I had an epiphany the other day. As kind as I think I am, I am 100% guilty of bullying. While I am confident kindness plants the seeds that blossom eternal beauty, I find myself sacrificing the opportunity. Forbidding myself from the kind of beauty that lasts, stored from positivity, stemmed through love. I pride myself on sharing kindness with as many souls as I can reach. So who am I bullying and why? I bully myself because I get away with it. Because somehow it doesn’t appear as cruel when the fight is internal. I am the victim to my own crime.
“That flab looks disgusting.” “You’d be prettier if you lost 10 lbs.” “Your arms are so ugly they make me sick to look at.” Imagine hearing someone say this. Cruelty in its rawest form. Picking on someone for the way they look, as if physical appearance ranked more valuable than love. I would defend myself and anyone else if I ever heard someone speak so horrendously. But I’m a fraud. I said those comments. And I said them to myself.
If I’m healthy and doing what I need to be doing to maintain a healthy mind and body, why am I unaccepting of that? Why does the number on the scale or the rolls around my bathing suit get to determine how good I feel? Even if I’m going through a period where I’ve been slacking in the health department, I deserve motivation to get back on track. Degrading myself will never encourage the kind of strength and self-love necessary to feel good. Why is it so easy to let my unkind self-talk slide when anyone else saying these things would be harassment?
I’m tired of worrying about my weight. Spending time and energy on fitness and clean eating to feel good only to spend more time beating myself up. I should be rewarding myself. Lifting myself up and reminding my heart what’s most important. I have a healthy body and I can have a healthy mind too, if I let it in.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have a feeling if I had my idea of “the perfect body” I still wouldn’t be satisfied. All of our bodies are different. There is no evaluation to determine why one body would be more attractive than another. That would depend on who you ask, and where that person’s insecurities lie. The one thing I believe can be attractive to us all is confidence. I felt so much more beautiful when I was losing weight and proud of myself than when I was at my fittest and feeling like I needed more.
Our bodies are always changing, that’s inevitable. If I had “my perfect body,” every pound heavier would control my mood and who I am would be defined by insignificant, unhealthy obsessions. Is there even such thing as “my perfect body?” I’m sure if I got rid of the pieces of myself I wished away, I would find new pieces to attack. I think it’s more normal to be uncomfortable in our bodies and unbelievably special to fall in love with them.
Anyone who thinks it’s easy to love your body is wrong. But like any relationship, it takes work. Mutual respect, give and take, and lots and lots of love. Nurture your body. Vow to love it through thick and thin. The good times and the bad. Love its flaws. Forgive its past. Understand its worth.
I’ve learned an incredible amount during the process of my weight-loss journey. First and foremost, avocados are magic. There are so many healthy meals that are quick and easy to make. Neglecting my body and its needs will never leave me satisfied. Fasting could never give me the energy I need to accomplish the goals I strive for. If I’m hungry, I eat. I move, I work and I rest. It is not only a waste of time to feel guilty for enjoying a treat or giving my body a break, it is detrimental. Believe it or not, stress can create more unwanted body fat than eating poorly will. However, I also know that negative thoughts don’t leave with weight. Self-love takes a different kind of training. Beauty presents itself stronger when it comes from within.
My body is one-of-a-kind. My body is beautiful. My body deserves respect. It keeps my heart pumping and my lungs breathing. I owe my body my life, literally. I am grateful. I am bonded. If I love my body, my body will love me too.