I was inspired to write this blog after listening to a recent podcast between Rachel Hollis and Amy Porterfield. Two dynamite women tackling the topic of how women feel about their bodies.
The purpose of the podcast was to promote Amy’s new podcast series, “Talking Body”, which I have already started and HIGHLY recommend listening too. Her podcast is all about how women feel about their bodies. The overarching question that Amy is trying to find the answer to is “Can I truly love myself, while still wanting to change myself.”
After listening to the discussion between the two of them I had said “yasss” or “me too!”, or “I have felt the exact same way” too many times to NOT continue the conversation on this platform.
I personally have a complicated relationship with the way I feel about my physical body. Luckily, I do believe that I have gotten more holistic, loving, and accepting of myself over the years. But I would be lying if I were to tell you that I loved everything about myself every single day and that it didn’t take a lot of work to get to the better place that I am today.
I don’t even want to admit to how many “diets” I have been on in my entire life, or the countless number of times I have looked in the mirror and have been genuinely distraught over what was looking back at me. I have spent embarrassing amounts of money on books, trainers, workout programs, cleanses, whatever the new fad was to try to “look good”. But what is the definition of “looking good”? Who is setting that standard? Who am I trying to look good enough for? And for what? Why do I feel that I have to look a certain way?
But of course, being young and dumb, I never asked myself these questions or tried to dig in and understand the true meaning of this desire.
I just continued to pick myself apart and believe the lie that I wasn’t good enough because of the way my body looked.
This has been a mental battle most of my young adult life and I know I’m not alone in this. Pictures of celebrities, movies with only perfect women who get the guy in the end, Instagram “highlight” reels, and even just plain old advertising for brands have constantly told me that THIS, this photoshopped fake human is perfect, this is what desirable is, and this is what you want to be. And as a young and dumb teenager and 20 something even 30 something, how do you compete with that? How do you disagree with the idea the world is throwing at you?
I couldn’t and didn’t for years, I fell into all of the marketing traps, bought all of the things, and continued to not feel enough. Until one day I was simply over it.
I found myself in a self-pity spiral when yet again ANOTHER diet or workout regimen wasn’t making me perfect, and I just hit rock bottom, cried, a lot, and thought why am I doing this to myself? What is this all really for? I was honestly just annoyed with myself, like the way you get annoyed with a crying toddler or teenager, “like will you just stop it already?!”
I just couldn’t stand looking at myself another day and not being happy about what was looking back at me. I didn’t want to feel like I wasn’t enough anymore. So I just simply decided I was done. I was done with chasing this idea that THAT body, or looking THAT way is going to be enough. I was enough just the way I was.
At that moment I felt a warm rush of love all over my body like it was saying, “THANK YOU! I have been waiting for you to see how wonderful you already are!” Then I cried and apologized to myself for all the times I said I wasn’t enough and picked it apart. It was like finally apologizing and making up after a big fight with a boyfriend, an old love renewed.
From then on, I promised to do things differently. I promised myself that when I looked in the mirror I would smile, or try to find something, anything I loved about myself that day. It could be as small as loving my eyes or the veins in my hands, or as big as strutting my STUFFFF and feeling like Beyoncé!
I promised only to do exercises I enjoyed, and to eat foods because they were nourishing and good for my body. I was not going to eat and workout to get skinny, but to get energy, to feel awake, alive, and strong.
And you know what, ever since I made that switch, it all changed for me. I found more reasons to love myself, I found more blessings, I saw more of what my body did for me every single day. It’s like a veil was lifted and I could finally see what was always there, a beautiful person with a beautiful body.
Now I’m not saying that to sound conceited, but I’m saying that because I am you. We are all the same. YOU are a beautiful person and YOU have a beautiful body just the way you are. And it’s always been there, and it’s always been that way. We don’t need to change ourselves to do that. We don’t need to look a certain way to finally feel that.
There is no “IF I look this way, THEN I will be happy” because ‘then’ happiness will never come. You will never be content and feel whole as you are because you’re striving to be something else.
So to answer Amy’s question, in my own opinion, “ Can I love myself while still wanting to change myself?”
My answer is kind of, but not entirely. Lol
I applaud anyone who is on the journey to finding more self-love and acceptance. It’s not an easy journey, and it is something I work on constantly, so I believe you can START to love yourself even if a small part of you wants to change yourself.
But I don’t think we can fully love and appreciate who we are and what we have to offer to the world until we truly believe, I am enough.
And you are enough my friend. You are MORE than enough.
Big love to you.