“To whom do I owe the biggest apology? No one has been crueler than I’ve been to me.”
- Alanis Morrisette
I am fourty two years old. I would estimate that thirty of those fourty-two years I have been obsessed with how my body looks. Diets, exercise, weighing food, counting macros, low fat, low carb, paleo… I’ve done them all at one time or another.
Let me let you in on a secret…
It has never been, and will never be good enough for me.
After 30 years I know for sure, that no matter what I do, I will always be wanting more, and after 30 years of obsessing over it, I can tell you for sure, I am done with that.
Let it Be
I have made a decision to love my body, as is. It will never be perfect, and I accept that because I know that even when it was close to perfect, it wasn’t EVER good enough.
I am sick and tired of feeling that my body needs improvement. I am sick and tired of being so damn critical towards myself.
This doesn’t mean I don’t care about my body, and my health. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to do the things that make my body healthy and strong. It doesn’t mean that I am complacent and I will eat donuts all day. It doesn’t mean I give in, or give up on my goal of being the strongest version of myself, inside and out.
All it means is that I won’t obsess over what my body looks like, what the circumference of my waist is, and how much it weighs.
I am done with that.
I am done with thinking that I can’t do pull-ups because I gained weight. I can get stronger.
I am done with thinking that I will feel better when the size of my jeans are smaller, or that I have more abs. I will feel good now, in the skin I’m in.
I will stop wishing and hoping for more, and accept what I am right now.
Let it Go
I am also done with comparing myself to the others. You know, the people that make me feel like my body isn’t good enough. The people that say I need to count my macros, and measure my worth by the size of my body. The people trying to sell me programs, supplements, and make a living shaming me and/or my body.
I am done with that.
My goal for 2018 is taking care of myself, on my terms. I want to feel protected and safe. I want to be the strongest version of myself, inside and out. This means learning to love myself as-is. The first step of the process is accepting myself as I am, and not waiting until I am the person (or the body) I wish I was.
The question you need to ask yourself is this:
What kind of friend do I want to be for myself?
One that criticizes, doubts, bullies and second guesses, or one that supports you, is warm and encouraging, and helps you grow and be a stronger version of yourself?
Let it In
I am taking a stand for myself. I am on my own side. It all starts with paying attention to what it feels like to be on my own side. Being warm and supportive, rather than critical.
Receiving compassion makes us stronger. Think about it. When someone says something nice, or complements you, it feels good. We can do that ourselves any time we want to.
And from the book “Resilient” by Rick Hanson:
“Self compassion makes a person more resilient, more able to bounce back. It lowers self-criticism and builds-up self worth, helping you be more successful and ambitious, not complacent and lazy.”
The time is now.
I accept the shape of my body while still trying to improve and make it stronger. I will take the actions to make it stronger, and more resilient, which includes loving it and nudging it slowly into a positive, stronger, healthier and happier direction.
Let it be. Let it go. Let it in.
I am much more than the shape of my body, and I will no longer allow the shape of my body to define what I can and cannot do…
And I hope you can do the same. Love yourself, as-is. It’s the only body you have, and today is the only day that counts.
Be mindful of self-criticism. Allow yourself to feel what you feel but learn to strengthen your inner nurturer and push back against the inner critic.
Be on your own side.
You are enough. Right here, right now.
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” - Malcolm Forbes