Body issues, body shaming, and learning to love yourself anyway

For today’s post I wanted to talk about something that I feel pretty strongly about: body issues and body shaming. I’ve debated for a long time as to whether or not I should even broach this subject because it’s not quite what my blog is about, and the topic can be a tad controversial. However a reader advised me recently that I should be talking about all of the things I deal with/think about as it may be applicable to someone else. So here goes…

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Like a lot of girls I grew up without having much confidence in myself. Society’s depiction aside of what a woman “should” look like, I also had a female role model growing up who advocated hard for skipping meals, crash dieting, working out until you puke, “closing” the kitchen early in the day, and how going to bed hungry is “good” for you. As an adult I know now that that behavior is insane and unhealthy, but I didn’t know that then.

I struggled with my weight all through my teen years–not as much as some people, but enough to feel affected by it. I gained weight (as one does when they hit about 11-13 years old), and then I would essentially starve myself until I got down to an “acceptable” weight. Even through my early-twenties I had this woman’s voice in my head every time the scale tipped over another pound, or upon biting into a cheeseburger.

“Do you really need that cheeseburger? You’re not doing yourself any favors. No man is ever going to love you if you’re fat.”

Again, insane! But that voice was there antagonizing me—haunting me. I wouldn’t even wear sleeveless shirts out in public because she used to flick my arm fat and make a face any time I did.

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Somewhere around the time I turned 22 I adopted the mentality of all things in moderation. Yes, I try to live a healthy lifestyle and I eat a lot of healthy foods, but if I want a cheeseburger I will have it. If I want to eat half a bag of jellybeans and feel my teeth rotting out of my head as I do it, then that’s my choice.

This is also around the time that I started embracing who I was on the inside. As I started feeling more confident about the person I was becoming, I also started feeling more confident in my body. It had to come from within.

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Today I know I’m not perfect, but I no longer care to be. I’m a size 2 with somewhat flabby arms and you know what? I think I look pretty damn good in sleeveless.

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