Every Friday morning at my local gym, there exists a gathering of women. Mothers, uni students, teenagers, coming together to exercise our brains out in a unique class called Body Combat.

This is a female experience like no other, for as we chit chat with each other like we are at a monumental social event, we are also pulling our boxing gloves on, adjusting our ponytails, and quickly downing our last bit of caffeine… as we are about to fight the biggest fight of our life…

How, you ask?

For a full 55 minutes, we follow a martial arts choreography program that puts Bruce Lee to shame. This program aims to transform you into a powerful, strong and fit person, ready to undertake any obstacle in your path. Much like a karate class for kids, only three times as fast. With DJ music blaring in our ears, we follow our male instructor’s boxing moves. We do this as we stand in front of a large mirror and put our fists up to guard our faces. Then, as the pounding music starts, we just let it rip by punching, kicking and karate chopping in a myriad of directions…

While our eyes are still glued to the mirror… at our own reflection staring back at us.

And in doing this… I’ll often ask myself…

What am I truly fighting for today?

Is it to challenge my strengths? My fitness levels? To test my wills of power?

Could I be fighting for my dreams? My survival in life? For the love of others around me?

And as I punch and punch… I start to relax into a faster rhythm and I take note of my raw emotions slowly bubbling up to the surface… because my body is in full force, like a warrior, ready to go into battle… yet again…

But TODAY IT’S WITH MYSELF…

You see, and herein lies my own battle…

Well, actually a fairly universal battle that many of us women share at one point or another, throughout our lifetime.

It is the one and only battle that exists solely in our minds… It could last 5 minutes… a day… or a lifetime… and that battle is…

The fight to develop a positive body image for ourselves.

The lack of a positive body image is a very serious mental battle that affects most females from the moment puberty hits. Then, a roller coaster of emotions about our bodies can rise and fall throughout our life until we hopefully come to terms with our shape as we get older and wiser. Women know about this “Self Image Obsession” so well. Even the most confident of women I know keep it hidden, at the back of their minds, as some deep, dark secret, that cuts us right to our core.

Why?

With the advent of fashion magazines, TV, and social media, we are being bombarded with unrealistic images of women who are deemed beautiful. Models that are touched up in Photoshop, Amazonian fashion models on the runway that are skeletal looking, and bikini shots of celebrities who ribs are jutting out of their pasty thin skin… giving girls a warped sense of what beauty stands for. That this is the ideal for young girls to look up to!

So what happens next?

Girls develop poor self image issues, which have the power to consume a young girl’s mind with so much self hatred that it can make them give up on themselves and crumble if they obsess over their seemingly “imperfect” bodies. I have personally witnessed women seek to punish themselves by skipping meals, taking drugs and tablets, living on coffee, overusing the gym, be literally afraid of food, or others choose to punish their well meaning loved ones by dragging them into a toxic haze of body image hatred with heaps of plastic surgery, often gone wrong!!!

This is what fuels a DISEASE TO PLEASE. But who are WE supposed to be pleasing???

How can we beat eating disorders such as Body Dysmorphia, Anorexia, Bulimia, and a myriad of other disorders that fracture our pure, beautiful female mindsets? If even female celebrities and sports stars can be easily bullied and taunted by the media over whether they are too thin or too fat, how in the world can we begin to win this battle?

I mean, where is it ever mentioned, even ONCE about the size of a woman’s BRAIN or HEART or SPIRIT… or the size of her COURAGE, her HONOR, her LOYALTY, or her sizable ability to GIVE THE MIRACLE OF LIFE… again and again…?

Today my urgent answers come with every hook and punch… with every inch of my FIGHTING SPIRIT…

SO WHAT if my body isn’t the idea of what the media deems is perfect? BIG DEAL!!! My body has unique qualities not only on the outside… but on the inside too!!! These qualities are KINDNESS, CONFIDENCE, LOVE, SACRIFICE and HOLINESS. These are the powerful qualities that make ME who I am, and these energies makes my body beautiful and unique. That is what makes ALL OF US beautiful and unique!!!

SO WHAT if my body does not resemble that of a supermodel? Isn’t it more important to stand TALL and PROUD and instead focus on our MINDS, and INTELLIGENCE, and plant roots of KNOWLEDGE to others around us? Our energetic female roots have the intellectual capability to shoot out underneath the ground in a myriad of formations… connecting with other female roots to form a sizable sacred landscape of wisdom and beauty on this earth.

and lastly…

Please do not resort to plastic surgery!!! IT IS NOT THE ULTIMATE ANSWER TO YOUR VALUE OR SELF WORTH!!!

Our bodies are EXTERNAL… I will agree they need to be cared for and honored by us in the best way we can, but our MINDS are what is sacred about women, our INNER SPIRITS are OUR legacy, and THAT is what will forever shine out of our given bodies to others. OUR ESSENCE. OUR LIGHT.  If you need to fix something about yourself… go within!!!

Then the class finishes, and I retreat…

and I breathe…

I give my warrior bow of honor and I look around the room at my fellow warriors, ninjas and street fighters, and I think of how blessed we all are to be here… fighting for something… feeling grateful, powerful and strong.

But most of all…

Feeling ALIVE…

To inspire the next generation…

To inspire the seeds of change…

To break barriers previously unbroken…

To someday win the battle…

For all womankind.

By Nicole Salinger

NICOLE SALINGER

WWW.SPIRITUALFITNESSCOACH.CO

Fitness, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Psychology and Metaphysics.
Through her down to earth blog, www.spiritualfitnesscoach.co Nicole will help you rediscover yourself and your highest potential for Health, Happiness, Positivity, Self-confidence and Inner Peace.

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