Photo: Aerie / Ali Mitton
Aly Raisman is known for being one of the best gymnasts in the world, but since she has become "Fab Five," she spends Her Time with the Platform She wrote a memoir about the sexual abuse she experienced from Team USA doctors, Larry Nassar, and is committed to helping other survivors feel less alone.
Last Year She joined Aerie to put an end to another topic that was close to her heart: Body Shaming. She has become a force within the physically positive movement that reminds girls to be proud of their muscles, and that there is no clear definition of what it means to be "female." (Related: Aly Raisman proves boys who said she's too muscular "WAY WRONG")
To celebrate the launch of Aerie's latest campaign ̵
Here she talks about how her life has changed since the Olympics and what decisive thoughts she has learned.
Shooting a campaign without photoshopping keeps uncertainty in check.
"Sometimes when I & # 39;" At Aerie photo shoots, when my skin breaks or I just do not feel safe, I take a moment to remind myself that I feel self-conscious because of myself As an adult, I did not see advertising that was normal – they were all airbrushed and photoshopped – and so I look at myself in the bathroom mirror and tell myself that this is an important thing for me, not only for myself, but also for other girls Go to the store and see if I have pimples on my forehead, who cares, this is all real and normal, it really strengthened me, but it was just a reminder that I was not around this one Things must worry because they are really stupid the big plan of things. "(Related: The latest #AerialReal girls give you a confidence boost for swimwear)
Their definition of" strength "now includes getting up for themselves. [1 9659008] "Throughout my life," Strength "has been about getting stronger physically and feeling really mentally tough in gymnastics, but now I think it really knows itself. When I feel like I'm really tired or just need a break, it's about having the strength and the courage to say it because it can be hard on yourself. I think there is pressure on women because we are nervous that people think we are difficult or we are brutal, so we feel guilty to say no To honor me and express myself – you can not always be at your best. You can not do a million things a minute – you need to take time for yourself and relax.
Speaking Their sexual abuse has taught them compassion …
"I used to train six or seven hours a few days [while training] for the 2016 Olympics and was in the best shape of my life. After that, between so much traveling for different occasions and the right handling of what happened to me, it has taken a toll. I was really nervous to announce myself publicly. I knew I wanted, but I was scared. When I came forward, the support I received and the movement that took place was so powerful and amazing, but there is also a lot of pressure that goes along with it, and it took a mental toll on me that I did not had expected. So I did not train as much as I wanted – I had no energy because I was so exhausted.
"Yesterday I went to my gym and walked for ten minutes on a slope on a treadmill And then I did 10 minutes with the elliptical trainer: A few months ago I would have been angry with myself because I did not have the strength to train more, but instead of feeling stressed and frustrated, I thought I need that moment to realize that I feel really tired, I've been through a lot and it's fine – everyone has Highs and Lows, Meditating, Therapy, Self-Compassion and Self -Love really helped me be more friendly to myself, because this inner dialogue is so important, and I hope that sharing this information makes me a successful Olympic athlete and it's hard for me to figure out how to do it too It can speak a lot about the toll [about sexual abuse]
"I think it's important to communicate that Because I do not want people to think about my life is perfect or that it's easy for me. I want people to know that it's hard. I think other women can go through a month in which their workouts are amazing, and then you could go through another month where you are simply exhausted and feel like your workouts are backward. What matters is that you have tried and know that even 30 seconds of a workout is better than 0 seconds.
… and that it's okay not to take your training too seriously.
"It's really important to just focus on yourself because it's just so common in the social media world is to compare yourself with other people. When I do a bike class, I sometimes look around and I'm just amazed at the women and men in the front row – they're just so good! I have to remember not to compare myself to them. I always go in the back row because it's always so hard for me! All I have to do is remember that we are all in our different ways. Sometimes, during a 45-minute lesson, I literally sit for one of the songs and just relax, take a deep breath, and do what I like. I feel different every day, so I always remember to only compete with myself to be the best version of me – we are all different. (Related Topics: Kayla Itsines Explains Perfectly Why What Others Want Will Never Make You Happy) 19659009] Meditation and self-care are critical to fighting their anxiety.
"I have meditatewithaly.com with the app Insight Timer launched – 15,000 guided meditations. Meditation changed my life. I always had a headache and that really helped me. I'm very scared, and although a little bit of a good thing is because it helps me to be aware of what's bothering me, I want it less in my life. That's why it was important for me to meditate every day – on those days when I do not, I'm not feeling well, and I think it's very important to take that time. I try to meditate in the morning, but when I wake up at 4:30 in the morning, I would just fall asleep again. So it matters – sometimes I meditate on the plane to help me relax and fall asleep, or when I feel stressed out, I do a meditation so I can try to train myself to get out of this fear, because it can be really hard for me to shake it up. So I'm just trying to figure out what the root of the problem is in journaling, or I want to remember in meditation that I'm safe. I'm going through a lot right now. I also meditate every night before going to bed. I will do a guided meditation while taking a facial bath or after coming out of a nice hot shower while putting on my skin products – it's really relaxing. (Relatives: I've been trying for a month Long meditation and it helped my anxiety)
Being present also strengthens the body's self-esteem.
"I'm a human like everyone else – I have my days when I am feel safe, and then I have my other days when I feel insecure. That is normal. So, I definitely do some guided meditations that are for the body's love and positivity of the body and that remind you to focus on all the amazing things your body does for you. It shows you a different way of thinking about all the amazing things you can do – I can walk, I can run – it reminds me to be thankful that I am healthy instead of worrying about whether my stomach is flat looks enough. If I catch it, I can say that's ridiculous – I'm just learning to try to change my mentality. Of course, I still learn, and sometimes forget to change that mentality and practice gratitude, but I hope it becomes a habit. Many people say fear is when you are not present because you are worried about the past or the future. Meditating helps me concentrate on my body and stay present. In the moments when I'm really, really present, I feel great and I'm confident. "