I lost all the weight and was still miserable. Here's how I learned to love my body.
This is my story of how I stopped obsessing over the number on the scale and started living and loving my body. At the end of the day, the excess weight is a symptom of how you really treat yourself. It's not about being perfect in your eating, it's about showing up for yourself and starting with love.
Here we go ...
For quite a huge portion of my life, I let my weight and physical appearance keep me from putting myself out there. I would hide under layers of clothes. I rarely did my makeup or hair. I barely spoke up. All I could think about was getting down to 140 lbs. I have no idea where this number had even come from. I just thought “yup that sounds great”.
I believed that if I could lose the weight then I would finally be happy, I would speak up for myself when I feel like I’m being walked all over and I would feel sexier especially when I’m naked. I would stop hating what I saw in the mirror and fuss over finding the right shirt that hid my muffin top.
But here’s the thing ... I worked really hard, hit my goal weight and I was still miserable.
I was still sad. Still lacking confidence and felt like a failure. How could I not be happy?
I did it. I reached my goal weight. I lost 40 lbs.
I still didn't feel good enough or pretty enough.
If I had done all the “right things” and I still wasn’t feeling the way I wanted.
I didn't want to feel this way anymore so I had to make radical change. I decided that the only way to change how I was feeling was to listen to what my body was telling me to do because listening to everyone else clearly wasn't working.
1. I HAD TO DO THE ONE THING I DIDN’T WANT TO DO.
I was so depressed and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy. My days were filled with crying, lashing out at my boyfriend and anxiety.
I went to my doctor and she recommended that I do the one thing I’d been fighting but knew had to happen … depression medication.
I could not get away from the negative thoughts that were hijacking my life.
I quickly learned after being on meds for about a month that I could finally start to feel calm. After the haze cleared, I was back to doing the activities that I found fun. I began to focus on the activities that made me happy and feel fulfilled. Things like spending time quality time with my boyfriend, our dogs, and my family. I returned to soccer and exercise. I started reading again.
2. I WASN’T READY TO GIVE UP ON FEELING GOOD ABOUT MY BODY.
I was starting to feel calm and back in control. I knew there was more work to do.
I really had to get clear about what changing my body really meant to me. Why was it so important for me to keep working on my relationship with it ?
I struggled with a lot of self-doubts and saying mean things about myself when I looked in the mirror. I used to put myself down when anything I did was less than perfect ( I'm a perfectionist Virgo).
One day I woke up and saw myself standing there in my bra and underwear.
What was I really seeing ?
Was all this venom I was saying to myself true ?
NO. Absolutely not.
Right there, I began.
Simply starting my showing myself the same love I showed everyone else in my life (but myself).
Each time a nasty or negative thought would pop into my head, I would reframe it to become the opposite version and then repeat it to myself over and over until I believed it.
So instead of looking in the mirror at my thighs and saying "my thighs are so fat" I would say "my thighs are so strong, they've carried me through life and taken me so much farther than most have been willing to go."
What would I say to a friend looking in the mirror at herself ?
Start with love.