Firstly, I will just kick this off by saying that of course, I am still a work in progress. There are times I feel like a bomb a$$ babe and others where my insecurities get the best of me.
The truth is, it can be hard to love your body. I mean, we are constantly inundated with messages telling us that being 'skinny' should be our primary goal because once we are thin everything else in our life will fall into place. But what happens when being thin doesn’t fix that pain and insecurity anymore? What happens when the dreams being sold are, in reality, not at all what we expected?
For years I chased after a smaller body. Just 5 more pounds and a few more inches and I would be happier. But in reality, I never was. It was never enough. Because even when I did lose weight, I didn’t feel as happy as I thought I would. When I didn't lose the weight, I only blamed myself and my confidence continued to plummet.
Looking back, I can now see how warped that desire was. I was basing so much of my self worth on my weight. If I was thin I was worthy, if I gained weight I was unworthy. I felt like I was trapped in this battle of trying to both love and change myself, and losing on all fronts.
So, I finally gave up. I finally realised I had enough of all the BS I was being sold and I was ready to try something different. I realised that I first needed to love and accept my body, and from there I would be able to behave in ways that honoured it.
It no longer mattered what I weighed because that was no longer what my life was about.
Living well looks different for each of us. And it doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it feels right for you. So how do you get to the place where you accept your body and start creating a life you love from that space? Here is what I did:
1. I became protective of how I spent my time and what I looked at. Instagram was a big trigger for me when it came to my body image struggles. So, I decided that I would only continue following people that made me feel happy and truly inspired. If I saw someone and immediately doubted myself, then I would unfollow them. We have the power to control what we consume, so don’t consume anything that makes you feel less-than.
2. I became more realistic about what I actually wanted my life to look like. And, here's the shocker, it wasn’t working out 7 days a week and avoiding carbs. Instead I focused on moving in a way that made me smile and eating intuitively so I was more focused on what my body was telling me it wanted and honouring that, which often meant eating the damn cake!
3. I turned inward. We all seek these superficial changes for a reason and when you can finally face your why you can decide if it’s actually worth pursuing or not. So much of me wanting to change my body came from a place of thinking I would finally feel desired and beautiful . Getting down to this allowed me to recognise this false belief and work my way out of it.
4. I wrote lots of letters. I know this might sound silly, but I remembered comments from people that made me hate my body or feel insecure about being a woman. And now, as an adult, I had a few things to “say” to them. So, I wrote letters they would never read, saying all the things I wish I could have said back when I was 10, or 16, or 22. I wrote letters to the people and the industries that made me want to shrink and starve to fit into their mould. I wrote a lot and then…I burned them. I let them go, into the wind (...or my microwave vent) and chose to move forward, free from the pain that was holding me back.
It is important to know that everyone's journey to self-acceptance will look different. For me,
I slowly but surely have started to accept myself. I have started to love my body. Of course, there are still hurdles and as I continue on this journey, I am sure there will be times I struggle more than others. But I am proud of the progress I have made, of the things I have let go of and the mindset I have moved forward with. Now, I hope to help others achieve the same.