I write a lot about ways that you too can develope a positive outlook on life.
I feel that I would be missing a HUGE piece of that puzzle if I didn’t tell you about my very own BODY IMAGE ISSUES and how I have learned to accept-
Even love my body.
Over the years, I have both loathed and loved my body just like every other woman on the planet has.
But, I am proud to say that I finally understand that loving my body is a much, much better way to live my life.
Recently I made a decision to love my body, not in spite of imagined flaws or ways that it deviates from the media ideal of what a body should look like, but rather because it is mine and it is perfect.
It has been with me through each and every moment of my life, and for that alone it deserves respect!
I spent decades putting my life on hold—waiting to achieve an acceptably, socially, skinny body.
I didn’t lose any weight (at least not permanently).
All I lost was a few decades.
This sad, unfortunate, reality was brought home to me in a very painful way:
When my son committed suicide and we were preparing a video for his funeral, there were no pictures of Me and Victor together because I had REFUSED to allow any pictures of me to be taken because I hated the way I looked.
I always assumed that I would lose weight and we could get a family picture done, or that I would allow some candid shots of us playing in the mountains…
but he was gone before I ever got that chance.
The regret that I feel still haunts me to this day.
I had so many opportunities to capture my life with my son in pictures, but I never did,
and now I never can!
So that regret led me to a choice.
I stopped waiting around for the perfect body and started acting as if I already had the perfect body.
Everything I dreamed that I would do when I was thin, I just went and did those things.
Sure…It made my life much scarier, but there is no risk in a life delayed—in a life not lived.
My life prior to Victor’s death was marked by sadness, regret, abuse, and fear.
Once I finally had the courage to leave my abusive marriage to Victor’s dad, and take back my power, life began to improve little by little.
It wasn’t juicy.
It wasn’t electric.
It wasn’t faith filled.
So I made the decision to just jump into life with both of my pudgy feet.
Since then, my life has been immeasurably better.
I had another terrible habit I used to live with.
It was the need to know what people were thinking about me.
I also spent a great deal of my life wondering about that.
It used to consume me.
It was the ONE factor that I used to determine what I wore,
how I acted,
and what events I attended.
I rarely did things that fed my own spirit…I was too busy trying to “feed” everyone else.
But at some point I realized that I didn’t really know what people were thinking about me.
I wasn’t psychic.
I was imagining in my own head what was in their heads.
So one day I decided that I might as well imagine that they think I’m totally awesome.
It’s my imagination. I might as well imagine something that makes me feel good and powerful.
I might as well imagine something that will help me be a positive force in the world.
I decided to start living according to my own desires with no regard to what others thought about my choices.
That was the TRUE beginning of my liberation.
It was through that choice that I really began to get to know myself at a deep level.
And until you know yourself, you will never be able to heal yourself!
So now let’s get back to how I learned to love my body again…
For many years, I hoped that exercise would make me look like a supermodel.
I imagined that if I could just work hard enough it would make me thin and tan, and sweat would sheen and glisten on my muscles.
Exercise did not do that for me!
And… for a while, I was really kind of mad about that.
I felt betrayed by my body,
the exercise industry,
and in a way, life in general.
But as I was getting more and more in tune with my true self, I started to notice something really cool that happened each and every time I exercised…
l I realized that exercise made me feel better.
I began to sleep better.
I was in a better mood.
I felt better about myself.
I even started to notice that I kind of felt a little sexy after I had exercised.
So did that transform me into an overnight exercise enthusiast?
I still don’t really love to exercise, but I exercise because I love myself.
I have decided that exercise is one of the most loving things that we can give ourselves.
It doesn’t cost anything to do it, but the rewards are beyond compare.
So I would encourage everyBODY to at least give it a two week trial.
Exercise every day for two weeks and see for yourself if you can’t begin to notice what is really wonderful about exercise and start to find the fun in fitness.
Since that day when I realized that I had no pictures of me and my son…
I have lost a total of 110 lbs.
I have gone from a size 24 to a size 10, and I feel amazing.
But that is not the best part about this story because Looking back, I can honestly say that the reason I was finally able to lose weight was because I had finally found MYSELF!
I have not joined any one specific weight loss program, or taken any “magic” pill.
I just decided to love my life.
Love my body.
And stop hiding behind excuses.
Once I did that, the weight just stopped being an issue.
(I would really love to hear your thoughts on today’s post. This is a subject that we all struggle with, and I would love to hear how you have learned to cope with your body issues.)