The road to having a positive body image and accepting your body in all of it’s phases and forms is a long and winding one. I honestly feel like it’s a road we are forever on. As much progress as I’ve made in my journey, I still have my days. It’s very much a mental game.
For instance, I was meeting two of my best friends yesterday. We had this day planned for weeks, and I haven’t seen either of them in months, so I was definitely looking forward to it. They both live in Massachusetts, and with me in Maine, phone chats just don’t do real face-to-face visits justice.
It was a few days prior and I was trying to figure out what I was going to wear. (I know, total planner. Guilty!) I could not find any outfit that I felt comfortable in. I have a couple of short sleeve dresses that I wear a lot, but I haven’t been feeling the way they synch at my waist lately. I tried on some shorts and boy have my thighs not seen sunlight yet this Summer, not to mention they felt tight and uncomfortable. (My thighs are bigger, and for the most part I’m cool with it, but that day just wasn’t one of those days.) Pants would be too hot. I put on a few tank tops and I felt like my arms looked big. I just wasn’t winning with any combination.
It took me a few days to figure it out, but I finally came to the following conclusion: I feel bigger, not because I’m comparing myself to other people, but because I’m comparing myself to what I looked like six years ago. You know, when I barely ate any real food, wore a size 2, and was about 15 lbs lighter than I am at this moment.
I couldn’t find anything to wear because I was literally afraid that my two best friends would think I looked big.
Re-read that above sentence and let that sink in.
That is complete NONSENSE. For a lot of reasons, the main one being they would love me regardless of how I looked, but also because I know that deep down I don’t look all that different. I have really kicked my gym routine into a higher gear, and of course my arms and thighs are going to be a little bit bigger… Hell, they better be, I pay for that gym membership with my money and also a lot my time! I also eat a lot more than I did six years ago. A muffin, half of a grilled cheese, and a whole pack of bagel bites does not constitute as a balanced day. That diet is truly something that could only be pulled off in my early twenties.
If I got to choose between how I look today (while following how I eat and how I move my body) or look how I did six years ago (again with how I ate and how I never moved my body)… I would choose today every damn time.
And you know what, I saw my two best friends yesterday and there was NEVER any mention of my body, or their bodies, or the bodies of the hundreds of people all around us while we spent an entire afternoon in Portsmouth. Because you know why? They don’t care! I look healthy, I sound healthy, and I am happy. That’s all they really care about.
So while I will undoubtedly have more days where I’m just not feeling myself, they are becoming fewer and far between. My path is a lot more positive today, and I think it’s because I am really trying to dig into the depths of why I feel the way I do in each bad moment and each bad thought. I think about how lucky I am to have a body that works and is strong and healthy.
I will forever be a work in progress both physically and mentally, and I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. Evolve, change, grow, and be kind to yourself.
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