This week, I want to talk about something extremely important to me that we need to make a bigger conversation in today’s society: body positivity.
Body image insecurities are something that affect every human of every gender but aren’t commonly talked about in the open – this needs to change.
Feeling insecure about my body is something I’ve been struggling with my whole life, but for the past year, it’s affected me more than ever. I have been having an extremely hard time accepting my body type, which has caused me to become obsessive over everything entering my body, boding for horrible eating habits and a constricting lifestyle.
If you know me, you know I work out six days a week and prioritize gym time over almost everything in my weekly schedule. This is because I want to better myself physically, mentally, and emotionally – and I’m grateful I have the drive to keep doing it.
However, when I started weighing myself every day, losing confidence when my muscles didn’t look “perfect” in the mirror, and choosing to forgo pasta or dessert for weeks at a time, it counteracted the healthy habits that I was trying to implement into my lifestyle. It was damaging my mental health, which is just as important as physical health.
In the age of social media, we’re constantly seeing (super edited) pictures of models and influencers with a perfect hourglass figure and men with insane 12-pack abs. We’re told that this is what we should look like because it is what our society considers beautiful.
Naturally, we start to believe it.
I find myself comparing my body to others all the time, whether it’s my friends’ personal workout gains or a literal Victoria’s Secret model.
BUT THIS IS THE TRUTH: Everyone was born with a different body type and to try to lose weight and obtain someone else’s body is impossible.
If we all ate the same exact thing every day, even if we did the same exact workouts, we would all still look different. We were all born with different, beautiful body types that we have no control over changing. And thank God for that.
All of this is to say: eat the pizza or cake if you want it. One big meal will not affect your weight. Eat when you’re hungry. And stop comparing yourself to others; your workout routine is perfect for you; your fitness journey is suited to YOU and no one else.
Life isn’t about being a size 00 – it’s about growing to become a better version of yourself, setting out to accomplish your dreams, and enjoying the damn cake if you want it. If you find yourself skipping out on your favorite foods because you want to be skinnier, you’re taking the joy out of your life.
I wanted to include a couple of my favorite pieces of advice about body image found on nationaleatingdisorders.org:
1. Appreciate all that your body can do and celebrate that! It helps you run, breath, dance, laugh, dream, etc.
2. Keep a top 10 list of things you like about yourself – they can be physical or non-physical. Return to this list as often as you need to and remember beauty is more than what you look like on the exterior.
3. Surround yourself with positive people who support you and build you up.
4. Lastly, shut down negative voices in your head telling you that your body needs to be smaller, that your thighs are too big, or that your triceps aren’t as ripped as they should be. Whenever that voice in your head tries to tear you down, build yourself back up by breathing and repeating mantras or affirmations to yourself.
If you struggle with insecurities about your body, body dysmorphia, or an eating disorder – I see you. I hear you. I appreciate you.
I’m just now accepting my body type and I’m so grateful for it. Bodies are meant to be nourished and taken care of – they house our beautiful organs and works so hard for us, so return the care to your body that it has been providing you!