I have grown up hearing so many negative comments about my body for most of my life. I had the unhealthiest relationship with it for so long. I used to have a constant non-loving relationship with it—I didn’t like the way it looked and I always despite it, in a way. I didn’t like looking at it because all I could think of was how wide my thighs were and how much fat was on my belly.
It wasn’t just about people’s comments regarding my body, it was also about my own negative thoughts regarding it that kept developing over the years. I felt like my body was just something that wasn’t fitting with the world’s ideal body criteria. It’s feeling like there’s always something wrong with you because you don’t have skinny legs or a thigh gap or a flat stomach or lean arms.
I was never taught to love it or look at it in a different way. I never looked at it in a less superficial way—it was always about how it looked. But as I grew up, I started to understand so much more about it. I started slowly understanding the blessing of having a body that enables me to walk for miles or jog or run for really long distances. I started to acknowledge what an amazing thing it is to have a body that can let you climb to summits, swim in seas, and cycle around the streets. I started to understand that my body is not just about how it looks, but more about what it enables me to do. I started to look at it in a very different way. I started to look past the stretch marks, the fat, the cellulite, and all the things that the world taught me to be ashamed of regarding my body. I started to look at it as this amazing thing that I am blessed with that gives me the ability to do all these activities every single day.
I started to be more and more grateful for it. I started to look at it differently. And for the very first time in my life, I started to let go of the shame that the world made me feel towards it.
I started to love my body and appreciate all the great things it allows me to do. I started to think about it differently. I started to slowly shift the way I was taught to look at it and how I was taught to perceive it. And finally be able to acknowledge what it’s really capable of doing and loving it for that. This realization was a liberating experience that I wish I would have experienced earlier. I really hoped I would have been taught to look at it in such a beautiful way for all the things it allows me to do, rather than feeling constantly ashamed for how it looked.
I started to understand that me choosing to be healthier or losing weight was not a decision that I have taken in order for my body to just look a certain way or to fit some kind of criteria, but it was a decision that I took for my own health. It was a decision that I took because I wanted to have a body that can enable me to even do more with it. It was a decision that I took out of love and out of genuinely wanting to take care of my body, and not out of shame.