How old was I when I started hating my body?
I laid in bed last night wondering the question and I couldn’t pinpoint the answer. Was it when I gained weight in and after college? Was it when I was 15 and it seemed like every adult in my life was asking me to lose weight? Was it when my modeling agent would always describe my look as exotic, which to me translated to different or weird? Was it in junior high when a girl wrote ugly on the back of my shirt during class? Was it when I had a growth spurt and reached my final height of 5’9” in the 6th grade? Was it every time I tried a new diet? Or worse was it something I was just born into? Was it because I was raised by a woman who hated her body? Was it because I was born into a society that basically engrains into women’s heads that their bodies will never be good enough? How old was I when I began subscribing to the diatribe that I wasn’t enough. That somehow the physical aspects of me are more valuable than any of the qualities that make me who I am. I really don’t know where it started. But I know when it’s going to end.
I want to stop here and say that for me, loving my body is more than just accepting it for what it is. It’s taking better care of it. It’s fueling it with the things that make it feel its best. It’s giving it enough exercise that I feel strong and capable of taking on physical challenges. It’s loving my body because of all the miraculous things it does every freaking day. It’s loving my body even though sometimes I’m going to make the wrong choice for it. It’s also loving what that body houses.
Inside this skin is a wild mess of a human, but it’s a pretty rad mess. It feels uncomfortable typing this, but I am fucking awesome. I’m a dreamer. I’m persistent. I’m honest and kind. I believe fiercely in other people. I am smart. I am sexy. I am strong. I am a total badass. I am a million things other than the way I look. But up until recently, I’ve let all those things be wiped away because of a number on a scale and the deep seeded feeling that I would never be enough.
I am enough today, just as I am. And I will be enough tomorrow, whatever that looks like. I will be enough regardless of my weight, or my dress size. I believe you can be enough and still take better care of yourself physically and mentally. I believe you can be enough and still fail. I believe you can be enough and still work towards bigger dreams. Believing that you are enough shouldn’t start when you’ve got it all figured out because news flash, you’ll never get there. One of the most beautiful things about life is that it’s constantly changing and there is no way to consistently successfully navigate its curves. So if you are waiting for perfection in order to feel like you deserve the love of others or worse to love yourself, it’s time to re-evaluate. The only way you can truly change anything about yourself or your life is by accepting and loving it for where it’s at in the process.
My body is not the one I would have ordered, but it’s the casing for all the things that make up me. It’s the vessel that keeps me moving. So I’m choosing to stop hating my body and start loving it and see where that takes me.