All I can remember from a young age is only ever having hate for my body. I remember looking down at my arms and thinking they were ‘too hairy.’ I remember crying to my mom because my thighs were ‘too fat’ when I sat down. I remember looking in the mirror and feeling physically sick because my stomach wasn’t ‘flat enough’ and my boobs made my upper body look ‘heavy.’ I remember looking at myself in disgust day after day, finding countless things that were wrong with me. My skin wasn’t clear enough, I was always covered in eczema, I was too short, my fingers were too stubby—the list goes on and on.
I would look into the mirror with tears building up in my eyes, not even being able to see the girl staring back at me, but you could guarantee there was mascara running down my face. I remember feeling the lumps in my throat as I would cough and gasp for air. I remember praying to anyone who would just listen, for a redo, a second chance, a new body. This was because I truly never thought that I could ever be happy in this skin. I would never be complete just being me. These are such harsh feelings to come from such a young girl, feelings that will probably always haunt me.
But what I have learned over time is that ultimately, there wasn’t anything on the outside that was wrong with me. I had a normal amount of hair on my arms, my thighs were small, my weight was average, and my body was healthy. The part that was ‘wrong’ with me was my mind. I never allowed myself to fully accept myself.
I always admired the girls who found love within themselves. Girls who were confident to just be who they were without any question.
I always thought I could never be one of those girls. I cared so much in my mind about this idea of me and how I needed to be this version of perfect that I stopped living. I was alive, I was moving, I was there, but I was never really present.
I was so caught up in this mindset that I would never be enough. I caused myself so much pain and grief over the years, and although I am ashamed that it has taken 24 years for me to be at ease and find some sort of confidence in my body, I am happy to be in this place—a place of acknowledgment and kindness.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still catch myself pointing out parts of me that I don’t like. However, now as I do that, I am just as quick to point out parts that I love about me too. I am on a road to a more positive and loving relationship with myself.
As important as it is to create boundaries with other people, it is just as important to create them with yourself.
The world will tear you down in so many ways. Why was I adding to that pain? Why was I putting myself through heartache and disappointment every day?
I am enough. I was enough. And I will always be enough.
The body shaming stops here. I am perfect.
I am perfect before setting goals, I am perfect as I reach my goal, and I am perfect now. I will always be perfect.
I’ve learned that your body is the only thing you are guaranteed forever. So be kind to yourself. Trust me, it is a whole lot easier loving yourself than being at war with yourself.
Now, work on overcoming that negative mindset and start embracing your true self. You deserve to be loved unconditionally by you.