body love

Fierce Body Love: Your Body is Beautiful

I’ve had a complicated relationship with my body. I’ve always been fat, I hit puberty and suddenly I was one of the biggest girls in my class. I let it define me for a really long time. It didn’t just define what I thought about my body but what I thought about myself. I felt like my weight made me an unattractive, unworthy, person.

If you’ve read my post, The Body Sacred, then you’ll know about my weight struggles which are a bit topsy-turvy.

fierce body loveSlowly I started this self-love journey and I suddenly saw my body in a brand new way. My weight wasn’t defining how I felt about myself, how I felt about myself defined how I felt about my weight and body. I tentatively started to fall in love, and that’s when I saw that I wasn’t taking care of my body. I was over-eating every day, I never exercised… and my thoughts started to shift. I started to watch what I ate and I started exercising and it wasn’t from a place of “I need to lose weight to love my body” but from a place of “I love my body so I want to lose weight.”

And wouldn’t you know? After over a decade of frustrating, failed, diets – I lost 70lb over the course of a year. And then guess what happened? Everyone started commenting about my weight – but it wasn’t positive anymore. There were jokes all of the time about how I needed a cheeseburger, teasing about having an eating disorder, and suddenly all of that self-loathing about my body came back.

And I stopped caring. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and those old impulses of emotional-eating came back.

I fell into a depression and the urge to be active just disappeared.

Last night I was thinking that over the Winter I’ve gained weight, my eating habits have been terrible, I’ve managed to get a cold once each month. I started thinking about Summer and jogging/running (which I love), basketball (which I’m not very good at but love anyway), and how my Winter-weight would easily come off. I could go back to focusing on my love for myself instead of what other people think.

On my personal twitter account, I tweeted: “Random thought. I’m wondering how much I weigh. I think I need to lose 15ish pounds. Can’t wait till Summer.”

This was the response I got from one of my “friends”:

“Really? You don’t think you look HIV-y enough?”

That completely floored me and crushed me. It wasn’t funny. And all of those thoughts came flooding back.

I felt incredibly uncomfortable in my own body. Again.

I felt like a 200+lb woman, stuck in a 130lb body, where everyone saw me as 80lb. It was terrible.

It sent me into a tailspin of depression. This wasn’t from a random person on the internet. It was from someone I’ve known for seven years. Someone I see on a weekly basis at work. Someone I considered a friend.

I went back to the place of “You look so hideous.”

However, my mind refused to agree. 

“You ARE beautiful,” my mind said over and over. “You look beautiful.” And after a while, my hurt heart began to agree.

So I decided I was going to go home and take a picture of my BEAUTIFUL body. Stretch marks and all. Curves and all. That’s me and I know that I am beautiful. I no longer demean my body and I will not allow someone else to do so. I love my body and I do not give permission to anyone to disparage my body.

It is my body, mine, and I will honor it, I will protect it, and I will love it fiercely.