This is a topic I have wanted to write about for quite some time now, but every time I went to put pen to paper, I found something holding me back.
Maybe it’s the vulnerability that has to be present to write about this topic, maybe it’s because I am far from perfect when it comes to this, or maybe I wasn’t fully ready to admit where I have been and how far I’ve come with loving my body.
Growing up I was never the kid who had a fast metabolism and was stick thin. I started comparing my body to Disney Channel stars and images in the media when I was 11, and immediately the idea that my body was not good enough was engrained in me.
I remember getting in the lunch line in middle school and choosing to fill my plate up with salad, hoping that this would prove to myself and to others that I could change. From a young age I obsessed over fad diets, exercising excessively, and clumping on makeup hoping that it would change the way I felt about myself.
Even when my body would change, it would only be for a brief amount of time and the changes I would see were never enough. I could never compare to the beautiful women out there. I would never be enough.
Oh, how I wish I could visit that young girl and tell her how wrong she was.
Here I am, 20 something, and still affected by the media, still wondering what others think, but also fully connected to the beauty of my body. Many years ago, I hit a very dark point in my life and was either under or overweight. No matter what I did, I felt like I couldn’t win the battle that was “my perfect body”. Years later I know that the reason was because it does not exist.
When I entered the fitness world I remember thinking that my body wasn’t like the other trainers I saw. I felt less than, I felt that the impact I wanted to have on my clients would be subpar because I didn’t have a six pack.
I was wrong.
I remember the moment when I realized that it didn’t matter. I was teaching and out of my mouth came this statement that I didn’t even know was in me:
“Focus on what your body can do rather than what you want it to look like.”
I swear I don’t know where that statement came from, but from that point on, my vision changed. My body is strong. It is powerful. It moves me every single day. It allows me to do what I love every single morning when I wake up. It allows me to move and release the shit that no longer serves me. It allows me to feel everything. It allows me to be active.
It allows me to be who I am.
Once I started viewing my body as a vessel of love. I started my mornings with gratitude. I am grateful that I have legs that spin on a bike and walk me around every day. I am grateful that I have a core that allows me to connect to my breath. I am grateful for a body that moves.
Some mornings, I wake up and I am feelin’ myself. I am loving what I see in the mirror. Other mornings, I want to hide and wear a sweatshirt in 90 degree weather. And some days I am just okay. In the days that are harder than others, I remember to stay grateful for the body that my soul lives in. As long as I’m comparing myself to anyone else, I will never be enough. But if I remember that my body is a vessel, it is beautiful, because it has a purpose.
All of our bodies are different. But I know when I am fueling my body with food that feels good, when I am moving my body, and presenting myself to the world as I truly am, I am staying true to myself. It’s okay to eat the ice cream. It’s okay to stick to a meal plan. All of these things are okay!
Your body is just that. It’s yours. It’s special. It was created for you to live out your purpose. So take a moment and before you start judging your body. Start finding the gratitude. Start trusting that your body is perfect just the way it is. Love it. Love it hard. Love what it can do. Love its imperfections. Love everything about it. It’s the only body you’ve got. So love it. On bad days. On good days.
Love the body you’ve got. Love it hard.