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My adult life has revolved around trying to lose weight and keep it off. Yet, a surprising thing happened the first time I lost 65 pounds and hit my goal weight: I still wasn’t happy with my body.
I recently decided to start a movement within my Rhino Community. A movement to love ourselves at the healthiest version of us. I didn’t say at the skinniest version of us. At the healthiest. If you look back through history, every era had a different standard of beauty. Some eras embraced large, plump, full-bodies. Some eras embraced boyish figures. I want to embrace strong, healthy bodies. Whatever they may look like. If we dig deep into the reasons we want to look a certain way, we realize we are trying to fit into the current societal standard of beauty. But what if there wasn’t one? What if health, happiness and confidence was the new standard of beauty? We can affect what our children and grandchildren aspire to be. We can teach them to love themselves and to love and encourage each other to be their best. We can make this the era of kind + strong + healthy = beautiful.
I’m going to post a video of myself on Facebook that I found in our old family home movies. The video is of me almost at my heaviest weight. I didn’t realize these videos existed until this month. When I look at the videos, the first thing I think isn’t “Wow, I was fat.” The first thing I think is “Wow, I was miserable.” I see myself with sloped shoulders, hands folded meekly in front of me, and my head ducked down. I see the low self esteem and the awful eating habits. I see how miserable I was. Many times I lost weight, but was still miserable. I was only working out to look a certain way. I didn’t find true happiness until I tried to become the best version of myself. Once I started eating healthy to support my body, and once I started working out to achieve longevity, strength, and agility, I finally became happy inside and out. 
So to all my sisters and brothers out there striving for a certain look or body type…happiness comes with taking control of our health and practicing self-love, not with looking a certain way. Let’s continue this movement together.

<3 Julie   kind + strong + healthy = beautiful