We’ve all been there before. You know, having negative thoughts about our body. Even I know the feeling of wanting to look a certain way physically. The things we do to please the eyes of “others” because society tells us what is beautiful and what is not. There just comes a time where you have to fully accept you as you are. We all aren’t meant to be that thick and bootylicious model or that slim and super fit lady next door.
Sometimes…. you just have to come to terms with loving who you were intended to be. If you’re not happy with something, FIX IT because YOU want to make the change. Don’t ever alter yourself for the sake of others or to conform to the non-standards given off by society.
My guest contributor today, Melanie, sheds light on her own personal experience with body image. She also shares how she overcame those insecurities.
Up until about two weeks ago, I absolutely hated my body. Every little detail of it. Every fat roll, dimple (not the cute kind, either), stretch mark, scar, dark spot and out of place hair, just to name a few things. I despised myself. I’m not perfect like the video models and fitness gurus I see on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t have the perfect little thin waist or the perky boobs, or the voluptuous, perfectly round bubble butt that everyone seems to covet and admire nowadays. I’m chunky. I have a tummy. I suck it in and still feel fat. But I decided that enough was enough of the self-hate and self-loathing.
I didn’t know what I needed to do, I just knew that I needed to do something. I made it a point to stop those negative thoughts. I couldn’t think of anything nice to say, so I said neutral things like, “Congrats Melanie, you have ten toes and ten fingers.” I know it sounds goofy, but even the tiniest effort to appreciate my body helped turned those negative thoughts around. Next thing I knew, I was complimenting myself, and I felt good. It might not have been for the reasons that I wanted to feel good (like a magically flat tummy overnight, voila!) but I found SOMETHING to feel good about, and that was all that mattered.
Over the years, I’ve tried many, many workout and fitness routines. Insanity. Yoga. Soccer. Aerobics. You name it, I was passed out trying to do it. I did anything in a desperate attempt to start liking myself and the body that I felt trapped in. But I failed time after time. And each time I failed, I felt more depressed about it. Was I ever going to lose weight? Was I ever going to feel beautiful in my own skin? I decided to be “content” in my plump body, and any progress towards fitness would just be a bonus.
It wasn’t until after I started working out and eating right that I decided to love, not just tolerate, my not-so-perfect body. I’ve lost 7lbs so far; but that’s only a drop in the bucket in regards to what I want to lose long-term. I can’t see my progress yet, but I’m still very proud. Even though I’m not a swimsuit model two weeks into my new healthy lifestyle (haha, I wish), I have finally lost something very significant; my negative thoughts about my body.
As soon I started investing in myself, I started a whole new beautiful relationship with my body. I started to see myself in a whole new light. The new healthy food I started eating made me stop feeling so bloated and heavy; the workouts helped make me more aware of my strength. My new found health and fitness journey quickly became about a lot more than just “getting thin.” As soon as I started to feel mentally invested in myself, those nagging, negative thoughts started to fade, and I started to channel my emotional energy towards setting goals for myself and loving my body instead of putting myself down.
Is working out and eating right the only way to stop negative thoughts about yourself? No, of course not. You could find clothes that you really love and fit your body type to make you look and feel better. You can get into hair and makeup. Buy that killer pair of heels. You could stop comparing yourself to every celebrity you see and find contentment in your own self. But, for me, I’ve found that putting good food in and keeping bad food out makes me feel good. Getting in a good workout and doing just one more push up or running just one more lap than I did last night makes me so proud of myself.
The most important thing is to do something for yourself; invest in your body. It’s the only one you’ve got 😉
How have you dealt with body image and negative stigma? Did you create a solution or are you learning to accept things day by day. Share your thoughts below. I’d love to her from you.