Dealing with body image. Part two of my story. The reason I decided to make this post in two parts, which has now turned into three parts, is this.. when I began planning this post on body image, I knew I was going to search through some embarrassing photos of mine to show you guys I was a binge eater, Yo yo dieter and I needed pictures to show how much my weight fluctuated until the point I went vegan. Well, that didn’t work out. As I searched old photos of mine, (Yes I am unfortunately constantly taking photos of my body) I was in shock to see that I have deeper issues than I thought. None of the photos I was looking for in this period of time showed much of any fluctuation in weight.
This part two, I have re written about 20 or more times. I really don’t know what to write without it being completely cathartic, which most of my posts right now are probably going to be anyway . I just know I want to share it. I figure I can’t be the only one who’s experienced this. I blame magazines and social media for making us feel we must attain a level of unrealistic perfection. These fitness and beauty gurus are wonderful to look at and are inspirational themselves, but honestly set unrealistic expectations for most of the world. So we must stop comparing ourselves to anyone else out there on an advertising page or on the streets. We just need to compare ourselves to our best selves. The best version of us we can attain spiritually, mentally, emotionally and then physically.
In these pictures I have posted where I am so distraught about my image, I am incredibly ashamed to admit I thought the people who’d post things about body image as I am doing right now, I thought those people just didn’t work hard enough. I thought we just have to obsess over the gym and nutrition and that would be a way of life. Well that is unattainable and not fun no matter what way you look at it. Trust me, I lived it for many years, never ever reaching my “goal”. I obsessed with how many times I would go to the gym and gave myself an emotional beatdown if I didn’t go. It was never good enough. I obsessed with starving myself and then binge eating at night. I constantly tried out toxic weight loss pills. So unhealthy. You will never get anywhere by obsessing over weight. You want a balanced life, healthy and happy life right?! We can only do this the right way by loving our bodies and knowing what it needs.
This post really took a turn. It quickly and shamefully turned into me posting pictures of when I truly thought and felt “Fat” (sorry for using that word but that is how I felt) I felt fat. I explain in detail in the caption and description of each photo. I believed I had gained a ton of weight, I felt gross and I was unacceptable to myself. If you haven’t read part one, my previous post, please check it out. You’ll see how my history with body image has thrown me a bit out of whack and has clearly distorted my view of myself. I’m sharing these photos to show how distorted our mind and emotions can get when it comes to our weight. Maybe if you are going through these struggles, you will look at yourself differently and love yourself right now, as I didn’t. I wish someone had told me.
“Don’t let your mind bully your body”
I don’t know why this happens to us, this feeling of desperation to get our bodies to be as fit as possible just to be accepted to this idea of being “attractive” that the advertising industry creates. It is so dumb. If we are healthy and strong it shouldn’t matter what we look like. I mean how blessed are we to have food at our disposal. I am so proud and inspired by women out there that exude this magical powerful air of peaceful confidence no matter what weight or stature or color or age they are. That is what we need to admire. Anyone who is healthy, kind and compassionate and unapologetically themselves.
“When you do talk about yourself, or to yourself… try to picture you talking to your own daughter, or your younger sister. Because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she is beautiful, and you wouldn’t be lying. Because she is. And so are you.” – Amy Poehler
These photos I chose to post because I vividly remember what I was feeling when I took them. I have much less body image problems now but they do creep up here and there. What’s really demented is as I sit here writing this looking at my old self, in the deepest of my gut I’m trying to figure out how to get that thin again. Yes I struggle with body image still, but I feel I am in power now. Will I always have this struggle? I’m not sure. But I know that I have power over it now, it does not have power over me.
The game changer for me first was resistance training and then going on a vegan, plant-based lifestyle, and I did that without any desire to lose weight. All of a sudden I felt strong and invincible. All I am really concerned with now is how much nutrition the cells in my body get. I exercise first and foremost now because I feel myself strong and that is so fun and necessary for my overall well being. Which is how health, fitness and nutrition should be! I love eating whole foods packed with vitamins and minerals because I know my inner body loves it, which makes my outer body love it too. But, this is another story. Onto part three. Please stick around. My most positive note on this subject is coming up!
Yes I am embarrassed to share this on the world wide web. But I feel if anyone can relate to my story dealing with body image in some way, maybe it will help you, I hope. I want to tell you to love your body no matter what weight you are! Whether its a struggle like it has been for me or whether you don’t think of it much. Love, love, love. We must love our bodies inside first then out, so it can love us back. Even the most fit person gains and looses weight throughout the year. No one is super woman or super man. Make sure you stick around for part three! Because every story needs a happy ending right?
Love you, Con amor