One topic I’ve always wanted to talk about here on the blog, but have shied away from, is body image. I hate that it can be a “touchy” subject, but you know what, it’s too important not to address. There are too many women struggling with their own body images daily. I would say I’m one of those women. Yes, I’m self conscious. Yes, I have negative thoughts about my body. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love my body, but sometimes I feel like it doesn’t love me. Does that make sense? I eat healthy, I work out often, I drink lots of water, I get lots of sleep, yet I still will never meet the unrealistic expectations in my head. Where did those expectations come from? Who am I trying to impress? Who even cares?
The pressures of growing up can cause us to be self conscious. The pressures of being successful, finding a mate, meeting other people’s expectations and constant change, to name a few. When you’re a kid, you don’t really have those pressures. Sometimes I think back to when I was young and was so unaware of body image and the expectations that we, as women, put on ourselves. Where did those days go? I don’t even remember the exact moment when I started to become self conscious, but I think it was around college. Up until that point, it was something that never even crossed my mind. I’d like to think it’s possible to get back to that mindset.
We need to stop treating ourselves poorly for not having “perfect” bodies. There’s no such thing as perfection or being perfect. Having this false mentality that we’re essentially creating in our own minds is self destructive and will never lead to happiness. The reason why we have to start within, is because it’s not what we look like to somebody else, it’s how we see ourselves. In order to be happy, we need to love ourself.
I believe that the most important thing is to be healthy. And be thankful for being healthy. I love my body because it gets me through every damn day, and even though sometimes it feels like it’s grudging along, it’s doing a pretty good job. When I put it into perspective with all of the terrible illnesses and conditions that so many people have to deal with on a daily basis, it makes me feel guilty for thinking any negative thoughts about the appearance of my relatively healthy body. It’s not just about physical health, it’s also about mental health. At the end of the day, if we’re seeking physical health for the wrong reasons, we’re never going to be able to find the answers were seeking.
Our bodies are each built differently and we cannot compare ourselves to others because we are all uniquely different and can never be anything else besides the best of ourselves. With social media and the constant comparison game, it can be a hard battle to win. I can definitely fall short on this one. One moment, I’m feeling really great about myself, and the next, I’m staring at perfectly toned, long legs on Instagram, and regretting the ice cream I had the night before. What I should be doing, is giving myself a pat on the back for kicking ass at the gym all week and giving myself a break for wanting to indulge on the weekend. If you’re going to look up to something in someone else, look up to their strengths. What’s sexy is strength and confidence exhibited by women of all sizes.
The main reason why I wanted to share this post with you all is because I think the more we become aware of the negative ways we’re treating our own bodies (mentally and physically), the better we can focus on correcting the behavior by being nicer to ourselves. The more we look in the mirror each morning and accept and love ourselves as we are, the happier our lives will become. I hope that by opening up and sharing my own personal struggles with body image, some of you will find comfort in knowing that it’s okay. You’re not the only one. We should all take little steps daily to begin moving down the right path of loving ourselves as we are. Anytime I find myself thinking something negative about my appearance, I’ve found it helpful to replace it with one thing I love about myself.
Now, my question to you is, what are some ways that you show self love? How do you build up your confidence and love your body as it is? Let’s take the conversation away from what we don’t like and focus on what we do.