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On Building a Better Body (Tina Planta)

May 14, 2012

For as long as I can remember, the media has been selling a perspective to me.

The perspective the media sells says I’m flawed. I need to look better. I need to be thinner. I need to hide my imperfections. I need to pretend they don’t exist. I need to pretend I’m something else: maybe taller, lighter, brighter, wealthier, more educated, more interesting. I have to look they way they say I should look. I have to wear what they are selling. If I can’t wear it, I have to try and change myself so that I can.

And if I buy what they are selling, I can’t do all of this. It’s impossible. So there have been times in my life when I have been trapped.
Have you ever been trapped by what they are selling?

How many shoulds do you have?

I can’t go to the beach because I don’t look they way I should in my bathing suit.
I don’t want to go out because I should look better than I do right now.
I will not graciously accept your compliment because I know what I should look like, and I don’t believe you.
I can’t enjoy the day until I have my makeup on, my hair just right, my clothes covering anything that isn’t as small as it should be.
I won’t be photographed because I don’t like how I look, I believe I should look better than I do.

Don’t mistake me. I am not a helpless victim to what the media sells. I chose to buy it. There is no gun pointed at my head. There is no one forcing me to believe what I see/read/hear.

So I’m taking it back. I’m returning what I bought. I’m rejecting what the media sells. I am alive in this body only once. And I only get one chance at this day. I will not spend my precious time pointlessly longing for what the media sells. I’d like to go out there and live instead.

I will take my kids to the beach. I will not care what evidence there is from my pregnancies. I would rather make memories with my children than sit at home wishing I could look like someone else.

I will thank anyone who compliments me. I will embrace and accept their kind words instead of questioning their sincerity.

My face, hair, body, color, shape are MINE. They are who I am. Deep down, I know I don’t want to be someone else. I would not trade my life for anything, so I need to stop trying to be what I am not. I will make health and contentment a priority and stop trying to make my body look like it was designed by photoshop.

I am doing away with all of those shoulds and I am embracing the right here and right now.

For those who don’t know me, I am a runner. Since I started For The Love Of The Run, I learned so much about myself. I am strong. Driven. Flawed. Sometimes I’m confused. Uncertain. Afraid. Once I stopped trying to look like an airbrushed magazine page, I started to find out who I am and what I truly love. I love how I feel when I obliterate “impossible”. I love pushing through a challenge and completing it triumphantly. I love trying, failing, dusting myself off and trying again and again and again. I love that my children are watching me and learning even when I don’t tell them to. I love that others see and believe that if I can do it, they can too. When I run, I love how it feels to push myself with every part of who I am. I cannot run without heart, mind, body, will, hope, fear, joy, love, strength all working as one. THAT is who I am. I will never be what the media tries to sell. It could never ever be as fulfilling as this.

Go ahead, zoom in….

And now, I cannot remember why I bought what the media was selling. But I am so happy that my life is richer since I stopped buying it. A flawless body doesn’t bring you to the finish line of a marathon. Only your heart, will, and determination can do that. Tears of joy cannot be shed when you are too busy worrying about your makeup. They can only be shed when you are not afraid to live in the here and now. I have stopped longing for what should be and I have joyfully embraced what is. When I am eager and excited and living in the moment, I forget to make time to worry about what physical flaws should be covered or hidden. I stopped buying the media’s perspective. I created a perspective that is my own. I have stopped looking in the mirror and wishing for flawlessness. Instead I see strength and I will use that strength to uplift and inspire others. I will never again lose precious time chasing something that cannot exist.

I promise that when you start building your heart, mind, spirit and body with everything you have instead of longing for what you lack, you’ll realize that you have so much. You have more than enough. So much that you will feel compelled to share it as I am sharing it with you now. Stop buying. Start building your own. You’ll soon realize that you don’t have to buy, because you already have more than you could ever imagine.

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6 Responses to “On Building a Better Body (Tina Planta)”

  1. Karla Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:28 am

    You have put in words all what I have been thinking for months. I started running/walking a few months back, not to look better but to raise awareness for my daughters genetic disorder and yet something happened…I started loving my body! finishing a half marathon (looking foward to the full!) is something that cannot be explained in words! now I dont care, I dont buy it anymore. My body is mine, is awesome! I am not ashamed of it anymore!

  2. Jaime Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I LOVE it! So true–and, you are mega-babe in that picture! Very Mia Hamm with your rolled up shirt 😉 Beauty can be functional, imperfect and real. blogged about this recently, and interestingly, got more hits on that day than any before. Coincidence? I think not. Women are hungry to hear that this is not just ok, but doable and fulfilling. It is!

  3. Joan Says:
    May 16th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    And THAT is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this & helping change our culture. You are wonderful & brave.

  4. nicole Says:
    May 17th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    wow! where is this lady?… shes so awesome. truely admire your courage its very inspiring 😉 maybe ill get there someday too :) lead the way !

  5. Lara Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Fabulous article! I wish you were my neighbor and I could sit and embrace life with you! What an inspiration, and said so truthfully. It has taken me almost a year to fall back in love with myself, because I too, had lost perspective. Not due to media, just let life take me down a different mountain. Now, climbing out, I wish I had more women in my life like you!! Keep doing what you do best!

  6. Shawna Says:
    May 10th, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    This article changed how i feel about myself today, you have inspired me Tina.

    Thank you kindly~

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