You know that I wasn't always healthy and I definitely wasn't always happy or comfortable with my body. I was an overweight child (from about age 10 to 14) and I was bordering being overweight, with way more body fat than I needed, from age 14-19,
Though my experiences are not the same as many people who are overweight, and not at all similar to people who are struggling with obesity, this is the truth about what my life was like when I said that I used to “love my body”
I have always said, and believed, that for a while before I started living healthier, I had already loved my body. When I think about it now, I did not love my body before this. I said I did, but the truth is that I accepted It more than I loved it because I believed that my body would never change.
I was a regular sized child up till about 10 years old and frankly, I cannot remember what it was like to not be an regular sized child. I remember what it was like to be 5 and play or go to school and enjoy life but I never gave any thought to what my body looked like.
Eventually people would tell me I was too fat so I started realising it for myself. I cared, but not enough at that stage to do anything about it.
When I was about about 15 or 16 I came to the conclusion that I would always be this way. I never tried extreme diets (or any diet) but I was a lazy teenager that loved fatty, sugary foods and I felt like I didn’t want to give it up and I definitely did not want to try exercise.
I accepted it. I didn’t hate my body openly. And I sure stopped saying I hated my body to myself. Because I was short, I could still fit into a size Medium and Medium was normal, so it had to be okay. This acceptance led me to believe this is what loving your body was.
But it isn’t.
I would be fine, until I bought a new piece of clothing and it wouldn’t look the way it should have. Or I had rolls or my stomach poked out too much or my butt was too flat or my thighs were too fat. And in those moments, I would be upset with myself, upset with my body. I would wish it was different. There was no way that feeling was love.
I would try on something and suck my stomach in as much as I could if I wanted to take a photo, always taking it at angles, taking about 20 photos and picking the one where I looked the smallest and always pretending I was in love with the way I looked. If you smile, no one can tell right?
The fact is that I told myself I loved my body even though I still had these moments of doubt, of frustration, of sadness even. The worst part was that I never really tried to make it any better. I would let the moment happen then move on like it wasn't a problem that I was so upset with how I looked. But hey, if you're not hating your body 24/7 you must love it right? Wrong.
That is not loving your body.
I lied to myself.
Recently, I really learned what loving your body is. And I don’t mean loving yourself is exercising and eating well, though part of it is. When I say I love my body now, I truly mean it.
I still have rolls here and there, some stretch marks, my body fat percentage is probably still a bit high BUT when I try anything on, I no longer feel upset. Even if it doesn’t fit right, doesn’t look “ideal”, isn't the size it "should be", I don’t feel upset anymore. I don’t feel like I want to look like someone else, I don’t suck my stomach in and take 20 photos to pick the “best one”. Sometimes I take one photo and I feel happy with it and that feeling of not judging myself is amazing.
There are no bad marks or spots, no rolls or part of my body that isn’t good enough. Do I have a perfectly lean and toned body? Hell no. But I’m actually fine with that. I don’t feel upset and I can stand to look at myself even after a meal without thinking my stomach is poking out too much.
Loving my body feels like freedom. I can wear what I want with confidence, not because I think I look perfect, but because I don’t feel like my body type isn't made to wear something.
Loving my body feels like happiness because I don’t worry about how I sit or what someone else thinks may about my body because I’m comfortable with it.
Loving my body feels like falling in love because I want the best for myself, I don’t want to let myself get sick or hurt or to struggle with life so I do the best for my body and for me.
And loving my body feels like peace because I no longer have moments where I feel like it isn't good enough and I no longer wish it was different.
My body will definitely not always look or feel the same, and that's the wonderful thing, even though I know my body will change, whether it's in the short term (like from exercise) or in the long term (from age) I love my body completely.
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