Sometimes you have to stop & think does it really matter what others think of you if you are okay with how you look…
Honestly, my personal battle with my body & how I look has been an ongoing battle for a long time. It really started when I was in middle school & after that it just became worse. Like most kids, I was very active and participated in many sports growing up – I would say I was good at most of them. I didn’t pay much attention to my body image; it wasn’t as important to me (I wasn’t a girly girl by any means) however, my body and physical appearance became other people’s jokes, or commentary, or reasoning to put me down or make me feel inferior to them. I was skinny all my life, I mean skinny, not even much muscle until I was in like 9th or 10th grade but I was a tom boy at heart and carried myself like so — not in a manner that one couldn’t tell I was female but in a manner where I didn’t prefer to wear dresses or skirts or anything fancy — I was just okay with jeans and tshirt or something comfy like sweatpants. During my athletic career in sports, the locker room made me feel so uncomfortable for many reasons but the main reason being that I was uncomfortable having to undress in front of other people regardless of the situation & I always felt weird when people would glance in my direction — not to mention I tried to avoid all eye contact. As I grew older, it didn’t become any easier to do.
When it wasn’t people my own age making comments about my physique, it was adults at the time whom would question why I was so skinny or put me on the spot about my weight. It wasn’t like I didn’t eat or was starving, I ate good and loved food (still very much do) but my metabolism was fast. I stayed active all the time, I wasn’t much for being sedentary. When I got to be older, I got more and more frustrated with the comments because they were starting to target not only my weight, they would target my body parts and target my sex appeal or my clothing choices or target things about me that I couldn’t change.. and all I wanted to do was “fit in”. During college I started to care-less about my health/well-being; I was fed up with other people’s views and started eating and gaining weight, more weight than I wanted to but I was hurting inside & for awhile in denial about my weight gain. It took me several months to realize how out of control I had gotten with my weight and while I wasn’t obese, I was definitely by my standards overweight and not happy with it. When I decided to lose weight and train, I decided that same day to do what felt good to me and what I liked, to be the weight and/or body type I wanted for myself and NOT what others expected of me.
It felt good coming out from the other side knowing I was happy with my body, my progress, my strength and not only was I looking the way I feel but I was feeling confident in my own skin. If you have been down this road, then you know.. the feeling I am talking about. Still til this day, I know what I expect of myself (many times I am super hard on myself) but I know it is because I want it and not because someone else does — which makes a huge difference. I still suffer internally when it comes to my body image and I doubt it will go away 100 percent but it is better than it was and I am learning to self care and self love; something I wasn’t educated on when I was younger. For the most part, when you go through a personal battle, it seems like you are alone and you are fighting all the time, non-stop, it literally weighs on you, and brings you down and makes you think lowly of self BUT when you start to examine yourself in a different perspective & realize how much more important it is to be what YOU want and not what others what you to be, it is like rays of sunshine on a cloudy day (everything you do from that time on, is about you and what makes you happy & less about how others may view your body or image). It isn’t easy to find a balance, but it is possible.