There were times in my past when I hated my body for not being perfect.
I’d conceal it under baggy sweatshirts and pants. I'd dodge mirrors. I’d hide on the couch instead of going to parties. I’d push away boyfriends when they tried to wrap their arms around my waist.
Many of us reject our bodies when they don’t conform to the ideal size and shape dictated by our culture.
However, rather than self-rejection, what we really need to reject are the lies we’re incessantly fed (and buying into) about how our bodies are supposed to look.
We need to reclaim our power by loving and accepting our bodies unconditionally, and not becoming victims of the profit-making machine that thrives on making us feel inadequate, deficient, less than.
How I Reclaimed My Power
When I started partnering with my body instead of rejecting it, our relationship drastically changed. I began experiencing a sense of ease, peace and freedom I hadn’t felt since I was a very young girl (before I started believing all the BS).
Here are some of the ways I took back my power:
- I stopped believing I could hate, deprive, restrict, starve and punish myself into a version of myself that I finally loved and accepted.
- I started trusting my body again to guide me toward food choices based on what my body really wanted and needed. I no longer made eating decisions based on calories, diet plans, my weight, how many miles I ran, etc.
- I stopped feeling guilt and shame when I ate so-called “bad” foods.
- I stopped constantly weighing myself and letting the number on the scale dictate my feelings, mood and behavior.
- I fired my inner mean girl and started speaking to my body—and about it—with kindness, compassion, respect and gratitude.
- I created a more body-positive culture by ditching media (e.g., magazines, TV shows, websites) that promoted and perpetuated the thin ideal.
- I trusted that if I took care of myself holistically—that is, my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being—that my body would settle into its natural weight.
This journey hasn't been fast or easy. But, man, has it been worth it. I’m still a work-in-progress, but I’m never turning back.
How can you reclaim your power?