Since I’m so into fitness, it should come as no surprise that it was only a matter of time until loving your physical self became a topic on this blog.
To be honest, I’ve struggled a lot with my physical self-image. In fact, this negative body image worsened when I began working in the fitness industry. The heightened attention being paid to my fitness level made me feel like I had to look the part… whatever the hell that really means.
Even after losing a bit of weight and gaining significant strength, I still was obsessed with losing more. It was a slippery slope. After reading a blog post recently on “15 Alarming Facts About Eating Disorders in College,” I realized how unhealthy my self-talk really was. There was too much on that blog post that seemed all too familiar.
Luckily, I’ve gotten much stronger mentally lately, and I see myself heading down a healthier path. This morning, I even looked in the mirror while changing and genuinely loved what I saw – imperfections and all.
I’m not claiming to be an expert on positive body image, because I believe that I’m definitely still on the road to recovery — perhaps it is a never-ending journey — but I do know what has made the biggest difference in my own self-image: I threw out the scale.
Now I know that I’ve gained some weight this month. I’ve been living on almost 100% complex carbs, dairy and sugar. It’s awful, and my stomach is starting to get really angry with me for it, but that’s what I’ve had available and honestly, at times, it was really what I wanted to eat. I’m not advocating for this lifestyle 24/7, but I actually think that it was really freeing for me to live this past month of travel on strict financial restraints that kept me eating lots and lots baguettes and brie. It forced me to stop thinking of food as good or bad and start thinking of it as what it is… food.
The best part is, though, that even though I know I’ve probably gained some weight, I know it doesn’t define me. I can still look in the mirror and feel absolutely beautiful, and I can still drop and do some pushups and revel in the strength of this amazing body. This is in large part, because I don’t have a number associated with my appearance to remind myself of perceived successes and failures. I am not a number on a scale. I’m a person, with all of the baggage and beauty that comes along with that, and I’m glad I’ve finally started treating myself as one.
No one is perfect, and that’s what’s beautiful. I hope you love yourself, too. You deserve it. ♥
If any of my readers is struggling with more severe cases of poor body image, such as body dysmorphia or all-too-often related eating disorders, please seek help. You are worth it.