I never felt stoppable.

beforeafter 300x192 I never felt stoppable.

I felt UNSTOPPABLE both ways.

 

When I launched MizFit it was “enough” to have a passion for healthy living.

It was 2006.

I was just back from Guatemala. Gnarls Barkley was popular. Skinny jeans were only starting to emerge on the Austin hipster scene.

And The Biggest Loser television show was born.

People heard what I had to say—-but my message was diminished because I was a long-term loser. No big numbers–merely consistency.

I challenged myself as to whether I “fit” as a fitness blogger.

Could I motivate if Id only lost forty pounds? Could I relate to greater struggles?

I answered the same way I did when I owned my training studio. I returned something Id learned in my counseling masters program:

Human struggle is universal. We may struggle differently —but the experience of facing challenges & persevering is universal.

It’s in that same way Ive dedicated myself to helping girls navigate frenemies and tween’dom.

Long before the Tornado (when I wrote mainly fiction) I led mother/daughter book groups at Barnes & Noble stores.

Ostensibly we met to discuss novels, but what transpired was sharing & paralleling the character’s lives to the girls’ own challenges.

Normalizing the struggles of the group’s members and reminding them they weren’t alone.

Since the Tornado burst on the scene Ive focused mainly on *her.*

I’ve worked to send *her* the message she’s ENOUGH just as she is today and remind her shes powerful and strong (& strong is NOT the new sexy).

209577 10150264703184466 5932626 o 300x225 I never felt stoppable.

she loves her some her.

Helping her to learn she wil sometimes fall short of goals—we all do—but as long as she learns & grows from the experience there’s no such thing as failure.

20121129 153121 I never felt stoppable.

the ability to laugh at yourself helps!

She’s older now and I’ve learned the best way to help her is to practice what I LONG to preach (and say not a word).

I’m sharing my message of GIRL POWER! through teaching yoga to kids.

I’ve started mother/daughter book clubs in my new OAKtown ‘hood.

This post is NOT sponsored by DOVE’s GIRLS UNSTOPPABLE campaign—-but the crusade has snagged my attention.

Especially the statistic of six out of ten girls stop doing what they love because they feel insecure about their looks.

That’s a whole lot of our next generation derailed from their dreams.

Girls who could change the world. Girls who could change lives. Girls who need US WOMEN to step up, stand up and lend a hand during this time which can feel daunting and Sisyphean.

I’ve lead a blessed life.

I never recall feeling stoppable even when my outsides didn’t match my insides.

I never equated my beer, pizza, and junk-food bod with diminished self-worth.

wpid 2012 07 24 11.16.36 1 258x300 I never felt stoppable.

I still believed I rocked.

I’ve spent time trying to discern why I’ve always felt UNSTOPPABLE in an effort to pass it on to my daughter and others.

My confidence at many points was misplaced—but it worked for me. I unknowingly faked it till I made it (and I still do many days.).

I work to impart to my daughter these 3 concepts:

  • Compliment yourself! As 7 she adores compliments. Heck at 44 I do, too. The difference is, at my age, I realize telling myself YOU ROCK! feels just as good as hearing it from others. It took me years to get here–I’m trying to help her find her way more rapidly.
  • Know where you’re headed. As women we may have a mission statement. With girls it can be a mantra or personal catch phrase. We need to help our girls have a general sense of where they’re headed or they’re certain not to get there. Plans can be fluid (the Tornado is convinced she’ll be a special ed teacher. this may change) but having a destination helps girls believe they’re unstoppable.

Join me? Six out of ten girls are waiting for you.

As the amazing Jess Weiner says:

Girls have the ingredients for self-worth, but sometimes need the recipe.

Be a mentor. Role model for your child. Lend a boosting hand to a woman-friend or YOURSELF.

  • How will you be UNSTOPPABLE today?
  • How will you show girls/women in your life there’s room enough for us ALL to rock?

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Comments

  1. says

    What a powerful and positive message. I find it difficult to compliment myself but I know in doing so, it helps keep me on track.

    • MIZ says

      which is, IMO, huge.
      I pray (literally. often these days.) my child never stops the oversharing…

  2. says

    6 out of 10 girls? That makes me so sad! Today I will show my girls what it is like to be unstoppable…and I will try my best to do that every day!!! Even though I struggled with body image as a child and teen, I never let it stop me from playing sports and pursuing what I loved to do! I like your third point that girls need to know where they are headed…those tough years are much easier to navigate when you know where you want to end up!

  3. says

    wow love this movement! i need to figure out how/what to do next year when i teach fourth grade… both girls and boys, but the message is still the same!

  4. says

    SO agreed! Young girls learn from the women in their lives…and so many of us are too busy putting ourselves down to open and see how our negativity passes on to the youth around us. Let’s all start believing more in ourselves and in the children that are our future.

  5. says

    Well, I’ve got one child calling herself “King Awesome” and the other embracing the term, “baby diva.” Neither seems stoppable right now. ;)

  6. says

    Such a great message and such an important topic. We have the responsibility to raise confident, powerful women. I love the idea of them developing a mantra, or a direction, even at a young age. Gonna go talk to my little one right now!

    • Renee says

      I love that idea too.
      I tend to baby my daughter too much, I think?
      She’s still in the “what she wants to be when she grows up phase” and I need to help her focus more.

      Thanks Carla.

  7. Ida says

    It is so important who we surround ourselves with.
    As girls it can change who we become.

  8. says

    I think it’s comforting to girls to have something sure that they can cling to and strive for, something that’s positive and long lasting. The tween and teen years are such a struggle, so it’s wonderful there’s something there like this initiative to support them as they mature.

  9. Olive says

    My daughters are the same age as yours (twins) and they’ve already lost what you call “loving them some them.”

    I wish I could recapture it.

    Hold on Miz!!

  10. says

    What a great spirit you have! I love that you are sharing what you’ve learned with your readers as well as your daughter. It sounds like she is going to grow up a strong and confident woman and that’s wonderful! I do my best to share the same messages with my daughter, it’s important to build their self-confidence and help them believe in themselves.

  11. Renee says

    Oh goodness I’ve seen the fat talk spread like wildfire in my daughter’s circle, too.

  12. says

    Great post!

    I also have a 7-year-old daughter. Sometimes I wonder if I have done *too* much for her self-esteem. She is confident and knows her strengths and I want to make sure she stays humble and lifts up others as well. However, she also is proud of her toughness, not just her beauty. She shows off her scabs from falling on a bike. She plays hockey and rides bikes.

    You are so right…it is about *showing* our daughters what it means to be unstoppable.

  13. says

    I love you girl empowerment discourse!

    I would add:

    “don’t be afraid of making new friends if it’s not working with the old ones anymore” i.e. they have started to bully you suddenly (it’s happened to me)

      • says

        It applies to boyfriends/girlfriends too: if somebody does not respect you anymore… even if you have fond memories of the “beginnings”… ditch them!

        I had to make a whole new set of friends in grade 7 because of that, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in life… but also one of my best decisions ever. The new friends I made were wonderful and remained such for all of middle and high school (until we each went our separate ways)

  14. says

    I was very insecure growing up, but somewhere inside me was a person that was not going to be denied. I built my self confidence one challenge at a time by taking them on and doing it!

    It worked for me and that is why I tell others to do it that way also. No one will give it to you. It has to be earned. The good news is, you can if you want to.

  15. MIZ says

    OH and I LOVE that phrasing too Dr. J. And you make a great point.
    It’s ok and dare I sadly say NORMAL to have moments of STOPPABLENESSMENT–but it’s always remembered theres that spark inside which wont be denied.

  16. says

    Human struggle is universal. We may struggle differently —but the experience of facing challenges & persevering is universal.

    Especially the statistic of six out of ten girls stop doing what they love because they feel insecure about their looks.
    That’s a whole lot of our next generation derailed from their dreams.
    Girls who could change the world. Girls who could change lives. Girls who need US WOMEN to step up, stand up and lend a hand during this time which can feel daunting and Sisyphean.

    I copied the above two just to remind myself what I wanted to write about beyond every other word you wrote which is sooooo important!

    Everything I went thru is still around & even more so. That is why we have to do what you wrote above. That is why I am on this I AM ENOUGH What’s Beautiful campaign for me. Yes, I am 55 & still trying to get past all the crap girls get hung up with at the early age. We need to stop the cycle & that is why I will continue to write about my struggles long after the campaign AND the media influence that brings girls down & makes them feel they are not enough. We need to change that – I needed it then & I still long for it now.

    You are lucky you had confidence early because I never recall ever having it – honest & not sure why..maybe a mixture of the home, the places we lived with prejudice & the media – just not sure BUT I would love to break that cycle for girls – my thought of how I was not enough & did not look good enough stopped me from many things.. I tried many but I did not try many…

    AMAZING POST CARLA!

  17. says

    I don’t think I have ever loved you more than I do today. THESE are the things I try to teach the high school girls I work with everyday, while society is telling them something completely different. It’s a long hard fight over what the “social norm” is, but we HAVE to instill in these young women a feeling of self-worth and the confidence that they can do whatever it is they put their minds to!

  18. Wanda says

    I’d love an e-book with the three tips too.
    Longer and expanded, Miz.
    I need help :/

  19. says

    Loooove this post so much. I’ve been able to work with young women before, as a babysitter, a camp counselor and a Girls On the Run coach and I would love to make a career out of it. Young girls have such great spirits and power, especially when they learn to believe in themselves.

  20. says

    That six out of ten figure is so sad, and I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it were higher.

    Even those of us without kids can do a lot to change the dialogue about what girls and women are supposed to aspire to.

    If we keep buying in to the notion that the first thing on the list is “look attractive” followed by “don’t call attention to yourself” followed by “keep everyone else around you happy” things ain’t gonna change.

    Yet so many grown women keep supporting the same magazines, tv shows, movies, websites etc that have these exact messages, especially the one that looks are the most important thing in the world.

    Note to self: time to cancel a few womens “health” magazines.

  21. MIZ says

    I so agree. No need to have children or even be a woman. It takes a village. Our world-village.

  22. Paula says

    Intriguing point about misplaced confidence.
    Was that you faking it until you made it to confident?

  23. says

    I fully agree with what you’re saying and what Dove has been trying to do. It’s so important that girls be comfortable with who they are and that they can do anything that they want.

    It’s sad that so many quit because of how they feel about themselves. Of course the media doesn’t help much either.

  24. says

    I really appreciate what you are doing with not only your daughter, but with other girls. They are all lucky to have a mentor and somebody to guide them in the right direction. The statistics lately for body image issues and self confidence is just depressing. I think more people need to be aware of this so times can start changing.

  25. says

    I love everything about this post and this campaign.
    I want to teach my daughter that hearing “I rock” is WAY more empowering than having others tell you “You rock”.
    Peer pressure is my biggest concern; nothing yet, but I can see it on the horizon…

    • MIZ says

      This has become a tremendous focus of mine over the past few months. The fact I feel GREAT telling myself a piece of writing rocks or I look sassy (wink) and I really dont need to hear it from anyone else.
      Should they say something nice (the royal they) it’s only the proverbial PROTEIN ICING on my CHIA CAKE…

  26. Sam says

    I was lucky enough to have to honor and the joy of knowing the beer and pizza-bodied you (and to have taken those fabulous and nostalgic before shots) and I can attest that you were always UNSTOPPABLE. The Tornado is lucky to have such an amazing role model. I think we need to get to our girls as young as possible and start building their self esteem. Mine was broken at an early age and it took years to get to the amazing level it is today. :)

    • MIZ says

      and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to see your friendofTWENTYFIVEyears face in the house.

      xoxoxo

  27. says

    Oaklyn. Oaktown? Everytime you speak it, all I can think about is “Oaktown 357″. Look it up on Youtube. You will giggle.

    I’d also like to know how Biggest Loser started in 2006, but somehow the show is in Season 495. O_O

    • says

      Yummy,

      Biggest Loser runs through about 3 “seasons” each year -and sometimes had 2 “seasons” on at the same time (teams and invidivuals, etc.). So the seasons add up.

      I started getting fit at the same time as the show – 24 Hr. had membership and personal training special I took advantage of. And, low, how everything changed.

  28. says

    One of the things I love most about coaching high school cross country (and it is NOT getting up at 4 am to meet a bunch of sleepy teenagers to run in the heat), is that all of the runners, but most especially the girls, will become more confident, stronger, and powerful young women because of the experience. Even though I don’t have a daughter, I get to follow these girls for up to 4 years (and frequently beyond as we stay in touch after they graduate) and watch them bloom.

  29. says

    Now I’m curious if there are similar statistics for boys or all kids in general?
    Every day I try to show (and tell) my boys that they can do anything, be anything, achieve anything – I never want them to let someone convince them otherwise!
    I love this post and all of the response from people who are spread all over the country trying to spread the message to be UNstoppable!!!

  30. says

    Great, great post! I am on this mission with my now 13 year old. She is starting to question her confidence because of this or that. I keep telling her and lead by example to LOVE the skin your are in. And that you are perfect just the way you are. Lead one!

  31. says

    I freaking adore the theme of this post. I think that’s why I keep going back to school, because “damnit, I want to lean that, and why the f not!?”

    Mostly, though? So glad you did *stop* the hair bleaching. I did it too. Why, oh why, did we do that?!?!?

  32. says

    Lovely post. So envious.

    I think the thing that has hung me up most of my life was the message I got from my parents that I was completely powerless against the way things are.

    Completely stoppable.

    I remember the rare moments when I’ve overcome that -the sheer joy I felt! Cannot imagine feeling that all the time.

  33. says

    How interesting, i have often thought oh my weight loss isn’t dramatic enough to be that helpful. But you know what that 35lbs meant the world to me and i did it in a way that i’ve maintained, which i finally realized is HUGELY important. I don’t know when the switch flips from I rock to i don’t rock as much as others…but I’m glad we’re flipping it back!

  34. says

    Love this. I’m amazed (and jealous) that you never related your outsides to your insides. That is such a huge problem today, and your suggestions about how to prevent that from an early age are wonderful. My desire to be a pediatrician grows more and more each day!

  35. says

    OMG this hits me right in the gut today, coming off of ice show weekend where, as a skating coach, I hear girls voicing their insecurities/not enoughness all day long. Teaching, modeling, preaching, and being quiet too, about self love and how it all starts within. Such wise, poignant words Carla!

  36. says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! I’ve actually been working on a post about how I’m going to try my hardest to make sure Kenzer loves herself as she is, doesn’t become a party to “fat talk”, and has a sense of confidence. These are ALL things I lacked in my adolescent years.

    I wish I could say I felt unstoppable! I think you’re an amazing mother, and the Tornado is going to grown up being equally amazing!! :-)You’re always an inspiration.

  37. says

    I am trying so hard to be a good role model for my nieces and being honest with them. Especially when they see old pictures of me at 250 pounds and say “who is that?” And then I explain to them about how I did it and about eating healthy and being active makes you strong inside, too.

  38. says

    Lately, my 7 year old Son has been struggling. I find it difficult to apply these same conversations with him as with my daughter… I used to be able to instill confidence in him, but he seems to be drifting away, I am hoping it’s a phase and I realize his need to be more of his own boy and not a mama’s boy… it’s tough, I’m trying to find a balance between allowing him to be his own little man, give him confidence and still address his sensitive nature… parenting is not easy! and parenting boys for this Mom is tough… I need your help MzFit! You need a post like this about boys too! :)

  39. says

    For you to achieve your goals, you have to at least to keep your head in the game. This is a well-written post and it empowers people not to quit and have the never-say-die attitude. Just be true to yourself, there’s no stopping you.

  40. says

    I LOVE showing my female clients that they ROCK! I like to push them; stop them from saying that they “can’t”; make them smile; and help them realize how awesome and unstoppable they are for just showing up. Because sometimes showing up is the hardest part! Seeing my women clients do all of this today, makes me feel unstoppable. :)

  41. says

    Love your three concepts. As for me… something about ‘backing myself’ or reducing my self-doubt / fear of failure is probably what I need to work on if I’m to be a role model for future generations!

  42. says

    As one of the 6 out of 10 girls back in the day, I can totally relate to this. My confidence growing up was horrible. It’s only gotten better with age. My kids are only 3 but I’m hoping that I’m giving them the unstoppable confidence that will power them for years.

  43. says

    I have goosebumps after reading this. I’m a big proponent of self-esteem and confidence, especially for girls and young women. BTW, I love the quote by Jess Weiner.

  44. says

    You are awesome, seriously. I think you’re more amazing than you think you are. Love how positive you are.

  45. Body FX Nutrition says

    Love the post. Your confidence is exhilarating. Fitness and nutrition go hand and hand and help to keep the mind and body strong. However, your will to accomplish goals shows in your accomplishments. Stay Strong!

  46. Richard says

    Wow what a powerful message. This surely can apply to everyone in this world. We all need to choose good quality friends that support us and our positive lifestyle habits. My Son gets frustrated when falling short of a goal, but we rehash, adapt and grow from this. It’s all good, no loser here, just ‘live and learn’. Thanks so much for the great post.

  47. says

    I am terrified that I will have a girl who will understand how to love herself and always value her worth! I think you’re teaching your mini many many fantastic lessons. :) Many can learn from your example!

  48. says

    Unfortunately, my mother’s always been negative and that line of thinking got passed down onto me from being around it for so many years. Luckily I got out of that trap though, and giving positive affirmations to yourself everyday helps! And in general, if I’m just in a positive mindset overall then I can be so unstoppable.

  49. says

    Great post!
    Working out on regular base is not just good for the body but also for the mind.
    I feel unstoppable when I follow my fitness plan, I feel physically AND emotionally just so much healthier.

    Stay strong :)

  50. says

    What a lucky girl she is to have you as a mom! I wish for her to keep feeling good about her body as she gets older. My mom did some good things for me that way, when some friends and I started a girl’s track team at our high school she went in to the school about halfway through the season and demanded that the school get us a coach (mentioning Title Nine). We’d been practicing without one, while the boys had several.

  51. says

    Love this for so many reasons. As much as I wish that we didnt need campaigns girls unstoppable to remind us of the obvious, to help our daughters feel this way, the reality is that even in our smallest actions, sometimes we forget. Xo

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