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No Permission Needed: Be YOUtiful (Running Coaches Corner)


You don’t need someone else’s permission to celebrate yourself. Beauty, health, fitness, strength; they come in all shapes and sizes. Help me celebrate the beYOUty around us today on Running Coaches Corner.

For today’s Running Coaches Corner, I am taking a different approach and instead joining with Handful Bras and Momentum Jewelry to celebrate what it is to beYOUtiful.

I stand here, with a full belly that hangs over my pants. Love handles. Thighs that touch. Less abdominal strength than I’ve had in probably 10 years. 

And I’ve never felt more beautiful. 

You don't need anyone's permission to love yourself. @suzlyfe #handfulactivewear #momentumjewelry #beYOUtiful

But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel puffy, pudgy, and less than beautiful in the months from my “prebaby” to my “with baby” body. When I heard that I was pregnant, I was still slim, there was no bump to speak of. 

Within weeks, I had put on weight, but I still didn’t have the tell-tale bump. I wasn’t big enough to justify new clothes, but I didn’t fit the clothes that I was wearing. Or, should I say, the clothes that I was wearing didn’t fit me

I just wanted a bump, that universal sign and the giveaway that it is OK to buy new clothes. That it is OK to sloth around. Permission. 


So much of the world of women revolves around permission.

  • Permission we grant others to love us, emotionally or physically.
  • Permission other infer we are granting them.
  • Permission we are granted to feel beautiful, sexy, or strong, dictated by standards set by the chosen few.
  • The permission to love where we are going–the beautiful, sexy, product of hard work/determination/early morning workouts.

But what about the permission we give ourselves to love who we are, what we look like, right now? Can we love a changing us, not just the finished version?

Can we love ourselves when we plateau? Or are we forever going to be focused on where we didn’t end up? 

At the start of my pregnancy, I was so focused on where I was going, where I was coming from and where I was going to, that I saw the signs of change: the first time my thighs touched, the spilling over of my back, the inability to button jeans or put on shoes, as reminders of where I was going. I Forgot to revel in where I was RIGHT THEN. I hadn’t given myself permission to find some joy and beauty in the transition and struggle. 

We spend so much of our lives waiting for the next step (we Americans are especially guilty of this). The next milestone. We forget to run the mile that we are in. 

You don't need anyone's permission to love yourself. @suzlyfe #handfulactivewear #momentumjewelry #beYOUtiful

Social media takes our minds away from running our own race. We have too much external input and put too much value into what we are “not.”

That input takes away our self-granted permission to find beauty in ourselves as we are and instead makes it something we must earn via likes, comments, people telling us that we are beautiful, sexy, impressive. 

I am just as guilty of this as the next person. But like the training for a marathon forever changed my relationship with food and my perspective of my body, being pregnant has forever changed my relationship with my body.

You, my dear daughter, remind me every day that the body is a wonderful, strong, resilient thing. My body is CREATING another life. 

When I discovered I was having a daughter, I realized the responsibility that was falling on my shoulders; not to raise a boy who would respect women (equally as important), but to raise a daughter who wouldn’t seek permission to love herself. 

I cannot tell you how to love yourself; all I can do is dare you to love yourself when you feel like a positive outlook on yourself or your body is most difficult. In my experience, that is the first true step: to love yourself regardless of what the world wants you to do at that moment. And if they validate you? Excellent. But start within yourself. Pick something to love without qualification.

Be YOU. 

Runners, fitness mavens, we come in all shapes and sizes. We run “fast,” we run “slow.” We run. We walk. We swim.

Own your pace, own your journey, and don’t belittle what is yours. A 6 hour marathon is still a marathon. 

Today, when you are your messiest, smelliest, sweatiest, self, take a snapshot of yourself and pick what you “should” love least about that picture and give yourself permission to love it the most. We have scars that tell our stories. And what is more beYOUtiful that your own story?

Tell everyone that you don't need anyone's permission to love yourself!Click To Tweet

I’ll start: I love my burgeoning linea negra and the weird thing my belly button is doing.

Permission is about power. Give yourself the greatest power. Believe in Yourself and Be YOUtiful.

Thank you for joining me for this special Running Coaches Corner. Join Handful and Momentum today and this month in sharing the spark and the love by declaring what makes you #beYOUtiful!

Do you struggle to give yourself permission to be yourself or to find parts of yourself beautiful?

Take the power for yourself and declare what is beautiful about yoruself!

Next week will be my last Running Coaches Corner. I have had a fantastic time hosting this link up and sharing running knowledge with you all, but it is time for me to take a break. That doesn’t mean I’m not going out with a bang! Stay tuned next week for a final giveaway!

Join the link up and Running Coaches Corner for more great running advice and content!

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I am linking up with myself, RachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

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