So, I wrote an article about body image and it was published on Allyn Lewis! I’m going to paste it for you. Let me know your thoughts on how I view myself.
The fact is: Almost every woman struggles with body image. No one is immune to body image issues – even the very skinny or petite. Whether you’re a size 2 or size 16, we all feel self-conscious and often we take drastic measures to match what we believe our bodies should look like in our minds, instead of in reality.
I am a prime example. As a child, I was very skinny. My mom always wanted me to consume more food because I looked like a twig and she was worried about my health. Once I entered middle school, I became heavier and my body changed and morphed into a different shape. To combat the change, I started wearing baggie and more comfortable clothing. I wasn’t sloppy, but I also wasn’t concerned about wearing the fashions that were considered, “in” during the early 2000’s.
“Suddenly, I felt defined by the number; everything became about the size on my clothing.”
At some point during high school, I realized I was a size 14. At one point, I was 5’4 and about 135 pounds. Suddenly, I felt defined by the number; everything became about the size on my clothing. I knew I had to change something, so once my senior year arrived, I began losing weight. Instead of consuming Doritos and chips all the time at night, I took that privilege away from myself and replaced it with fruits or veggies. There were some nights that I refused to give into my hunger and chose to head to bed hungry.
Through working out, eating less and obsessing about my weight, I became a size 3. At that point, my mother told me I was too thin and wanted me to gain more weight- but I wasn’t ready! I felt much more confident than I ever had. Working out propelled me to go from a size 14 to a size 3. Losing that much weight made me feel confident – sometimes. But, I still feared looking at myself naked. To my brain, I was still very, very, heavy. Everyone around me complimented me on my appearance and I soaked it in. I felt on a high whenever compliments came my way, but once they were gone, I continued giving my body negative attention. I remember saying things such as, “you can’t eat that or you’ll gain weight” and,“stop eating so freaking much, fatty.”
One day when my best girlfriend and I were hanging out, she told me I had some sort of eating disorder. I wasn’t able to accept and be happy with my new body no matter what I did. I began to wonder if she was right.
She’d say how jealous she was of my flat stomach and I’d smile and thank her. Later on, I’d look at myself hard and judgmental and roll my eyes. I’ve never felt happy or satisfied with myself in my whole life. From being too skinny and my mother remarking I needed to eat more to tipping the scales at 14, I realize my entire life has been a battle with food, and I’m retraining my mind to accept myself as I am.
“We’re all dealing with something whether you’d believe it or not.”
I’ve learned that no matter what you look like, there’s always someone struggling with the same thing. I can almost guarantee that celebrities often hate their body on a daily basis. This makes me feel better because then I don’t feel so alone in this world. We’re all dealing with something whether you’d believe it or not. It’s the question of how we’re coping with our demon. Is it hands-on or are we hiding behind a wall?
I’m no longer hiding because I’ve struggled with body image my entire life and I know it will never end. No matter how much I workout or eat healthy, I never feel satisfied with my body. How horrible and terrible does that sound though? We’re only given one body, so we should treat it with care and stop being so hard on it.
Instead of constantly bashing my body, I’m going to start embracing it. This morning, I looked in the mirror and felt happy with how I looked. My body is perfectly, imperfect.
The sooner I accept my body will never be exactly how I’d like it to be, the faster I’ll be accepting of myself.