I’ve noticed lots of self deprecating humor lately from people about their body image. Where does it border on disdain and self hate? The things I’ve read are not things that they would say to someone else.
I don’t have an epic weight loss story. I’ve stayed within the same 10 pound range for my entire adult life. So who I am I to speak on body image? I’m not here to compare stories, one up anyone or complain about my past.
I’ve struggled with my body image, confidence and self worth for most of my life. I believed I was ugly and needed to lose weight. I put my self-worth in the way I looked. For a while, I tried to eat only 1200 calories a day, obsessive about the calories to the point that I would only eat packaged food that had a nutrition facts label. But then I binged on the weekend and would be wracked with guilt and feel like a failure. The cycle of punishment through food resumed back on Monday. I would exercise with passionate hate filled thoughts about my body, how I would never be good enough, and all the while being miserable.
When I realized counting calories wasn’t working for me, I stopped counting and ate whatever I wanted within reason. I kept working out with the goal to look a certain way. One day, I was feeling really good and confident in my strength. I compared my body to an older picture. Oh shit… I looked the more or less same. At that moment it clicked. I may never look a certain way but I FELT amazing! What had happened was a mindset shift.
I began exercising to feel good rather than solely look good. To feel good mentally and internally with my digestion. I stopped cutting away food I loved and stopped eating with guilt. I cut down on my portions by noticing when I was full (when I would take a big inhale in the middle of eating). I do exercises that I love and look forward to. I’m always learning more but the most dramatic change was in my mindset. I hope these words inspire you to be kind towards yourself and your body in your health and fitness journey and always.