Okay darlings, it’s finally here. The first of the confidence series with Style Ageless, body love. This is something that is so incredibly important to me. I have struggled with the idea of loving my body my entire life and now I want to open up about this journey and share with you what I have learned.
I have gone through so many phases in my life that have directly affected my body.
And let me start off by saying, the way you feel about your body starts in your mind.
I have fluctuated back and forth from one extreme to another all in reaction to the respect, or lack of respect, I had for my body. So bare with me for a moment as I share a few of the windmill changes I went through over the span of my teen years.
I went through a time where I was self loathing of my appearance and because of it I went between barely eating and eating non stop.I then went through a time depression for a few years where all I did was binge eat. I proceeded to party and lose all regards for my sense of body image. I eventually got to a place where I gave up and decided I wouldn’t ever love myself. I could no longer look at myself in the mirror for very long and I constantly wore oversized clothing. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t happy but I was mentally exhausted. I didn’t want to care anymore because it just took to much out of me.
That was a mind set I had settled on.
Ever since I could remember I struggled with the image I had for myself. I was only 19 and had gone through all of these emotions and fluctuations. To me, that is insane.
Body image has always had an incredible influence on my life. When I hated my body it was easy to hate myself. I always felt like I wasn’t good enough because if I didn’t love myself, why would anyone else?
I will never forget the day I chose to begin loving myself and my body. I was home alone in my Arkansas duplex bathroom looking at my reflection in the mirror after putting on a pair of Nike shorts that were officially a little too snug for comfort. In that moment I felt disgusted, disappointed and alone. So, I cried.
I never wanted to feel this way toward myself again. I was tired of this hatred I had instilled in my mind toward myself. It was a battle I was losing on a daily and I was tired of feeling defeated. So, I decided to change.
I now had a new mindset.
I made small changes to be a little bit healthier with my food choices and exercise, I started seeing a therapist and made an effort to be loving toward myself just as I was to others.
Loving your body isn’t about the way your body looks, it is about the way you look at your body. Look at it with love, acceptance and value.
Once I started viewing my body as something I needed to take care of and nurture, it all became easy to love. Once you care about your body it becomes a mindset change and you don’t have to think twice about saying no to the soda and excessive amounts of fruit loops. (lol)
So this was my sophomore year of college… about five years ago… omg.
Since then I have still gone through a lot of crazy windmill changes with my body. I went through a phase where I was insanely into fitness and I was definitely the healthiest I had ever been physically but possibly not mentally. Just because you are thin doesn’t mean you are happy. I was having a rough time feeling lost in my life and focusing on the gym as an outlet instead of food.
Then, I moved back to Texas and struggled with many changes in my life. I was on a new birth control which made my hormones go haywire. I was stressed, broke and tired. My relationship at the time had turned into somewhat long distance and on the rocks. I had started at a new school with a full load of courses and a new part time job where I was commuting an hour. I had no time for myself, I was going to class in the morning and straight to work after then once I was home I would eat my dinner, turn on my netflix and ptfo. On my day off I would drive to Dallas to spend the day with my dad and little sister, my one day of rest and peace.
I was mentally exhausted once again and had taken on a new negative mindset.
When you are busy and have no time to take care of yourself its easy to get stuck in an unhealthy cycle. Eating whatever is most convenient, sleeping in makeup, over drinking caffeine. I gained weight, my face was breaking out uncontrollably and I just didn’t feel myself. At this time I was having a break down at least once a week. It was insane and in the meantime I began to grow sad knowing that this just wasn’t me.
I then again made the decision to start making healthy choices when I could, not just for my skin or my body but for my mind as well.
I share this to tell you, self esteem and self image is something we have to learn and maintain. It is not as simple as conquering it and never having to face it again. It is a journey and a commitment you have to make to yourself to be gentle and loving. Treat yourself just like you would treat your best friend, be kind, be forgiving and be accepting.
You don’t have to have the perfect bikini body to love and appreciate it for what it is. Our bodies are incredible. They work to heal you when you’re hurt, they can reproduce and bring life into the world. When you begin to view your body as the beautiful mechanism that it is, your perspective changes. Choose to fuel your body and give it what it needs to function optimally. Take care of it, love it and appreciate it. That is all you need to have a healthy body.
It begins and ends in the mind, even when it comes to your body.
The struggle may feel endless but it is up to you to make the change. Loving your body is also about loving yourself and that is what I will be sharing in the next part of the confidence series.
Adrianna on Style Ageless shared her journey with loving her body as well. Head over to check it out.
Until next time darlings.
Photos by Tar’rell Rugely