Last Wednesday, I watched a video online shared by Love What Matters on Facebook and it really hit home. A lot of people see my weight loss and have mentioned how much happier I seem and how much healthier I’ve become. All of those things are true, but there’s still a lot of unearthed emotions and issues that are still deep down. I'm not 100% happy with myself and haven't been for a long time. It's an on-going lesson I teach myself every day, and I know there's never going to be a full-fledged recovery of my mental body image.
The woman in the video is Lesley Miller. In it, she goes on to describe her experiences, stating that at various ages of her existence she has had social and other self-inflicted obstacles that were charged with negative connotative emotions. She exudes confidence by exclaiming in her video that she's basically DONE putting her life on hold because she hasn't met her *unrealistic* goals of being a size she could physically never be. She explains such with one keyword: ENOUGH. That she’s never felt “thin enough, happy enough, confident enough”, and how it’s affected her in her 21 years. For anyone who has let the exact same things get to them... who's spent a majority of their lives hating and waiting, this post is for you.
I struggle with all of these things
No, I've never cut myself due to my body image, BUT internal self-degradation is the kind of cut that goes deeper than skin - it may not show a physical scar, but it most certainly leaves one, and one that doesn't scab and heal. It is absolutely empowering to see someone who I identify so closely with and seem to share all fears and self-doubts with be so incandescent with their self-worth.
My girlfriends and I were talking about it last Thursday, and we all agreed. Being your healthy self - you can spend that moment and be concerned, or you can BE and LIVE. It was said in that conversation "what you're trying to achieve will NOT make up" for the lost time of self-loathing you've put yourself through. Back in April, our friend group went to the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival, and I was audacious with bringing an ElectricStyles light up bra. I was excited to wear it, but was deathly afraid to take off my sheer over shirt because of my extra skin. I'm standing there, and I'm clearly uncomfortable with the idea, deliberating whether or not to commit to it... and a friend says "Did you buy it for this?" Yes. "Do you have a boyfriend who supports you?" Uh... yeah. "Then that's all that matters - he sees you, all your imperfection, and it doesn't matter to him. It shouldn't matter to you then. So relax and have some confidence."
You have one life, and you're going to put off outings and scenarios because you don't look good in a bathing suit? It's more than that - it's about being healthy and making healthy choices or steps in the right direction at the end of the day. That's why my personal trainer used to say to toss my bathroom scale and to go by how you feel, how your body reacts to physical fitness and gauging your energy levels.
It inspires me
I hope this post does what this video did for me, and inspires you. I hope it shows you that there’s a whole reason to continue to do what makes you happy as it’s healthy and sustains a life worthwhile. It’s never been about the number on the scale anyway… at least not at this point of my life. It’s about being healthy. There is absolutely NO reason to be ashamed of scars, physical or emotional. It’s made you stronger and has brought you to where you are today.
Yes, it's a struggle to love the skin you're in - it's a daily one for me, but our bodies are the only ones we will ever get. Love it. In all its tender imperfection.