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The title of this post might seem bold, but that’s because we live in a society where we are taught to hate our bodies.
It seems we are on a forever mission to reject and constantly find ways to improve ourselves.
We need to stop letting them convince us of that rubbish though—because it’s a lie.
But I did not always love my body. It was actually quite the opposite.
I was only nine when I first started thinking I was “too” fat. Nine years old. Can you imagine being a child and already thinking your body is simply not good enough and that you should detest it? That is my earliest memory of me not liking my body.
I remember being at Wasaga Beach with the family on a two-week summer vacation and I had this swimsuit that I picked out myself, which I absolutely adored. It was a bright, hot pink one-piece with a cute turquoise bow at the top. I loved my suit—but I did not love my body in it. I felt uncomfortable with my body for the first time ever. And it only got worse from there on out.
In high school and beyond, I started yo-yo dieting, working out excessively, and even went on to develop an eating disorder (ED). My self-hate for my body quickly started spiraling downwards. I was the fat girl, and I started believing that I wasn’t picked or liked because of that. It was a horrible time. Plus, it’s hard to navigate through a world when you are getting mixed signals from every which way.
In my early 20s, I started losing a lot of weight. My boyfriend at the time (who I was always going through rocky patches with) started complimenting me hard and “wanting” me more because of this sudden, drastic weight loss. Since things weren’t good between us at this time, this sudden fawning and attention felt really good! What he didn’t know was that I wasn’t eating. I would lie and say things like, “Oh, I ate already,” and I would limit my meals to two toddler-sized meals a day and then exercise.
When my family noticed I was getting thin, they started making comments telling me to eat more, and then my boyfriend noticed I wasn’t eating and would try to force me to eat with him.
But these are the mixed messages and signals we are constantly receiving—is it any wonder why we loathe our bodies so much?
The very people who commented on and shamed me for being fat or celebrated me for losing so much weight, were the same ones who were now scolding me for not eating. We are either too fat or too thin, and we are never doing it right. How’s a person supposed to feel good about themselves when we are constantly inundated with these mixed messages, not only from the media but from our own circle of friends and family?
We are literally programmed to never feel good enough about ourselves, to hate ourselves. So let’s just stop.
To the people who want to police other people’s bodies, I have only this to say:
People’s bodies are literally none of your concern. None of your business at all. None. Stop projecting your own self-hate onto others. Stop acting like you’re concerned about their health because I assure you, no one is as adamant with concern about other health issues as they are about someone’s weight.
Remember that you have no idea what the hell people are going through. And there is almost always a direct correlation between trauma and other underlying physical and mental health issues that lead to weight gain.
I’m so much bigger in size than I was back then, and yet I love my body so fiercely and sweetly now. Every single roll, pocket of fat, and cellulite and dimpled skin. Even my big, soft, squishy belly and thick thighs. I love it all. I love my whole freakin’ body. And I look back with sadness at pictures from back then and think about all the years I hated my body so much when I was so much smaller, and how I hid it under huge hoodies and baggy pants.
I wish I could go back to her and tell her how perfect and loved she was. And that I’m sorry.
I may not be able to go back, but what I can do is just be done—done with hiding in shame for something that is completely unnecessary and ridiculous. Our views of our bodies are so deeply rooted in shame and trauma, and our reactions toward others and ourselves are in direct response to that.
When I started my healing journey, I had to unlearn these patterns and clear and heal these wounds. I had to learn to love myself, like actually love myself; and not just any love but unconditional love. Love that isn’t measured by any size or stipulation. Love that isn’t given only if certain requirements have been met. Love that’s based on the fact that we are already perfect and whole and complete and worthy and loveable exactly as I am now. And this is how every single one of us needs to think.
How do we get there? With therapy. With affirmations. With boundaries and grace and compassion for ourselves. But also, with each other’s help.
Remember that your body is perfect right now. You don’t need to wait for it to be a certain way in order for you to love it. You deserve love exactly as you are now.
Take back your power and love yourself as you are because you—and your body—are f*cking magical and beautiful and oh so loveable.
Be kind to one another.