I have struggled with my body image for as long as I can remember. Well that’s a lie, but since I was in about 4th grade. I can remember seeing all the pretty girls getting developed and boys starting to like girls, it was very odd. But it snowballed from there…
By the time I was in 6th grade, I hated my body. I had, what I lovingly referred to as, my spare tire around my mid-section. I was not “fat” anywhere else though, yeah I had a chubby face but I had (and have) normal-ish sized body parts but I had this mid-section that just was…mishappen for lack of a better word. I still have that spare tire, but I have seen it get smaller in the past, but I’ve never seen it go away.
I used to participate in sports when I was younger but I was never very good or what people would call “athletic” by any means. I’ve decided that I will never by a very athletic person and that’s OK! I am happy with what my body can achieve and what it continues to achieve every time that I work out.
It makes me sad, looking back at photos from middle school and seeing how small I was and thinking about how I thought I was a fatty. I wasn’t the smallest teenager by any means, but that poor body image I had of myself set me up for failure going forward in life.
I wake up almost every day and look at myself in the mirror and hate my body. But it’s something that I’m trying to change and have been trying to change. Like I said above, I am proud of what my body can do and what I know it will be able to do in the future. Because this is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while and I want to share with you now:
It doesn’t matter if you slip and have some candy, or you miss a workout or two. Your body was not achieved in a day and it cannot be destroyed in one day.
I’m not saying indulge your cravings every day but don’t beat yourself over a minor setback. Take my good friend Kathleen for example: she topped going to the gym and stopped focusing on what was going into her body because she just fell off the tracks for a little bit. But she’s not beating herself up over it or letting it get to her. Because she knows that she has a strong body that is capable of amazing things. And I’m so proud of her for that, she really is such an inspiration to me.
Together, Kathleen and I inspire each other to go to the gym every day and make sure we’re putting real foods into our bodies and praising it for what it is. I try to go to the gym 4-6 days a week for at least 30 mins and I work on strength training and cardio stamina. Kathleen and I have decided to set non-weight related goals each month and this month I’ve chosen to see if I can run/walk a mile in 18 minutes or less. I’ve always loved running but because of my size, its makes it hard. So I’m working my way up to a good run and will achieve my goal by the end of the month.
So in conclusion (omg, english teachers everywhere are running around with their heads on fire) I just wanted to share with you my journey, its ups and downs and how an why I view my body the way that I do. I appreciate my body for what it can do and I don’t hate it for what it is not.