I've been thinking about this idea a lot the past few years--but even more so now that I have a daughter...

In a world full of selfies, abs, makeup tutorials, fashion dos and don'ts and workout videos, we are often inundated with airbrushed images of what beauty "should" entail.

And--quick disclaimer--I, like any other human, carry an innate desire to feel beautiful. Fit. Strong. Vital. Healthy. Creative. Alive. I don't think anything about those natural desires are wrong.

But I can't help but wonder about the culture we are raising our daughters in that often places beauty ahead of wisdom, kindness, and brains.

I've coached many many clients the past few years. And what I've learned from my experience as a fitness and lifestyle coach as well as an observer of our culture is that we have an epidemic of self worth issues surrounding our appearance. I've yet to meet a woman who didn't have a few flaws she complained about (myself included!) when I asked her one of the questions on my sheet, "What are your fitness goals?"

Fitness, for me, was a tool I used primarily to lift myself out of what was a debilitating depression when I was 19. Within a few months of graduating high school, I had put on almost 50 pounds in only 3 months. At the time, I found it much more comforting to eat my pain than to go about finding ways to get my life together.

Fast-forward a bit and I'm 19. I wake up and decide I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm sick of sitting on my potential. So I pack my bags, hop on a plane, and decide to start my life over across the country for a fresh start.

I started "getting my life together" first in the area of fitness. Intuitively, I knew I needed to care for my vessel if I was going to have the strength, energy, and courage to go about finding my destiny!

And a few years later, after becoming a mother, I decided to share my postpartum fitness and lifestyle journey online solely as a means for creative expression. I looked up a few years later and to my pleasant surprise, had amassed a movement of thousands of women and moms also looking to snatch their life and sexy back after kids! #momswearheels

But--as a coach, I realize that while many women have fitness goals they are beyond ready to take on, I have to always ask them...why? Why do you want flat abs? Why do you want to lose 15 pounds... or gain it?

This question helps me reveal a lot about my client so I can best assist her. What drives her? For some, it's competition. For others, it's the attempt to get the guy. And for me, after several years as a fitness gal, its morphed into just wanting to feel great in the skin I'm in.

Looks matter, but they also really don't. (I know, life is such a paradox!) What matters MORE is how you value yourself. What matters more is how you feel about you. What matters is the type of woman you want to walk, talk, move, and dress like each day. And that woman looks different for all of us.

...I don't care what body type you have. You can be lean, strong, voluptuous--all I ask as your coach and sis in this moment is that you pause, close your eyes, and give yourself a big, warm hug. Breathe deeply and affirm with me that...

I am beautiful.

I am a goddess.

I am well.

I love myself.

Because while we scroll online and compare our bodies to others who have a seemingly more perfect life or body, let's gently remind ourselves that when we are 90, we are not going to wish we beat up on ourselves more. We're going to be glad we rejoiced in the beings we were created to be!

So...let's set the goals. Nothing is wrong with that. But let's do so from a place of radical self love and acceptance. You are enough. We are enough. Right NOW. In this moment.


Monica Bencomo

For my custom program, the #mwhchallenge, check out the link below to snatch your sexy back from the inside out!