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Why One Fitness Influencer Posted a "Bad" Photo of Herself

Chinae Alexander is nothing short of an amazing role model, especially in a wellness world that's obsessed with fitness before-and-after photos. (Seriously, even Kayla Itsines has some thoughts on what people get wrong about transformation photos.) Instead of comparing her "old" self to her "new" self, Chinae is more of an "enjoy the journey" type, which is likely why so many people love following her. Not just a health and fitness influencer, she often posts about everything from career ambitions to mental health to feminism—showing that while she definitely has her fitness game on lock, she's also generally a badass role model in life.

 

 

That's why a recent post she made caught our eye. Alongside a cute photo of herself in a bikini, Chinae shared that initially, she didn't want to post this image because she didn't love how her stomach looked in it. It's refreshing to see someone influential opening up about how confidence doesn't always come easy. (Related: Don't Let Haters Squash Your Self-Confidence)

So how does she turn things around in moments like these? "I think understanding that everyone struggles with body image is the first and most important step," she tells Shape exclusively. "In life in general, knowing you aren't alone is empowering on its own." Aside from that mindset adjustment, she also has a clever mental trick for giving negative thoughts less power. "Rather than dwelling on them, I try to accept that they exist and then do something that's positive for myself to battle that negative thought pattern," she says.

 

 

PLEASE READ: I wish I had a bigger apartment. Her husband is so much more thoughtful than mine. I bet they have better sex. A new car would be nice...nicer than what I have at least. Why can't I have a "cool" job? Wish I didn't have to work so hard. Maybe I should keep my options open even though the person I'm dating makes me happy? Maybe I should lose more weight. I wish I could be as disciplined as her. Or him. Or as in love as them. Look at her ankles, I wish mine looked like that. And on, and on, and on we go.Never satisfied with what exists, always looking over the proverbial fence to the greener grass or nicer ass next door. On the surface JEALOUSY...but deeper down, FEAR. A deep, creeping kind that's thwarted by busy, but seeps in during those accidental quiet moments. Like on a run when your headphones die... and you're left lonely, just fearful thoughts and heavy breath. Fear that we might not EVER be happy. Fear that we're missing out. Fear that we might get left behind. Or that the thing we love might not work out, leaving us crushed...so it would only make sense to crush it first. Ya know, just in case. If we continue to live in the purgatory of "what if" and "I wish"...we won't ever feel satisfied, I assure you that. 〰 Stop wishing for the life you want. Stop fearing that things won't work out for you. Stop looking over the fucking fence. Make magic with what you have. Learn stuff from people rather than be envious of them. Get over your desire for more material shit, it'll never make you happy. Love the one you have unless they are an asshole. In that case, screw them and don't fear being single. And stop worrying about your fucking ankles/thighs/weight/tits because they are just fine. #bebetter

A post shared by CHINAE ALEXANDER (@chinaealexander) on

 

Plus, she points out that the journey to loving your body *as is* isn't something that happens overnight. "Changing your body image isn't like turning a light switch off," she wrote. "It's a daily act of forgiving your own imperfection and CHOOSING to see your worthiness. So yeah. We all suck at this. But with grace, each other, and some sanity nachos... we suck less over time."

Overall, we'd definitely say we are in support of sanity nachos—and a little extra kindness toward ourselves when it comes to gaining body confidence.

Because our bodies are badass and feeling strong, healthy, and confident is for everyone! Help us spread the body love and be a part of our #LoveMyShape body confidence movement: Post a photo or video on social sharing why you love your shape. And check out Movemeant Foundation, our partner in empowering women and girls to be body positive.

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