Posted by Lisa Meade
During a recent weight loss Leslie Stein, one of our FrontLine Voices, found herself facing certain beliefs. Using the opportunity to create an awakening for herself, she discovered many things about her views and beliefs of her body and its image. Wanting to lose five pounds for a upcoming photo shoot, she recalled the time that her mom brought mindfulness to her weight loss at the age of 65. She challenged the long held beliefs that one side of her family brought into her life stocky genes. Rather than approach her weight loss as a diet, she challenged herself to a lifestyle change. It was through this shift in perspective that Leslie gained insight around her body relationship and her beauty belief system.
Not only learning how to to respond to her body's need through food selection and body movement, she also found out that the conversation in her head went through an evolution as well. The once mean voice in her head became more critical and challenging at first, but over time and with some introspection she began to talk back to that critical voice. She stopped allowing it to talk to her that negative self defeating way. She also stopped going on the scale, as it only gave the voice more fodder. She began to push the boundaries and become the "master of her own life". She brought in her own theory to her weight loss and her body awareness that she had now a clearer understanding of and respect for.
Additionally, Leslie shared, this transition we sometimes find ourselves in, when we are choosing how we see our body, can be pliable. She realized she had to find a sustainable lifestyle choice to support her body image. With this she came to a place that resulted in her believing that there is not a "darn thing wrong with anyone". She realized that when you judge yourself harshly the byproduct is that you judge others harshly as well. When this shifted, she began seeing beauty all around her and in everyone.
Leslie believes there is no escaping the conversation around the beauty madness. She has noticed that the people she shares in the conversation are those who look to her with advice as well as her reaching out to those she seeks advice from. The conversation can become effective and elevated around beauty with a healthy approach. According to Leslie, "it is not a problem to be solved, it is a tension to manage" realizing that there is a spectrum around this beauty madness, if we can identify the tension around this instead of trying to find a "fix" for it, we elevate the conversation and create a better understanding of ourselves and those around us. This allows room for each of us to embrace our own unique "right answer" to our questions around body image and acceptance. That what is right for one, does not necessarily fit for another and there is no room for judgement there.
Leslie's self discovery evolved through the knowing of what her body loved and needed. It was through the acceptance of her body's needs that the relationship grew and evolved. It was through her openness and her acceptance that her body would share with her its needs and desires in the moment that she could trust it and appreciate it. "My body became the best instrument I have for feeling things" she claims. Leslie found that she no longer needs to listen to what everyone else says about her body or her beauty, she tunes into her own relationship with her body and finds what she needs there.
To learn more about Leslie Stein and her awesome perspective visit her website, Lead Like A Girl