Confidence: It’s not about how you look. It’s about how you feel about how you look.
I have been thinner than I am right now one time before in my adult life. But I was never happy with my body. My state of mind was all screwed up. I was so obsessed with being thinner and weighing less that I couldn’t even see what I looked like. I remember ONE time, laying in bed and looking at my flat stomach and thinking how thin I looked and admiring my hip bones. But other than that, I never enjoyed being thin. I was too focused on the number and losing more weight.
Today, I am 193 pounds and I feel fantastic about my body. Not because it is perfect, mind you. I still have at least 10 pounds to lose, and I have the same battle scars any person who has lost weight has. I have stretch marks and cellulite. My upper arms are still quite flabby and my stomach still has that little upper belly pouch- you know, as if I was wearing some too tight jeans. I have accepted that I will never have a perfect body. In reality there is no such thing.
But my body is so beautiful, even in it’s imperfection. I can’t get enough of looking at my new figure. I can’t believe I thought I was ugly before. I have a great body, perfectly proportional. My shoulders are wider than my hips and my hips are wider than my waist. It’s a lovely slightly bottom-heavy hourglass shape. 39-31-41. And my legs! They are so long. My thighs are so muscular. I can’t believe I used to wish my legs weren’t so long. I wanted to be petite like all my cute little friends. What an idiot I was!
Because of all the exercise I have done, my butt is now a cute round bubble instead of wide and flat like it was when I was heavy. When I wear a pair of jeans, I feel proud of the booty I’ve been working so hard to achieve.
How did this happen? I keep asking myself. I would like to explain it to you, my reader, and tell you how I went from hating my body to loving it in spite of its flaws. But there is no one simple answer. It is much more complicated than I can ever hope to explain in words, I’m afraid. And it isn’t just one thing. It is a combination of everything that has happened in the last 2 years.
I can tell you some of the components that went into it though:
- regular exercise.
- learning to appreciate my body for it’s athletic and physical abilities, not just it’s appearance.
- realizing that my body IS me, not some external shell
- healthy eating. feeding myself the best food I can in the right quantities.
- thinking about everything I put in my mouth and not mindlessly eating. it is a great act of self love to feed yourself in the best possible manner.
- accepting that real women all have flaws
- accepting that being flawed is not a reason to hate yourself
- accepting MY body type- tall, hourglass, strong, Amazon warrior woman! and not trying to fit into someone else’s body ideal.
- stopping judging myself against flawless models and celebrities or thin friends. only judging myself against myself.
- learning to dress my body type, not hopelessly wishing that I would look good in clothes that looks good on rail thin women.
- taking time to give myself positive self talk and avoiding negative self talk. if I wouldn’t say it to a friend, I don’t say it to myself.
- accepting compliments as truth.
- taking time to really look at myself in the mirror and appreciating all the changes to my figure.
- refusing to punish myself or do anything destructive to myself. caring about myself and my health.
- learning to accept and deal with my emotions and life problems, not ignoring them or pretending they aren’t there.
I wish I could take this feeling I have and bottle it. But the truth is, you can’t just make this change over night. I understand why it takes so long to lose weight now. Remember, I’ve been doing this for a year and a half. That time has been an education to me about how to be healthy and how to love myself. I did it with baby steps. It did not happen immediately.
You can do it too.