This Body

It’s January, so that means your feeds are flooded with diets, weight loss resolutions, and people whining about aforementioned diets and weight loss resolutions…and it’s only week 1.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably read about my love/hate relationship with my body. I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with my body for most of my life. I mean, it’s not easy to hit 5’11” at the age of 12 when everyone else is barely pushing 5’4″. You stick out. Literally. I’ve always felt odd – like Alice when she ate the cookie and grew too much.

With being so tall, I’ve always felt big. No matter how skinny I was, I still felt like I looked twice the size of my friends in pictures. That constant feeling of looking bigger has made me very aware of my weight, and with that has come a few crazy crash diets/eating disorders and hating myself when I still looked bigger than people around me.

2018 brought us lots of change, but one of the biggest personal changes for me was being aware of how I chose to treat myself. The body positive movement has been an eye opener for me because I thought that internally beating ourselves up was just a thing that women did and that there was no way of getting around it. You’d never tell your friend that she looked fat in that picture that she posted and that she should just delete it, so why do we say it to ourselves?

This year I’ve chosen to be kinder to myself. Does that mean that I love everything about my body? No. But I refuse to keep looking in the mirror and telling myself everything that is wrong. My body has done too many good things for me over the last 28 years for me to hate it, so last year, I started doing things to intentionally change how I looked at and treated my own body, and and this is what I did/learned:

Post the Picture

I posted un-retouched pictures on the internet of myself in swimsuits. Even though I wanted to throw up a little when I hit share, every post made me a little more comfortable in my own skin. It doesn’t have to be in swimsuits, but post the picture even if you don’t think you look perfect in it. If I had to guess, you look fine and you’re just being super critical of yourself.

Be Kind to Yourself

Say positive things to yourself OUT LOUD while looking in the mirror. It’s awkward, don’t get me wrong, and I do it when I’m home alone because I don’t want John to hear me because it’s, well, awkward. BUT this is a game changer. Instead of saying something negative about a part of your body that you hate, say something positive about that part. Ex: change “my arms are fat” to “my arms are strong, and I can carry all of the grocery bags in on one trip from the car”

While we’re talking about it, make sure to recognize the good non-physical parts of yourself too. This is a big one because it’s SO easy to focus on the outside, but the inside is pretty great too!

Accept Compliments

Learn to accept compliments instead of pointing out why they’re wrong. I’m terrible at this, but just say “thank you” and smile and resist the urge to go off on a tangent about how they’re wrong and you are in fact not worthy of said compliment. They went through the trouble of saying it, so they clearly thought that you were.

Give Compliments

Compliment OTHER people. It’s easier to see the good in yourself when you’re constantly looking for the good in other people. Everyone else is critiquing themselves just as much as you are, and sometimes a compliment can change your whole day.

Numbers are Secondary

DO NOT let your day/week/month/year be defined by a number on a scale or your clothes. I definitely think that there’s a balance to life, and I’m not condoning a terrible diet and bad life choices at all. What I am saying is that you can’t let it control your life and happiness.

We’ve been eating really well since the holidays, but I wanted a Reese’s Blast from Sonic last night and I ate the whole thing. And guess what? I didn’t wake up 3 pounds heavier this morning because of it. You can’t punish yourself for every calorie that you eat because calories are not the enemy! It’s literally how you power your body. And while I think your body runs better on broccoli than burgers for every meal, that doesn’t mean that you can never have a burger. It’s about balance, and life is supposed to be enjoyed! Treat your body well. Eat some carrots. Eat the Snickers. You’ll be fine.

Guys, life is hard enough without us beating ourselves up all day every day. Trust me, there are enough people out there who will take their own anger/sadness/frustrations/issues/whatever out on you. I could be wrong, but if I had to guess, if everyone spent a little more time being kinder to themselves, I think we’d find that the world would get a little kinder too. How we treat ourselves directly affects how we treat others, and I think we could all use a little more positivity.

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