Monthly Archives: May 2010

Operation Beautiful

This week my dear friend Hollie from The Biggest Loser, who truly has become like a sister to me, tipped me off to a lovely little website that I quickly fell in love with. It’s called

The concept is simple, but so very inspiring. If you follow the recommendation of Operation Beautiful, you simply write motivational or encouraging phrases on Post-it notes and leave them anonymously in public places.

According to its website, the goal of Operation Beautiful is to “end negative self talk or fat talk.” The mission of this easy-to-do process is simply to encourage those reading the messages to realize how truly “toxic” negative self talk is to a person emotionally, spiritually and physically.

A woman named Caitlin is the founder of Operation Beautiful and as Hollie and I discussed this neat little habit, we both could remember where we were just a few years back when we not only were guilty of negative self talk, but also wore the negativity that others placed on us with their unkind words.

Caitlin began Operation Beautiful by leaving positive messages on the mirrors of public restrooms. She says she’d leave the uplifting thoughts at work, the gym, the grocery store—just anywhere an unsuspecting person might need an uplifting reminder. She’d scribble down things that came randomly to her mind; things like: “You are beautiful” or “You are amazing just the way you are!”

Hollie and I recalled that before ever stepping foot on the set of The Biggest Loser, we were both classic examples of self-deprecating women—always putting ourselves down before anyone else had the chance. That’s how I got to be known as “funny, fat Julie.” Laughter at my own expense was a way of getting others to laugh with me before they could laugh at me.

It seems that our trainer, Jillian Michaels, had the idea of Operation Beautiful possibly before Caitlin did. It was Jillian who asked us, “Who are you NOT to be successful? Who are you NOT to achieve every thing you desire in your life? Who are you NOT to win this thing?” It was positive self talk at its best. And it obviously made an impression on me and Hollie long before we ever learned of Operation Beautiful.

The time since the conclusion of the show has brought with it a lot of highs and lows. Certainly, I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything. But just because I was successful doesn’t mean the fight is over. It doesn’t mean I feel capable and empowered every single day. I still struggle. And to be honest, negative thoughts do creep in from time to time. That’s why I think Operation Beautiful is such a great concept! Because most all of us, big, small, fit or fat have those negative thoughts…for various reasons.

But it’s also so important to believe that we can change the way we think and talk about ourselves. Through our recent communication, Hollie said something so profound and she gave me her permission to quote her. She said, “Though my body may never look perfect, it is STRONG, and I am proud of what it has gone through. I try daily to love it a little more, and dwell on its imperfections a little less.”

I encourage you all make a conscious effort to show yourself some love, because you ARE beautiful—and you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. He values you and places tremendous worth on each and every one of us—His creations.