It has been nearly three years since I found a moment in a time that was not entirely consumed by calorie counting or calories burned, body checking, and a constant panic. This weekend, I was confronted by another really bad body image day. Now, for me, on this past Saturday, poor body image started with getting dressed.
I felt uncomfortable in my clothing and ran over to the mirror to check how my stomach looked as I frantically wrapped my hand around the circumference of my wrist. My heart pounded against my chest as thoughts flooded my mind.
“How could you let yourself fall so far off track?” I demanded disappointedly. “You know you can’t eat today, right? You need to go for that run instead.”
Within seconds, I could not breathe and was on the floor in tears. Normally, I would have only had coffee for the day and opted for a three-mile run instead, but Saturday was different. I just continued crying until it felt like there were no more tears left to cry.
I picked myself up and brought myself over to the bathroom. I fixed my make-up, through on clothes that made me feel comfortable, and headed out to go shopping. For the rest of the day, I spent time with loved ones running to stores, going pumpkin picking, and exploring a corn maze. And despite such a rough start to the day, the entire time spent with loved ones, my body was the least of my concerns. I could not be prouder of this accomplishment.
So often, I think we believe healing means curing. It means we no longer struggle with food or our bodies. It means we eat whatever, whenever we want, without any second thoughts or guilt. It means we no longer have the desire to lose weight or change whatsoever. But I think it is important that we begin to challenge this definition.
The reality is healing is messy. No matter how far along you are in your journey, you are not invincible, and that’s okay. We live in a world that values us for our bodies, constantly convincing us to lose those last ten pounds, or to squeeze into that dress size. Diet culture is insidious and powerful, and it is okay to still struggle with things now and then.
The truth is healing is about days like Saturday. It is about navigating poor body image safely and continuing to show up for yourself when it does not feel possible. It is choosing to eat dinner, even if you are not comfortable with how your body looks. It is choosing to continue with your day as normal, rather than running for hours on end to “burn off” those extra calories. Healing is respecting your body, even in the moments that you hate it and choosing kindness and compassion if you relapse in any way.
This doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it is something I still work on to this day. However, this is exactly why I designed the Blueprint. It is a heavy weight to carry to constantly feel as though you are not enough, or that you do not deserve moments of joy and love because of your size, weight, or so on. You are entitled to live a life beyond your body. If you are ready to take the next step towards healing, I encourage you to check out the Blueprint and coaching opportunities. You are destined for great things.