Start Liking Your Body Now: Starting TodayJan 10, 2023
Body talk. - Yes we are going THERE Prefer to listen? GO TO PODCAST EPISODE HERE
Trigger warning: Content including disordered eating
I rejected my story. From the outside looking in, I was a huge success.
Girl grows up bigger than everyone else.
Girl runs into all kinds of health problems.
Girl decides to change her lifestyle. Eats more healthfully, and begins walking everywhere.
Girl becomes lean for the first time in her life without the help of anyone else.
Making small changes, gradually over time with no expectations. Every pound and inch lost was a place she had never encountered before that moment.
No one is more surprised than her.
Girl suddenly has a life she’d only dreamed of.
What an inspiration! What an accomplishment! - But it’s not the whole story….
It took me almost 20 years to finally like who I am inside and out.
If I”m honest, I can still find many faults when I look in a mirror but I’m grateful for the strength, loyalty and experiences that my body has provided and I also see my courage, discipline and compassion
With every year that passes I have more compassion and grace for my body
It makes me cringe when I look at how diet culture has shaped our perception of beauty.
I see the changes being implemented, yet it’s still there every time we scroll through media
Turn on the TV …and even look in the mirror.
The desire to be leaner
To be prettier
To be taller
To have curls
To have straight hair
No matter who you are or where you are in your life your body is your home
This is the other part of my story :
When I was 5, I was pretty convinced that I’d grow up to be a moviestar, a singer, a dancer. Mom signed me up for ballet classes and we went to Eaton’s for a ballet outfit,
The saleslady saw me in my pink tights and told me mom: “she’s so pretty, just a little undertall. She’ll grow out of it, you’ll see.”
“I don’t know,” Mom said…” She’s got her father’s frame”
When I got to ballet class and saw my reflection in the mirror side-by-side the other girls I could see my “dad’s frame” too.
One of the girls whispered, ”You are too fat to be here” and the other girls giggled. I quit ballet.
First day In 4th grade, a pretty blond girl greeted me by stabbing me in the belly with her HB pencil and shouting “You’re fat” . Everybody laughed.
Boys teased me all the time. But I’d get back at them… My Dad taught me how to beat every single one of them in an arm wrestle…you know…put my weight into it.
At 22 I became a mom. When Jake was born I finally had purpose, I was even more joyful, and still the fat girl.
A couple years later while shopping for a dress to wear at a wedding, I slip on this emerald green floor length dress- and the saleslady goes “Oh it’s very slimming!”
That night I did my hair up in curls and I felt pretty and excited!
I ate dinner in that “slimming dress” Then I had Seconds.
I ate wedding cake. Had Seconds.
I danced. I drank wine. Lots of wine.
The next morning as soon as I enter the restaurant for breakfast I can smell the layers of grease,eggs, coffee, and stale alcohol on my breath.
“Uhhh….Excuse me, bathroom.” Maybe I shouldn’t have done that just 2 weeks after having my gallbladder removed.
I was so sick I thought I’d die. I could see the headline “Girl dies in bathroom stall, leaves behind 2 year old son” I can’t die on Jake. I prayed for my life in that stall - Made a promise to God I’d do better if I was allowed to live.
I could hear my mom’s voice saying- “Karen, just go for a walk every day and you will begin to feel better.
I began walking everywhere.I thought, I daydreamed. I felt my body getting smaller. As I became fitter, I walked faster. I got a second job in a department store where I had to run up and down stairs to get stock.
At work one day, hustling from department to department I spotted a woman. “Wow she looks good.”
I halted in my tracks, take a couple steps back, Look again...it’s a mirror…
I turn to one side, check out my butt, then the other way, check out
my butt - DAMMMMM- can I take this mirror home?
Now people start saying things like:
“Holy crap—It looks like you lost a whole person!”
If you only knew…
I notice it’s easier to get promoted, easier to exceed my sales quotas, easier to get almost anything that I want. Guys are asking me out. I’m living a dream and having nightmares that I’m gonna lose it all.
If everyone only knew I’m counting individual blueberries to make sure I don’t exceed my calorie count.
When the compliments stop I worry. Am I doing enough?
One night after many beers with my neighbor, I open the freezer and pull out an unopened Costco sized 16 pack of Smartie cookies I stored away for a cheat day.
I’m just going to have 1....20 minutes later there’s 4 left in the bag.
What did I do?!
I race to the bathroom, stick my finger in my throat. Nothing
I grab my toothbrush. Stick that down my throat.
Seriously—I can’t throw up!
I have to throw up or I’m gonna be stuck with all these calories.
How can you be so stupid Karen?
I mean, I can hear myself getting fatter by the second- I begin jamming my finger down my throat one more time when I spy myself in the mirror hunched over the sink and that’s when I see it.
What ugly really looks like.
and I know what I want: I want to go back to the start. Where my only expectation was to feel better, not to look better. I have to get out of this place where enough is never going to be enough.
How did I get from there to here? This is the recipe:
- Take care of your mindset through self-awareness and asking yourself questions about your goals and desires
- Find joy in physical activity that gives you energy, not drains it
- Practice consistently to make healthy habits stick
- Focus on creating a plan that works for you as an individual, rather than just following generic health and fitness advice.
- Find happiness in activities that bring you joy and make you lose track of time, rather than relying on substances, supplements, or external factors.
It doesn't happen over night, but in order to begin liking your body, you must treat it like you do <3 Now what are you waiting for???