Isn’t your body amazing?
Think about all of the amazing things your body does for you.
It wakes up every morning. It’s breathing right now. It’s allowing you to listen to this.
Your brain is still helping your body function.
If you’re a momma with a biological child – boo, that body created LIFE.
If you’re a momma in any sense, bio or not, that body is wrangling children.
If you’re not a momma, your body is also magical. It’s capable of so many things.
Your body helps you do everything.
I want you to think about what your body has endured.
Has it survived through abuse?
Has your body survived all of the negative things you’ve told it?
Has your body survived all of the crap you put it through?
If you’re listening to this podcast right now, the answer is yes.
Something I am extremely passionate about is body confidence. Of course I’m obsessed with confidence – this is the Confidence from the Ground Up podcast after all. But body confidence is a specific niche in there that I’m so passionate about I can’t even keep it to myself.
I used to hate my body.
I grew up very overweight, was molested as kid, had an undiagnosed chronic illness and never felt comfortable in my own skin. I was bullied very heavily during the time of “they’ll figure it out” and “Oh he’s my favorite. He’d never do that.”
This lead me down the path of downing a medicine cabinet of weight loss pills at 12 years old. Trying to physically remove the fat from my stomach (I’ll spare you the details). And eventually to an eating disorder.
I hated myself so much that I allowed myself to be abused over and over again because, hey, with someone as fat as me, I should take what I can get, right?
I covered my body as much as I could. I tried to hide every single lump and bump. I made myself as small as possible. I didn’t speak up, I stayed quiet. All I wanted was to be invisible. Because if they couldn’t see me, they couldn’t criticize me.
I hated my body so much that it completely infiltrated my mind. Even when I had lost weight (very unhealthily, mind you), all I saw was a fat, disgusting blob.
But I realized this fat, disgusting blob was more attractive to men and I got more attention. So I purposefully wore things that showed off my figure and would get attention.
Now, if that’s how you choose to dress because you enjoy it, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I wasn’t dressing that way for me. I was dressing that way for guys. I was dressing that way because all of my value was in my body. And even though I didn’t like it, guys seemed to, and I needed to make sure they saw it so then I’d get validation and be worthy of attention.
I hated my body but the only value I had was in my body. I hated that I got attention, but I saw it as something to be grateful for. Because hey, at least someone was looking at me.
As my weight fluctuated and I was in several unhealthy relationships, my relationship with my body became even more volatile.
But fast forward to now, and I have never loved my body more. I’ve had a kid, I gained all of the weight back and then some, I’ve lost a lot of weight, it isn’t perfect. I have loose skin, stretch marks, cellulite, and a floppy stomach. My backrolls are more prominent than I’d like, but man, my body is freaking gorgeous.
I love my curves, my hips, my thighs, my waist. I actually frequently post pictures of myself in nothing but underwear. Not just because I feel freaking beautiful and sexy in them (although that is part of it), but because I want other women to see bodies like mine, bodies like theirs, presented in a way that makes them feel sexy.
I’m a total fitness nut. Lifting heavy weights is when I’m at my happiest. I’m fascinated with nutrition and I’m the biggest food nut ever, I swear. I’m all about being my healthiest. In fact, I’ve got big goals and I’m training to become a bodybuilder.
But just because I have big physique goals, just because my body is going to change throughout this process, doesn’t mean I can’t love my body along the way. It doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the journey.
Just because I’m not 100% happy with my body 100% of the time doesn’t mean I don’t love and appreciate it.
Think about your best friend. Are you 100% happy with them 100% of the time? I’m going to assume the answer is no. My best friend and I fight and sometimes just ignore each other because we’re frustrated. Does that mean we don’t care about each other? Oh HELL no. She’s such an important part of my life, and my son’s life. I love her more than life itself. Just because we don’t always get along doesn’t change our friendship. We’re human. That’s life.
It’s the same with your body. Your body is your friend, so you need to think of it that way. Sometimes it’s going to do things you don’t like (Uhm, freaking PERIODS, anyone?!). Sometimes you’re going to glance in the mirror at an angle you’re not fond of.
That’s OK! But you still can learn to love your body along the way.
The first step to learning to love your body starts with you being grateful for it.
You need to think about everything your body has done and is doing for you, and thank it for that.
Y’all know by now how much I love journaling. So grab a piece of paper and write down all of the things your body has done for you. Think of all the things you’ve survived and that your body has helped you get through. Think of all the times you’ve gotten hurt or sick and yet your body healed.
Think of all of the awful things you’ve told your body. Think of all the times you told it you hated it, that it was ugly, that it was flabby, ugly, fat, scarred, not worthy, disgusting.
And yet it still shows up for you every day.
Think of those things and write them down.
I am the Self Talk queen, so these are going to become the things you say to yourself as you do your affirmations. The positive things your body does that you’re grateful for – turn it into an affirmation.
For example, the part of my body that I struggle with more than anything is my stomach. Not only have I had a baby, but I’ve lost a lot of weight and so my stomach hangs quite a bit. Every time I took a shower it would turn into an awful self hate fest.
But I thought about all of the things my gut has done for me, what it shows. This body created LIFE – how cool is that? The skin sags and stretchmarks are visible because of that life and because of my journey back to health. So every day, I’d look in the mirror and thank my stomach for being there for me. There are some days that I did it with tears in my eyes because I hated it so much. But now, now I see that I’m allowed to love my body, even though I may not always like it.
The next step to loving your body is to move. I don’t care what kind of movement, just move. Now I know this isn’t a fitness podcast but this is something that is truly important.
I don’t care what size you are, what your level of fitness is, or what you think about exercise, your body was made to move.
Your body was made to do more than sit all day.
This isn’t a judgement – I’m reminding myself, too.
A big part of my journey was getting in the gym and lifting. When I realized just how amazing my body was, how strong it was, I became so excited and grateful to have a body that could do these things.
Then I got back into Zumba and loved the way it felt to get my body to move. I loved feeling the music guide my body and nothing else mattered in that moment but me and the music. I loved it so much that I became an instructor.
I don’t care what you do, but you need to move. Go on a walk, do some Zumba, put on a 20 minute yoga video.
It doesn’t matter what you do, but you need to move.
The magic in this is that you don’t even know how amazing your body is and what it’s capable of. You don’t understand how mental your limits are until your body blows past them.
If you don’t want to do an intense workout regime, that’s totally fine. But you do need to move.
Not as punishment to your body, but because you love it.
The third step to loving your body is dressing how you want to dress. Not how anyone else thinks you should, but the way you want to.
My style has evolved so much on my journey, but now that I dress the way that I feel best, I’ve never been happier with my body.
I would say it’s a bit of 80s/90s grunge crossover with a hip hop flare.
I love cropped hoodies, sweatpants, cut up t-shirts, and leggings. I love looking in the mirror and seeing my waist stand out beneath a cropped hoodie, how my hips curve out.
It blows my mind that I say that because I used to hate my hips. I used to hate how wide they were and I wished them away. Now I freaking love them and all my curves.
Not everyone digs my style, and that’s ok. I’m not dressing for anyone other than myself.
Whatever your style is, rock it. If you don’t know what your style is, play around until you find it. You’ll know once you do. It’ll feel right.
Also, wear stuff that makes you feel sexy. That’s right. Sexy.
Get some super hot bras to wear during the day. Maybe a cute pair of lacy underwear that makes you feel like a vixen. Wear thigh highs under your jeans if that’s your jam.
It’s like you have a secret that no one knows, and that only adds to how amazing you’ll feel in it.
Your body has done so many wonderful things for you. It deserves to be shown the same love and grace that you share with others. You deserve to love your body. You deserve to love the skin you’re in. Right now. Regardless of whether you want to change it, that doesn’t matter right now.
What matters is that your body is absolutely freaking incredible. You deserve to see that.
Thank you for listening.
As always, you are strong. You are capable. You are intelligent. You are worthy.