I hear and see it too often. Girls not accepting their body in the given time of their life. It’s a struggle many of us have gone through, myself including. The chase for perfection is a real thing, even though perfection is not. Whether it’s the media, social platforms or people that put an idea into our minds, we rush to be someone we aren’t. Anyone but us. Why!? I still ask myself this to this day…
Truth is, my body has pretty much been through it all. From a plump curvy body, to a very thin verging on underweight body, to a toned muscular physique, to now a “something in between” body. But let me explain what comes with all these body changes. It’s definitely not as easy as dieting or training. My physique changes began with wanting to be simply healthier, not to loose weight, but to feel good and know I’m treating my body right. With that however, came weight-loss, which I was happy with. It was an added bonus, until I was sucked into the “body image” addiction.
I had lost enough weight to drop a few sizes, and I was hooked. I liked it. I liked it too much. I began obsessing over what I eat and eating VERY little of even the good stuff. Counting calories and all. That lead to a boney almost underweight me. A scary time for those around me. I had no clue for a long time. However I was feeling weak and tired, and at one stage knew something was up. I tortured myself with food, and no longer enjoyed anything. I had to let go. A HUGE fear of mine. Letting go meant gaining weight in my mind. But I slowly started making healthy changes, so much so that I enrolled into a health school, where I graduated as a Holistic Health Coach. The school and experience gave me so much knowledge, confidence and understanding. I had finally found a nice balance of good food, healthy body size, and happy mind. That lasted a little while until the next step.
From happy and healthy, I would seek EVEN more. Super healthy and toned. So healthy and so addicted to training, that my life revolved around food, cooking and bodybuilding. By this stage I was fit. My body was toned, I had visible abs, and nice guns. I looked my best ever. My body was more than healthy, it was rockin’ it. My mind wasn’t though. I tried to suppress the pressure and strain I was getting from chasing my ideal body. I was solely focused on looking “ripped”.
This was a breaking point. There is so much my body and mind could take. Over training, not eating any treats and pushing the rest of the world to the back of my mind is not a sustainable way of living for me. For a time I enjoyed all that, training was an adrenaline pump and good food made me feel good. But like everything in life, we need balance. I had none. So I knew I had to let go of my fear once again, and step back and listen to what feels good with me. That did mean resting, so much that I completely stopped training after slowly phasing it out. Slowly adding “naughty” foods, and focusing my attention on things I loved.
The story does not end here though. I once again became out of wack, and not training and adding treats to my diet lead to overeating processed foods and sugar. Completely sabotaging healthy foods and working out, I went back to my very old ways of just eating rubbish.
Today, I am searching balance. Searching and listening as well as I’m capable of to my body. Still eating treats, but knowing my limits. I’m aware my body changed. From the best form of my life to my body now. Which has no label, is just me at this stage of my life. In fact my body was beautiful at EVERY stage of my life. The true beauty is learning to accept ourselves for whatever we are. There is A LOT that can change our bodies. Pregnancy, health issues, stress, or for me it was eating disorders and body image pressures.
Taking positive steps towards how you view & see yourself is life changing. Firstly, know it’s OK & natural for our bodies to change, even daily! We bloat, we accumulate more fat for winter, we shed fat for summer, our hunger patterns can change, hormones and so on… Love your body through every stage. Secondly, quit making the mirror your best friend. Mirror is a fantastic attribute to self love & chatting to yourself, but it’s not for checking your stomach or thighs every 10 minutes and pointing the negatives out(yes that was once me!). Thirdly, balance baby. Balance is the ultimate way to enjoy a bit of both. To have that cake but enjoy that banana too. To have rest days, as much as active fun days. Just find what works for you and your body! Lastly, but by all means this does not have to stop here, is talking or writing to yourself. If you feel triggered or low about yourself, let it OUT. It needs to be released from you, so you know what is triggering your self doubt. How else can we tackle the issue?
So my message to you is: LOVE THY SELF! At all times. Acceptance is magical. Let go of “perfection”, notice the life that revolves around you and enjoy it!
Love, Give, Appreciate.