I can't wear that...

The array of bright and colorful leggings that sit in my closet are a new(er) addition to my collection. Like many women, for years I thought "I can't wear that...." about a multitude of clothing pieces. From "skinny" jeans to crop tops, to bikini's when my body wasn't quite "bikini body ready" (according to me) to yes, even colorful leggings. 

The leggings that filled my closet were all black, none of them fitted at the bottom as they drew attention to my "problem areas." Namely, my thighs. 

Today, I know the only problem is this distorted thinking and a culture that places far too much value on our appearance, unrealistic expectations, and the ability to create a "perfect" profile pic with a few apps, tune ups, and filters. 

I vividly remember day after day, year after year, standing in front of my full length mirror, critiquing, criticizing and inspecting every inch of my amazing body. I said things about myself that I would never think or say to anyone I loved. Over and over and over again.

Today I have a respect and appreciation for my body and all it allows me to do. I rock crop tops, skinny jeans, bright leggings, short shorts and a bikini all year round, no "prep" needed. 

One of the many things I have learned on my journey towards self love and acceptance is that I am in charge of how I speak to myself. 

Often times, that starts by changing how you see, not how you look. That starts by ending the cycle of body critique, criticism, and negative self talk. By changing the conversation you are having with yourself. By reminding yourself that you are more than your body. You are a powerful mind, strong spirit, kind soul, and brave heart. 

In Strength,

Christa Doran

Charles Brooks