I Respect Myself Too Much To Be Ashamed Of My Body Any Longer

No, I am no longer a size two, but yes, I am so tired of feeling ashamed for that.

I’m tired of feeling worthless and less-than, like I will never again fit in with the rest of society the way I did when I was twenty five pounds lighter. I’m tired of being afraid to look at my reflection as I walk by a shop window, tired of dreading what I see as I get dressed in the mirror each morning.

I’m tired of it all. It’s mentally draining and exhausting. And the truth is that for years I’ve been stressing and crying and beating myself up over something that is simply irrelevant. Because it’s not my body that is inadequate, it is my mind that is brainwashed. Brainwashed into thinking that one size fits all, that we’re all meant to look exactly the same. By years of television and films, commercials and fashion magazines.

The things that follow us wherever we go, that are shoved down our throats, a parasite worming its way into our collective minds. The culture of celebrity, of the “perfect body”, has become the backbone of our world and what we’ve come to stand for as a whole. Youth and beauty and a non-negotiable, flawless bikini body. It’s mandatory, the only way to be if you want to fit in.

If you haven’t been able to achieve the unachievable, there are of course a ton of ways to fix that; fad diets promoted as “lifestyle changes”, diet pills and that thousand dollar stair master you absolutely need to invest in.

But I’m done with it all. Because something has finally clicked inside of me. It didn’t happen overnight; I didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly realize the fallacy in my way of thinking. It took a long time and involved a lot of tears and soul searching and the development of my own self-respect.

Because isn’t respecting yourself what accepting your body is all about? To be able to look at your naked reflection in the mirror, with all of it’s inevitable beauties and imperfections, and say I am enough?

I will always be enough.

We each have one single, precious life and I’m finally choosing to live mine proudly. Or at least beginning to learn how to. My body is not a fundamental flaw in and of itself, nor is it yours to examine or judge or use as a tool to try and determine my worth as a person or as a woman.

My body is an amazing, functional machine. One that gracefully carries me places, allowing me to see and experience the world. For once, I don’t care if you accept it, if it lives up to your expectations. I will no longer put myself down as I try to defend it; about why I gained the weight and how I’m really going to start putting that gym membership to use so I can shed the extra pounds. I’m going to own my body, not make excuses for it as if it is something that needs to be vindicated.

My body is a part of me, just as much as any of the other things that make me up, that make me whole. I will no longer ridicule it. I will learn to embrace it.

I am no longer a size two and that’s okay.

From now on, I will practice respecting myself. I will love myself.

I will no longer be ashamed of the skin that I live in. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

A writer of creative non-fiction who drinks copious amounts of coffee.

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