In my most recent Instagram posts, I've been writing about areas of my body that I've learned to accept and embrace. My mind used to be flooded with so many negative thoughts about my body. Every time I looked in the mirror, I found something else to hate and I had a hard time believing that I was beautiful.
When I hated my body, I never explored the reasons behind all the negativity. I truly thought I was going to always have a negative self-image because I did not know anything else. Looking back, I think it was the type of women I was surrounded by growing up and the beauty standards that culture (oh so graciously) provided to me.
I do not blame my negative body image on anyone who raised me or who was in my life growing up - but this definitely contributed. I was not surrounded by super confident women - the negative comments about their own body image outweighed the positive ones. I don't know what contributed to their negative body image but I hope that they are able to discover it and address it.
Culture continues to try to contribute to the way I view my body. When I was growing up, I really did not know any better. I thought that in order to beautiful, I had to look like the models in magazines. Beauty standards are always being thrown at us and it is super hard to ignore what culture is defining as beautiful.
It has been a long journey to body love for me. I spent years and years trying to change my body. I spent hours and hours at the gym to get definition in my stomach, legs, and arms. This way of living never brought me true happiness. My body has changed significantly since I've given up dieting and over-exhausting myself at the gym and I've had to learn how to accept and embrace my new body.
I've learned to accept and embrace my body as is. My body is at it's natural weight and shape and more importantly, I feel healthy. I don't put extra stress on my body by working out seven days a week, I do workouts when I want and ones that I actually enjoy. I don't restrict myself when it comes to food, I eat what my body is craving.
I am no longer embarrassed by the cellulite on my butt/legs. I don't spend hours in front of the mirror analyzing how flat my stomach looks. When I go shopping for clothes or bathing suits, I am no longer stressed out because I am confident in who I am - I do not think I need to look like a model in order to be beautiful.
Now that I am no longer worried about calorie counting, meal timing, and creating new workouts, my time can be spent on things that are more important. I am able to live more in the flow and enjoy each moment of my life. Unlike toned muscles, this feeling brings me true happiness.
As a Food Freedom Coach, my mission is to help other women who are trying to overcome their issues with food anxiety and body image. I don't think I went through my own food anxiety/body hate journey for no good reason. I think I went through that journey and came out stronger because I was meant to help others heal.
During the month of March, I am offering FREE one-on-one sessions to help women start discovering how they can heal their relationship with food and their bodies. If you are interested, sign up here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you have the best week!