How is YOUR Relationship with YOURSELF?
How is your relationship with your body?
Do you feel at home in your own skin? Like actually, look down at your body right now and think about it. Is it comfortable to walk within it?
Maybe you have been in this place for a long time. Possible it has been a way of life for you for so long that you aren't sure if you can go back to how it used to be. Do you remember how it used to be? When you didn't think about what your body looked like?
I often think about how my life was back before food ever became a second thought. When I ate when I was hungry, not because I was sad, or upset, or stressed. Food was simply something I ate for energy. Nothing more, nothing less.
It has taken me YEARS to go from my eating disorder, restricting, exercising religiously mind to where I am today.
It all changed for me when I was in 8th grade - when I really started to pay attention to the girlfriends around me. Each one of them struggled with body image issues. Some of my friends were bulimic, I would binge would them and then they would throw up while I sat there - confused. Sad that my friends thought this was about the way they saw themselves. That they tied their self worth so deeply rooted to their appearance.
I never really understood it until my sophomore year of high school. Food had always been simple - then suddenly I started to tie it to me. If I ate - I was bad and could feel myself filling up with guilt and shame. If I didn't eat, I did good. I could be faster for volleyball, my friends said I looked good, boys gave me attention. It was easy.
I had always been naturally thin, but there was something about controlling how I looked that felt right. I could feel deep down that what I was doing to my body wasn't good. My energy levels were pitiful and it consumed so much of my life. My mood would change so drastically and I got sick constantly.
Moving through the rest of high school, I was anorexic and bulimic. Depending on the day. I tied my identity to my looks and my looks tied into everything else in my life. And the funny thing was, nobody knew - except my best friend. On the outside, I had it all. My life was perfect to the world, but on the inside I was dying. All because of my relationship with food - which now I realize was a mirror of my relationship with myself.
It still affects my health today. I have developed serious gastrointestinal issues and still struggle to eat enough or I eat too much occasionally.
Why am I spilling my story to you? Well, because there are over 30 million people in the United States with similar stories. Some are very close friends of mine. I am telling you this because it needs to be shared, there are so many girls and boys who you know who struggle with this. You probably would never know because they are the ones you least expect. That is why I have chose the profession I have. To help those who are too scared to step into the light and ask for help.
So today, on this Monday. I invite you to open up the door to loving your body. I know it sounds SO cliche. But maybe it isn't loving your body - maybe it's loving your mind, your heart, your arms, your legs. Whatever it is, your looks are not you. They never have been. So start loving on them, because they do not define you.
Maybe you grew up bigger or thinner than all of your friends. I am here to tell you today, that you were still loved. You were still you. 50 pounds heavier or 50 pounds lighter. The same heart still beats in your chest. The same eyes still blink, the same ears still hear, YOU ARE YOU. You are going to be you for the rest of your life.
What a beautiful place to be stuck in.
Have a wonderful week Warrior.