It was in my teens that I remember starting to hate my body. I felt betrayed by it. I had been a thin athletic kid and then things started to change. I felt like things were happening in my body that I didn’t like, and what was happening was bringing unwanted attention. It was during that time that I started hating my body. I had already had built up an uncomfortability with who I was, that I hid, and to then have my body change only added to my discomfort and eventual hate for myself and how I looked. It was during that time of change that I also became hyper-aware of others around me, comparing myself to them and never feeling like I could measure up. Nothing, in my eyes, when it came to my mind or body, was ever good enough, and the downward spiral began of my mind bullying my body.
Looking back at myself back then there wasn’t anything to be ashamed about, or beat myself up about, and having been on this road of recovery for quite some time I can see that what I was mainly upset about was feeling that I wasn’t in control. There were many things back then I felt I had no control over, and my body changing felt like the final betrayal, and I set out to stop it and take back the control I felt I had lost. That path led to an eating disorder I was lucky to recover from, and it took me many years to totally overcome, and even so, there are days today, that I keep myself in check and accountable regarding my food intake. But when I think back to those days and how much hate I had for myself and my body it makes me sad. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. And, now, in later years, I appreciate my body and what it does for me, what it allows me to do, and my overall health, but back then, it was all about looking a certain way and trying to manipulate myself to be something I wasn’t. I just wanted to blend in so that no one would ask me any questions, and the more I hated myself the louder the negative self-talk got in my head. It was a scare that got me on the road healthier eating and self-care, but it was a slow and arduous road. And, as grateful as I am today to have a better relationship with food and my body, I still struggle with my own body image on certain days, I even caught myself today thinking negative thoughts.
Most of us seem to have things about ourselves and our bodies we dislike, or, would like to change. And, if there is a change that is better for your overall health and well-being it’s great to set goals and make those changes, but when we continuously beat ourselves up for not looking like someone we’re not, we are walking down a dangerous path. We are not meant to all look the same. We are meant to be all different shapes, colors, and textures, and you know what, each of them is beautiful! Like other topics I’ve covered it’s about changing our thinking, looking at the positive instead of focusing on the seemingly negative. We all were given the body we have for a reason, why not make the most of it, why not cherish it, love it, and appreciate all that it does for us, even if it doesn’t do all we would like, we can train ourselves to not let our mind bully our body. SLAY on!
(The picture above was from a time I hated myself and my body, proof to myself now how my self-image contorted the truth.)
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you love your body? Do you like your body? If yes, to either why? If no to either why? Have you always love or hated your body? If there was a change, what changed? What can you do today to have a more positive healthier body image? Have you tried this in the past? Has it worked? If yes, why did you stop? If it hasn’t, why hasn’t it worked? Is there something you are hanging onto that is stopping you from loving your body? Is there something you can do to change that? We all have our own unique beauty and it’s up to each of us to find that beauty, and, hopefully celebrate it.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you