Today, I looked in the mirror and I decided I hated my legs — my thighs specifically. Up until today, I hadn’t minded my thighs. They were always wobbly, always pale, always riddled with a little bit of cellulite, but as far as thighs go, I was okay with them. I run constantly and my thighs help me. They push me further and faster, and even when they ache and shake, they never give out on me. But today, I decided I hated them.
They’re too wobbly, too pale and there’s too much cellulite. There’s no presence of a thigh gap, and there never will be, no matter how much weight I lose. They shake too much when I walk and I suddenly realize that I’ve always understood and connected the term “thunder thighs” to myself.
A month ago, I looked in the mirror and hated my arms. Flabby and wide, they were the reason I deleted all group photos I was in and the reason I hated wearing tank tops. I hated my arms, which had once been thin and sculpted but now were loose and soft, the result of a stressful and busy semester that rendered me tired, unmotivated and unable to go to the gym as often as I would have liked.
Today, I looked in the mirror and decided I loved my arms. After a month of working hard and religiously following workout videos, I now have the arms that my semester’s worth of inactivity had stolen from me. They’re smaller, thinner and tighter. I don’t mind shirts that show off my arms anymore and because of that, they’ve gotten a golden tan, which only enhances them. I now love my arms.
At this point, I’m sure you’ve caught on to what I’m trying to say. Hating yourself is a vicious cycle that never ends. Right when you think you’ve pulled yourself out — that moment when you realize how much you appreciate your arms, belly or whatever it was that caused you to dislike your appearance — you sink right back in as you scan the mirror for a new problem area. It’s as if you aren’t ready to completely accept yourself. Hating ourselves has become such a popular hobby that we worry that we won’t have anything else to do to pass the time if we eliminate it completely from our daily regimen. And so we decide that we hate our thighs.
In the moment that I noticed I hated my thighs, which was mere seconds after I had admired my arms, I realized how ridiculous it was that I couldn’t love all parts of my body — the parts that match up together to make me the person I am. This is the only body I have, and I’m never getting a new one. I can try to change myself; I can work out all I want, tone and tweak each part in an attempt to alter how I look, but in the end, I’ll always resemble myself. I’ve been this person, in this very body, for a long time and I’ll always be this person, no matter the state of my thighs, wobbly or toned.
Yesterday, I bought my first bikini. Today, I decided I hated my thighs, but tomorrow I’m going to wear my bikini regardless of how I feel about my thighs. I’m going to lay in the sun and splash in the water. I’m going to laugh and take selfies while sipping on a drink with an umbrella. I refuse to let my thighs — or any part of my body — stop me from having fun.