fests. During the question and answer segment one of the attendees asked Jeanette what her favorite exercise was. I was certain that her response would involve either a squat or a burpee, and I have to say I was not prepared for her response.

Jeanette thought for a moment and then got up and walked over to the mirror and said:

“I love you.”

All of us were caught totally off guard and were moved by her answer. In that moment as a group we all nodded our heads, smiled, and agreed with her. It was a matter of hours later when I caught myself groaning at my own reflection. I hate my thighs. Remembering Jeanette’s sentiment I realized the true meaning behind her advice. As women we are literally DYING to be thin, “toned,” or to achieve a genetically unattainable body type. We critique all of our body parts incessantly and compare ourselves not only to what we see on TV and in print, but also to each other. What’s worse is that so many unhealthy and destructive habits form as a results of our constant self-deprecation. And it’s seriously not okay.

It seems like many of us get lost in the end results and miss the beauty of the journey. We forget that every time we workout and challenge our body to do something new we are in reality creating a better version of ourselves. Every drop of sweat is literally weakness leaving our body. We shed negativity and thoughts that tell us, no or can’t. Every time we engage in physical activity we are in fact evolving and therefore progressing – and that is what it is all about. Progress, not perfection. Yea, it doesn’t happen right away, but the change we so desperately want is made up of tiny parts: dedication, commitment, and movement. It is actually an amazing process. Enjoy it. Don’t count down the minutes until it’s over. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t wait to enjoy your body. It’s the only thing we have control over, and it’s the greatest thing we’ll ever own. So do that – own it and love it no matter what.

You deserve that. We all do.

NTC Lincoln Park 10k

Thank you again to NTC Lincoln Park for this incredible opportunity. To learn more about Jeanette click here.

Images via: NTC Lincoln Park, Sweat Burn This.


  1. Nicole Kaufmann

    This is perfect. Was JUST having these thoughts this morning (and while that sounds coincidental, how many mornings/afternoons/evenings do we NOT have these thoughts?). What do I need to do to see more change in body? Why am I not thinner? How can I look like her? And I had to tell myself to STOP. Focus on what I am capable of (yes, my thighs are bigger than that girl’s, but damn, they can squat a lot of weight and support some really awesome yoga poses!), rather than what I look like. Be happy with where I am right now. Stop comparing myself to others and especially not to the media. Recognize the hard work I have put in to be where I am. ACCEPT ME. Definitely something we all need to step back and do every day!

  2. This is AMAZING! I have chills…thanks for writing and sharing–great way to start the week. It’s too easy to be consumed by what we don’t have. It’s wasted energy! Something ALL of us need pratice EVERYDAY.

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