Why is it that as women, we struggle so much with body image? There’s always that thought, that we could lose a little more, that a certain body part could be smaller, that we could look a little prettier. Ladies, we are amazing!! Our bodies do so much for us, why do we abuse them verbally and physically? I am 100% guilty of this. Sometimes all we see are the flaws. There was once a time that I had a major eating disorder because of my battle with body image. I would barely eat anything, work out like a maniac, and then binge on less than healthy things (let’s just say that my sweet tooth had a sweet tooth.) The scale would somehow show another pound lost, yet it was never enough for me. Was I thin? Well, sure. Was I healthy? Not even close! It wasn’t until I minored in health in college, that I began to understand what kind of damage I was doing to myself mentally and physically. I was unappreciative of my body. I didn’t recognize everything it was doing for me. All I saw, was that it was imperfect compared to other women who I would see walking through the mall, or famous women on T.V. and movies, or even my friends around me.
Over the years, I have found a better relationship with my body. I learned how to eat in a way that was fueling my body instead of starving it. Rather than eating some almonds for dinner or a yogurt for lunch, I was eating well-rounded meals that replenished the nutrients that I needed. Instead of binging on sweets, I started to allow myself the freedom of indulging in a small sweet treat when I needed it. With these changes, I began to appreciate my body more. Because I was eating healthy, and continued to work out (I love living an active lifestyle), my body began to respond differently. I started to have more energy, I felt stronger and I noticed that my body was beginning to thrive! I was proud of how far I’d come instead of looking back and not feeling satisfied.
My body image was changing as I started to live a healthier lifestyle. I started looking at my body with appreciation, I would surprise myself with my abilities, and I began to finally feel truly beautiful. I believe that when we feel healthy, it transforms more than just our body. I think it heals our minds as well. How often do you thank your body for everything that it does for you? It may seem silly, but making a list of the many things that your body can do will open your eyes. Are your lungs working and allowing you to breathe? You have your body to thank for that. Are you able to touch and feel things with your fingertips? Thank you body. Are you skilled in different things like athletics, arts, or music? Thank you body. Did you help someone out yesterday or cheer someone up with a simple smile? Thank you body. Do you have a wild imagination or a mind that people love? Thank you body. It honestly never ends.
When I became pregnant and went through a new chapter of life, my body image changed once again. I would thank my body daily on its ability to create a life, despite the pregnancy challenges that I had faced. Was my body changing, getting heavier, bigger? Yes. Was I developing a little baby inside? YES! I couldn’t be more appreciative of such a miracle. After I had my son, my old struggles started to inch their way back into my mind. I would get annoyed that I was not snapping back to my pre-pregnancy weight. But wait a minute, I was nursing my child that I had lovingly grown and given birth to. It took nine months (well 8 months for me, check out my “The Day Te Kanawa Surprised Us” post) to grow my baby, so why was I being so harsh on my body for needing some time to heal and get strong again? Today I am four and a half months postpartum, and more appreciative of what my body does than ever. I am not perfect with this by any means, but I am absolutely better than I used to be. My ideal body image is my healthy and thriving body. It feeds my son. It takes me on runs. It lets me play softball with friends. It lets me have in depth conversations with my husband. THANK YOU BODY!
I hope that you too can seek for a better body image, whatever that may be. Instead of looking outward, try looking inward. I know that if you start to look at the positive aspects and treat your body with the respect and care that it deserves, that changes will follow. I invite you to take a moment and reflect on your own body image. What are some ways that you can be more positive towards your body to help with your health mentally or physically?
“YOUR BODY LOVES YOU. LOVE IT BACK”
Feel free to share your thoughts, tips or goals on Body Image!
Photo Cred: soriahtuimaunei
Makeup Artist: madebylanea