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    SPARK Blog

    Guest Post: No one is you, and that's your power. #beyoutiful

    Our BE YOUtiful campaign encourages everyone everywhere to reclaim the beauty and power within. We are reposting our series of inspirational blog articles with a BE YOUtiful message from previous years, to give you a chance to discover these wonderful messages again!   Here's one about reclaiming your power by being YOU from Carleeh Mulholland of Healthy Socialite.

    I often think back on my pre-teen years, reflecting on what made an impact on me. I do this to focus on what will help write my daughters' stories and to shape their image of their imperfect bodies.

    I bought my first issue of Cosmopolitan magazine when I was eleven. I used to spend my money on magazines that were full of bright colors, fun clothes, and teen-friendly tips. As I made the transition from a teen to an adult, something in me shifted: body image.

    I started to see myself in a different way, but I felt pressure to look a certain way whenever I was around other people my age. As I read and became invested in the monthly "how-to" guides in these magazines, things started getting uncomfortable. I started to feel like I wasn't good enough the way I was. For the first time, I was being told what beauty was, and I either fit the mold or didn't possess it. From then on, I would strive to be the ideal image of a girl on the pages of these magazines. Eventually, I started to hate myself for being born without the genes to fit in.

    Isn't it funny how comparison sneaks up on us? How we go from perfectly happy with who we are in the world to feeling above or below another person in an instant because of visual cues?

    We all have been there: You're in a store and you bump into the one person that you wouldn't want to see you without makeup and in frumpy clothes. You stumble for excuses to dismiss your horribly unkept self and try to save face

    The truth is, from that moment on, you will pick yourself apart for not being pretty in public...or in life, generally speaking.

    I remember when I couldn't leave the house without makeup, a perfectly picked outfit, or a good hair day. It was a production, hours of work just to step out into the world and fit in. It was like I wasn't good enough to be myself. I required fixing to exist inside my own body and outside for everyone else to critique. I got so sick of it, so I decided to completely take the focus off of others and find what made me beautiful.

    Why do we allow others to put beauty on this almost unobtainable pedestal? I say ENOUGH. You don't need to please anyone. Don't let the unrealistic, media-planted expectations of beauty tell you how you measure up.

    As women, we are constantly bombarded with the ideal image of what are bodies are supposed to look like. We always fall for it. It makes us cry in dressing rooms, body shame in our minds, and go on punishing diets to fit in.

    We need to hold our thoughts accountable and ask our bodies for forgiveness.

    Throughout my fitness journey, the parts of my body that I'd focus negatively on suddenly became stronger—and I was actually proud of them. I could do things I had never done before, like mud runs, half marathons, and pushups! One day, I just quit shaming myself because I was too busy loving all of my growth.

    There is no secret to loving yourself and your flaws. There is no magic formula. There's just kindness. Where ever you are right now, your body is good enough. Your body can do amazing things. Use positive energy to building yourself up, rather than tearing yourself down.

    You don't need to fit into a box or compete with a girl in your magazine. You have to teach others how to love you and your body by setting the example and doing it yourself. The media does not get to choose how you define beauty or the power you feel when you find it  inside yourself.

    Once we all come to terms with that—and our flaws—we will all be unstoppable. 

    Go ahead, be unstoppable. Because when you are, you're also #beyoutiful. Join the movement.  Download your free BE YOUtiful poster and snap YOUR #beYOUtiful pic.  Post and share to help spread this important message! 

    I am important (and so are you). #beYOUtiful

    If there's one thing we strive to implement via our #beYOUtiful campaign, it's that every single one of you is important in your own unique way. Societal expectations bring us down. The comparison trap keeps us from shining. When we let out the power within, we truly make a difference. Today's #beYOUtiful blog post is a repost from last year by Ashley of Every Runner Counts:

    Seven hours, three minutes and 28 seconds.

    As a runner, as someone who participates in the running community, as an activist for everyBODY to be active—I am not fast, but I am fearless.

    When I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, there were two people that I personally knew who were there to cheer me in, along with four volunteers. The finish line arch was still up, but everything else had been taken down and packed up. By mile 13 of that race, I was on my own for water supplies. How do you mentally prepare for that? My answer, you cannot. But you cannot allow that fear to hold you back either.

    Seven hours, 36 minutes and 45 seconds.

    During my second full marathon, I was a little more prepared for being alone—but I ended up leading a pack to the finish. At this race, by mile 17, all of the water stops had been packed up and all of the signage on the course routes had been taken down. I had home court advantage and knew the back end of this course very well. I didn't have time to stress about my own race and how badly my body hurt because I had people relying on me. When we crossed that finish line, it was a totally different experience than my first marathon. I was hugging people that were strangers eight hours earlier. We turned into a family. But once again, coming into the finish line, there was only a timing mat and a lady with a clipboard and a box of medals. No water, no bananas or pretzels. It was disappointing.

    This is why I started Every Runner Counts. Why do ace organizers create such strict cutoff times? Why can't there be a soft start for runners that know they won't win, but want the chance to finish across the same finish line as everyone else? Every Runner Counts is trying to change that, one race at a time.

    We shouldn't fear a finish line, we should feel empowered to enjoy the journey to the start line and understand that our fearlessness will take us to the finish line. Every runner deserves a finish line. Every runner counts. 

    Every runner is important.

    Ashley's efforts with Every Runner Counts inspires us to continue celebrating all of the #beYOUtiful people out there. Her efforts to give everyone the same finish line experience align with our goals of diminishing societal expectations and celebrating our individuality, our unique hopes and dreams and, of course, every body. This is the essence of our #beYOUtiful campaign. Celebrate with us by downloading your own "I am..." sign, and shop our collection of #beYOUtiful Motivate Wraps.

    Guest Post: You are the loudest voice you hear. #beyoutiful.

    Our BE YOUtiful campaign encourages everyone everywhere to reclaim the beauty and power within. We are reposting our series of inspirational blog articles with a BE YOUtiful message from previous years, to give you a chance to discover these wonderful messages again!   We're kicking off the campaign with a great one from Staci Becker, a GroupX and Spin instructor with a positive outlook.

     

    What is the first thing you see when you look in the mirror in the morning? Is it how beautiful your eyes are, or the bags underneath them? Is it how soft your hair is, or how the grey is starting to show through? Do you see all the happy moments that have earned you those laugh lines, or do you just see wrinkles? Your first 60 seconds out of bed can set the tone for your whole day. Will you be beautiful, soft, and happy—or saggy, grey, and full of wrinkles? 

    You are the first and loudest voice you hear. Make that voice a positive one.

    When I was 12, I was friends with the popular girls. One day after lunch, we were outside at recess and one of the girls found me on the playground. She told me the girls could no longer be friends with me because I was fat. 35 years later, I can still remember exactly where I was standing, what I was wearing, and what those words felt like. I have forgiven that girl, but still carry that moment with me as a reminder of how powerful words can be. But it’s not just the words of others. It's also the words we tell ourselves.

    The sad truth is that, even now, I will sometimes tell myself that I am fat, ugly, or not good enough. I would never say those words to anyone else, but for some reason, I think it's acceptable to say them to myself. I'm pretty sure I’m not the only woman who has this horrible inner dialog, and it makes me sad.

    Why do we feel the need to put ourselves down? And why do we think it’s OK? 

    Can you remember the last time you put yourself down? Imagine how run down you'd feel if  you had someone following you around all day putting you down? I challenge you to pay attention to your inner dialog for one entire day. Be honest with yourself and notice how many times you are positive and how often you are negative. If you are like most women, it’s not going to be pretty. 

    Here’s the good news: It can change. You can change. You get to choose how you talk to yourself. Be an encourager. Be a positive force for yourself and for others, too. When you are operating from a place of positivity, your cup is full and you are better able to pour into others. This can happen, but it takes intention and diligence.  

    Pay attention to things you love about yourself and focus on them. Write down five things you are good at, five traits you have that you love, five characteristics you were born with that make you special. Celebrate and embrace those things, and let them shine through.

    Remember, you are in control of how you see yourself, how you treat yourself, and how you talk to yourself. You deserve to hear how wonderful you are every single day—even if it’s just from yourself.

    One last reminder: You are the loudest voice you hear, so make it positive. Download your free BE YOUtiful poster and snap YOUR #beYOUtiful pic.  Post and share to help spread this important message! 

    Brooklyn Mom on the Run, Six-Star-Marathoner.

    Written by KC Metz

    When two people meet, and instantly have a connection, I can’t help but think they were meant to have met all along. That’s what it was like when I met Kathy for the very first time close to 3 years ago at the New York Road Runner’s Bronx 10 Miler. 

    “Excuse me, BrooklynMomOnTheRun, it’s me, GoMommyGo, from Instagram!” 

    ...and we chatted as if we’d known each other for years. We ended the conversation with a hug, and left with so much more than the medal we’d come for.  In the blink of eye, after meeting in person for the first time, we’d become each other’s biggest cheerleaders. 


    Kathy was already an amazing ambassador for Momentum Jewelry, and encouraged me to apply for ambassadorship when the time came...which I excitedly did. Shortly thereafter not only were we cheering on each other’s goals, as Momentum Ambassadors together, we were cheering for the goals of so many others as well; small goals, medium goals, and of course, the big goals too. 

    Kathy set the bar high as an Ambassador and as a runner.  When you do a google search for inspirational women...you’re sure to see Kathy’s smile pop up in there somewhere!  The goals she’d set for herself were brave, the biggest of which (as a runner) was to become a Six-Star-Marathoner. 

    A Six Star Marathon Finisher is someone who has completed each of the Six Abbott World Marathons: New York, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Berlin, and London; it is appropriately deemed  the “Mount Everest Of Marathon Running.”   This past April 28, 2019, in London, Kathy (aka BrooklynMomOnTheRun) became one of only 5,000 runners worldwide to receive her SIX STAR MEDAL!  

    Kathy from Brooklyn, ran all over the world...running until her dreams became reality!  Kathy from Brooklyn is the biggest cheerleader I’ve ever met; she’s the person you want in your corner cheering for your dreams to come true too! 

    The new Brooklyn Bracelet honors Kathy’s achievement, while encouraging all who wear it to always reach for the stars!

    Congratulations To Our Superstar! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    ______________________

    Epilogue:  This story wouldn't be complete without a recognizing our thoughtful Ambassador KC (@gomommy_go) for being the impetus for this special new commemorative bracelet design!  KC, you're the BEST! 

    Cyber Monday: What's YOUR spark? (GIVEAWAY)

    Did you know that all of our products are made by hand? This gives us a lot of freedom to experiment, and to give you the best product we possibly can. So today, for Cyber Monday, we're giving you 25% off your purchase—and everyone who makes a purchase on Cyber Monday will be entered to win their very own custom Motivate Wrap (and a set of TEN to share with your friends). We'll also launch your Motivate Wrap on our website in the new year so that other people can feel inspired by your words, too.

    So what's your motivational phrase or mantra? We think you should wear your words with pride. From the pendant shape to the color of the band itself, if it fits within our character recommendations, we'll make it for you! All you have to do is choose the "CUSTOM" option when you're shopping our selection, set the whole thing up, and we'll create your custom piece of motivational jewelry for you. 

    Side note: We can customize just about any product on our website!

    Or, to enter our Cyber Monday giveaway (remember, the winner's saying will be made into our newest Motivate Wrap), simply make any purchase on our website and we'll add your name to the list of potential winners.

    Don't forget: 25% off all purchases made on our website on Cyber Monday. 

    Some examples of custom jewelry we've made for our customers:

    What's YOUR spark?