Your 125, 150, 180, 200, 250, 300 pound bodies are beautiful. The person underneath the skin is incredible. There are friends and family that surround you daily that want the best and utmost happiness for you. You are someone's sunshine.
So what if you're boobs aren't as big as your best friends, butt is too big to fit into Hollister jeans (screw that company anyway), or you have a little extra mid-section weight that you refer to your "love handles".
Look at yourself in the mirror and think about what that body has done for you already in all your years. Has it healed itself from illness, surgery, broken bones, infections? Has it birth a child? Oh, maybe 5? Has it allowed you to walk from one point to another to get you to where you need to be? Have you reached the top of a mountain and saw a valley of trees and buildings? Or was it a complete emptiness besides the wilderness and trees? That body allows you to be on this planet, surrounding your family and friends. You're able to experience this life because of that magnificent, strong, beautiful body.
Do you notice it changes when your eating habits are a certain way? Do you watch it transform when your growing baby is inside of you, or do you notice how fast your body changes after you give birth? Do you notice when you go out on a weekend spree of drinking, dancing, and bad food that the next few days you feel sluggish? Do you enjoy how light and fresh your body feels when you have smoothie or juice your veggies and fruits? Does your skin glow when you add more vegetables to your meals? Or do you notice how your break outs of acne and pimples happen around that one annoying time of the month and when you have too much chocolate or dairy?
When you're dehydrated and thirsty do you get that feeling throughout your body that you need moisture...you need water? Do you spend 20 trips to the bathroom all day when you finally drink enough water and you're properly hydrated? After holiday meals, do you get that feeling of wanting to nap right after you eat the final dinner roll or piece of pumpkin pie? Do you smile when you eat a slice of cheese cake because the taste and memories come flooding back and your body just sinks in relaxation and calmness?
Your body does that all. How incredible. Thank it for all it has done for you already. Thank you for all it WILL do for you.
So, you want to lose weight or fit into those old high school jeans? As long as they aren't ripped and bleached...that's cool. Ha! Here's a secret or two that I've learned. No amount of harmful self talk will get you back into those jeans or lose those stubborn 30 lbs. No 3 hour workout to make up for the hamburger you just had will make it happen either.
Your VERY first step is to thank your body for all it's done. Look at your body in a state as raw as you emotionally can (yes, that means naked, I dare you) and cry, laugh, touch, and accept it. Be real with yourself. This is your starting point. This is where it all changes.
Then, you can do one or the other (I did both, so I'm sure a lot of you will do both also). 1. Apologize to yourself and your body. Life happened and you managed to let things go and not put yourself and your body first. It happens, but it's something that can be fixed. There's no reason to keep doing it now that you're aware. 2. Forgive yourself. Having accepted and apologized for old habits, forgive yourself for feeling those aweful thoughts of self image hate. Forgive yourself for comparing your body to others and for hating what you see in the mirror.
If this seems as if it's a self help, follow the directions, step by step guide, I greatly apologize. It isn't. Sometimes these actions happen slowly and with weeks or months in between before you reach the end. Yes, the end. Then you get to start another journey...a journey you know you're worth. Once you know you're worth all that's ahead and what you're mentally capable of and what you're awesome body is capable of...there's NO stopping you.
If your goals really are to lose 50 lbs or to drop several jean sizes or even gain weight, it will be hard and there will be times when you want to quit and take the easy way out. But, the reminder that you love and cherish the body you're in will overcome those feelings and moments of struggle every. single. time.
The next steps are just as crucial.
1. Remeber the old you, at all times but with the knowledge that she/he was yesterday and will not be here tomorrow.
2. Surprise yourself with progress and random acts and behaviors the old you couldn't or wouldn't have done. Share them with others! Let your mom or sister know you walked 3 miles faster than yesterday.
3. Take it day by day. The body that you just accepted and started to fall in love with wasn't formed in one day.
This had to happen for me before anything else changed. I may struggle with food and emotional stressors for over eating at times or I may skip workouts, but there's always two constants. 1. I LOVE MY BODY and I fell in love with it at 242 lbs. 2. I never allow myself to talk down to my body.
Yes, my body has changed and I work and eat right so it can change even more, but I know that if I didn't accepted my body the way it was, I would have given up like all the times in the past. Even more than that, I would be working toward this idea of "happy body image" and I would probably never find it, because I would never be content. I am content right now.
I hope you get just one simple message out of this.
You get to decide to love your body.