Today I’d like to share something very personal and very important to me.
I’d like to share my insecurities.
I believe that in order to have whole health, you need to nourish all aspects of your life and body. You need to eat right as well as have a strong, happy mindset, exercise and have a good body image, among other things.
The one I have spent my whole life struggling with the most (and I believe most women in America have as well) is having a good body image.
The way the female body is portrayed in the media is as a perfectly fit, ‘healthy’, skinny little rail. I put healthy in quotation marks, because we are led to believe one must be skinny to be healthy. Which is not the case at all. I have a bigger body naturally, I am slightly ‘overweight’, but even at my thinnest, I was still considered large according to BMI charts. So if I were a celebrity, the magazines would all read how unhealthy and fat I am, and how I’ve let myself go. When, in actuality, I am quite healthy and very happy with who and how I am.
I have only recently come to accept my body.
I struggled from a very young age with feeling fat, ugly, unfit and manly. I thought in order to be beautiful I had to be 105 pounds with perfect boobs, a tiny waist, a tight butt and sunken cheeks. I even went through a phase where I would try to suck in my cheeks constantly so my face looked thinner. All my friends were on the small side and were proportioned nicely. I am well above average for height in a woman, as I am 5′ 8.5” and have been since I was 15 or 16. I have very broad shoulders. I’m currently 179 pounds. I haven’t been under 155 in probably 6 years. I have a chubby face with puffy cheeks and the thing I’ve always hated the most about myself- my love handles. They have always been on the large side and its the first place I gain weight.
I always wore to big clothes, men’s clothes or distracting clothes. I went through a phase where I wore dark, black make-up all the time and wildly colorful, bizarre clothing in order to draw attention away from my body. (I still like wildly bizarre clothing, but because I think its fun, not because I want to hide). I was depressed a lot as a younger teenager for this reason.
Alright, so I told you this post was how I love my body. And it is. I just wanted you to get an idea of how much I hated my body.
Since I’ve switched over to eating healthy and avoiding processed foods, I’ve started to feel so much better, in terms of happiness and better moods.
But I’m still on the bigger side.
I still have stretch marks and a flabby post-baby belly, I still have broad shoulders, I still have chubby cheeks, I still have thighs that rub together when I walk, I still have a jiggly, flat butt, I still have my way to big, way to saggy boobs.
So what’s changed?
My mindset. My happiness level. My worldviews.
I realized that No matter what I do, I’m not going to be exactly like Angelina Jolie (not that I’d want to anyways =P). I’m just not. Its not me. I’m me. I look like me, my body is my body.
It may sound tacky, but I say affirmations to myself in the mirror everyday. I find something about my body I love (for instance, I love my super blue eyes) and tell myself that’s awesome. I’m vain. I push myself to be vain. I spend a few minutes each day telling myself how awesome I am.
It might go something like this, “Your eyes are awesome. You have a nice butt in those pants. You labored un-medicated for 51 hours and pushed out a beautiful baby, your stronger then most men and you have all those stretch marks to prove it. Be proud! Your hair looks nice today, you don’t use any chemicals and you still look hot!”
Try it! Its strange at first (I already talk to myself all the time, so hey, why not talk nicely to myself) but it really does help.
I also try very hard to never say negative things about myself. I don’t like to walk around and say how fat I am or how ugly I am. I try to always remain positive. (Harder then it sounds, but it works).
I think all women should be happier with the way their bodies are. The world would be a better, happier place. There wouldn’t be as many eating disorders or young girls feeling bad about themselves as young as 4 or 5.
My goal is to never let my daughter (or future daughters and sons) hear me complain about myself. And to help them love themselves from early on.
What do you do to remind yourself that your beautiful? If the answer is nothing, then start! Tell yourself everyday that you are beautiful. Tell others they are beautiful and keep positive all the time. Changing your opinion of beauty and your opinion of yourself will make you feel beautiful. And that is what beauty is all about.
Have a body loving day!
~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent
This post was shared on Party Wave Wednesday!