THE SECRET TO LOVING YOUR BODY
Before I begin, let’s get on the same page.
this is not a ‘how to‘.
there are a number of subjects I feel qualified enough to give tutorials, or “how to” articles on.
“How to use your eagerness for traveling to score you your dream job” - a true passion of mine I hope to share with the world someday.
“How to get Bianca Ingrosso to view your Instagram stories - another title I’ve dabbled with.
But “How to love your body” is a topic not included in my repertoire of step-by-step guides.
because... I’m simply no expert.
All I can do is share my thoughts and experiences, and maybe inspire you to stop sending Kendall Jenner hate mail for her god given flawless bone structure.
We good? Let’s go.
As a kid, I was wildly confident. I’ll paint you a picture.
• Skinny as a rail
• Living on a steady diet of fruit, snacks and duritos
• Role model: Britney Spears
I was naturally small, and above anything else I was just blissfully ignorant. Confidence ran through my veins, but I didn’t even know what that meant.
It lasted awhile too. One time, during 7th grade, I came downstairs ready for school in cheetah print leggings. My sweet, sensitive, charming little brother pointed out that “those leggings made me look fat.” But, it didn’t bother me. I knew I wasn’t fat, and I knew my outfit was cute, so I shrugged it off, and probably insulted him into another dimension, but the bottom line is, I was confident. That was my state of mind, and it was great. I wish so badly I knew how powerful it was. Because it didn’t last forever.
I’ll never forget, the year later, a friend of mine at lunch saying, “ugh I really shouldn’t eat that cookie.”
I was genuinely confused. You allergic to gluten, sis?
I couldn’t figure out why she said that, or why it was a big deal to eat another cookie. I asked why, and she replied half jokingly, “I want to fit in my bathing suit tomorrow.”
I was mind blown. I didn’t know girls my age counted calories. I thought that was just a thing for middle aged women fresh out of a messy divorce.
Was I really supposed to be watching what I ate ... already???
And suddenly, without realizing it, I was introduced to a new world.
A world that most women and girls are already well acquainted with. The world of BODY ISSUES!
I was suddenly aware of everything I was putting into my body. I saw an entirely different person in the mirror. Finally, after years of believing I was beautiful, I was cut down to size in an instant and all of that natural confidence I had lived with for years, was thrown in the garbage right along with the half eaten crunch wrap! (with no dressing.)
That was 5 years ago. Clearly, you’re reading this post thinking that I’ve come so far in the last 5 years and I’m now here to give you the secret on how I overcame my self consciousness.
But nooooope. It’s been a rough relationship over the past 5 years. Issues with dieting, body dysmorphia, and just overall not being comfortable in my own skin.
And let me just say, I have started writing this post, countless times over the last two years. (seriously! two years!) But every time I get going, I end up stopping myself halfway through, screaming at my computer screen “HOW CAN I SIT HERE AND WRITE ABOUT BODY CONFIDENCE WHEN I’M NOT EVEN CONFIDENT IN MY OWN BODY!!“ So I walk away from my laptop, promising to finish the post someday, when I’ve discovered the secret to loving my body.
but screw THAT.
I did the vulnerable thing. I finished it anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always soul crushingly insecure. Some days, I’m totally feeling myself.
Some days I touch my own butt, because I can.
And some days (today) I sit in the bathtub, counting my stomach rolls, wishing I still fit into the swimsuit that I wore in Thailand a few years ago.
But if anything, that’s the secret I’ve learned.
BEING “BODY CONTENT“ IS NOT A PERMANENT STATE. IT’S A CONSTANT WORK IN PROGRESS.
We work so hard to love our bodies, as if it’s to reach an ending goal. As though someone will hand us a certificate someday and say “congratulations! You’re officially confident in your body!” and we‘ll never compare ourselves to a Victoria’s Secret model again.
But that’s just not the reality of it, and I want to be as real as I can with you guys. Especially you youngbloods. The junior high/high school girls. I could go several angles with this post, but I know there are impressionable minds reading, and I know I have a platform and so I want to use it in the best way I can.
First and foremost, you’re not alone. And that’s cool. It’s sad, but weirdly comforting to know that pretty much every girl to ever live, in the history of the world, has insecurities. Taylor Swift has them. Your mom has them. Your ex boyfriend‘s hot new girlfriend has them. I BET EVEN RIHANNA GETS INSECURE SOMETIMES. (too far? yep. thought so too.)
So please let it reassure you that Sofie Marie Mugaas, that self deprecating girl you read her blog posts to, she’s insecure too.
Next, having a healthy relationship with social media, is so crucial to having a healthy body image.
• Be careful of the media you’re consuming. If you scroll down your feed, and a picture makes you feel bad about yourself in any way... say it with me... unfollow! Unfollow me if you have to! If anything/anyone makes you feel bad about yourself, unfollow. It’s just not worth it.
• Remember that people are posting their best photo, and there’s probably a pile of 87 rejected selfies in their recently deleted folder. Or 887 if you’re me.
• Let Instagram be a place for you to catch up with friends, to be creative, to gain inspiration and to document your memories! That’s all it should be.
• Last but not least, just because a girl is pretty doesn’t mean you’re not.
And finally you guys, the final point that took me so long to figure out, but changed my world once I did:
YOU HAVE TO WORK AT SELF LOVE. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Treat this like your new job.
Self love is your new job. With every job, comes training.
This time, with our minds.
We need to be constantly training our minds. We need to train our minds not to bully our bodies. We need to train our minds to think positive thoughts when we look in the mirror. To stop putting our worth into our physical appearance. To treat our bodies, how we would treat our loved ones. To stop comparing them to anyone else’s.
And once we think we’ve got it, once we think we can’t possibly train anymore, our minds are going to test us, and make us insecure for not looking like the latest instagram model. Or remind us of what we used to look like on our beach trip two summer’s ago. Or convince us that our bodies are the reason why boys won’t date us, or why companies won’t hire us, or why any specific situation in our life isn’t going our way.
Some days we’ll fail. We’ll give in to the negativity, and it’s gonna hurt. No amount of ‘training‘ is going to prevent bad thoughts or bad days. I want to make sure this part is clear, and I want to make sure that you know that it‘s perfectly okay to have these bad days. It’s even okay to have negative thoughts. It means you’re HUMAN. Just go back to square one with training your mind, just like you would train to be a professional football player, lifeguard, or an Olympian, or Kim Kardashian’s surrogate.
Because that miserable training will be so worth it, for the days that we WIN.
For the days that we celebrate our bodies as the houses that we grew up in. For the days we recognize them as the vessels for our souls, and the incredible things they are capable of. For the days that we see our bodies as our friends.
I know it’s not going to come overnight. Being secure in your physical form is really hard work. But let me scream it from the rooftops that it will get easier to love your body, and it will get easier to forgive yourself on the days that you don’t.
TRAINING BEGINS NOW.