I suffered from body image issues for a very long time. The mirror was my worst enemy and I found a part of me to criticize every day. I actually made a video for a course about overcoming those body issues and realized that I actually lied.
I didn’t overcome these issues until the very end of my study abroad experience back in May 2015. Now, I’m at a point in my life that I love my body. I love my curves. I love my flaws.
Last Friday, it was the first time I put on a bathing suit in a long time. I felt confident and free in my own skin. I spent so much time in my life disgusted by how I look and now I can spend the rest of my life enjoying it.
Just taking off my shorts and taking photos in my bathing suit felt uplifting. I wasn’t worried about people staring and I wasn’t quick to cover up my body for no one.
I crossed off another goal this summer. It was the first time I went outside in a crop top and wasn’t afraid. I still get a bit anxious, but it’s been a process I’m happy to push through. You shouldn’t be afraid to wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. At the end of the day, do what makes you happy.
Also, I can wear tank tops and not have to look at my arms in disgust. I remember watching Demi Lovato’s MTV documentary Demi Lovato: Stay Strong and hearing her utter the words ‘So if my arms are fat, who gives a f***?’ After seeing that, I looked down at my arms and made a decision. Who cares about what people think? They’re my arms, my legs, my body.
Aside from mentally reconstructing my negative views on my body, I work physically to stay healthy and motivated for change. I work out about 5-6 days a week and try (light on the word) to eat and drink better. I can see the progression I made. I use to groan with one jumping jack, now I can do it with ease. I’m even considering taking on running.
I advocate for body positivity because so many women and men shouldn’t have to feel like they need to fit into what society believes is a standard body. I’m glad that I’m seeing more and more different types of bodies in the media. I just hope that its an innovation for women of all sizes to be models or actresses and more of normalization in life.
So, take baby steps. Put on that pair of shorts you always wanted to wear or do a yoga class for the first time. Make your own goals and rules. Don’t let anyone stop you from creating and achieving them. From experience, I know that it takes time to feel confident.