F**k your body image and what society thinks.
I’m writing this in disgust—maybe as a vent, I don’t know. But feel like something needs to be said.
Growing up I was never thin and was continually bullied on the fact. I clung onto each word that my peers and family members said believing in every single word I heard.
My self-worth had been diminished by the moment I was in sixth grade. It was a constant battle on a daily basis; regularly thinking of a new crash or fad diet I could try to drop the weight. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered starving myself from food worked, so I stopped eating.
For once in my life I was a size zero, however still not satisfied. In fact, I had never been more depressed before in my life (and incredibly hungry to say the least.).
As eating disorders tend to go, I stopped starving myself and binged.
I binged so much that I gained 100 pounds unknowingly eating away my emotions. Pictured above is me at my heaviest I was just shy of 200 pounds, miserable. Just look at my face I look drained and depressed, so much so that I was unable to even smile. That’s when I decided to take action in my life by choosing to lose weight via yoga and diet.
It worked and I felt great: I lost close to 100 pounds on my own, yet here I sit in disgust.
Throughout my weight loss journey I decided to take “progress” pictures and now going through the 50-something images I had taken of myself I still remember thinking I was not enough. I would take a picture to only point out my flaws; it had become another unhealthy distraction from what the real problem was and now I know why.
Losing 100 pounds still was not enough because weight had never been the issue.
Looking at my progress pictures now with a new perspective, there was nothing wrong with my body.
I didn’t have a six pack, but I was healthy and worked especially f**king hard to get to where I was.
In that moment I discovered the problem to my situation which I had been struggling with my entire life and I know I am not alone. I was setting an impossible body image for myself to achieve. From all my conditioning of being bullied and staring at size zero girls in envy I missed the entire picture. I wasn’t able to accept any of the multiple bodies I held, throughout my lifetime, until I loved the one I was in for exactly what it was.
It didn’t matter the size until I truly realized everything about my body is beautiful, even the not so beautiful parts; the stretch marks, the rolls, all of it. You are beautiful if you are a size zero or a size twenty I don’t think our beauty appears in what we physically perceive with our eyes since we are so much more than the external world. It pains me to witness the labels we put on ourselves as women “too skinny, too fat, too buff” —who cares!
We are all made in different shapes and sizes and that’s what creates the beauty. It would be boring if every girl were to be a size zero, as it would if every girl were to be a size twenty.
The day I chose to love my body was the day the chains lifted off and I was freed—free of depression about not being happy with my body, the anxiety that filled my nerves when I would walk into a room, the crazy crash diets that allowed you to eat one meal a day, excessively working out until I felt like my legs were about to fall off, the nasty shakes that they all swore to me tasted delicious and would give me the body I’d been hoping for. I was free of everything.
The more I separate my body image to my self-worth and what society thinks is “right” the more I am able to let go of the judgments on myself as well as the judgments I make on others. So instead of feeling the need to “change” or “fix” your body love yourself, for exactly who you are and all of its glory.
When you start to think negatively about yourself, change it to a positive thought, sooner than later you won’t even hear the negative thoughts anymore. If you are on a weight loss/gain journey take time to have compassion and gratitude for yourself, be gentle. We must empower each other and drop the judgments in knowing that we are all beautiful. We appear in all different forms which makes us imperfect perfect beings.
There is no image of what beauty “should” look like as it’s everywhere. There is no definition of beauty. I challenge you to close your eyes and think of something, anything, in which you absolutely love unconditionally.
Send that love towards yourself, sit in that love, knowing that you are worthy of loving the temple you were born into.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: courtesy of the author
Photo: Author’s Own