Something has really been weighing on my heart lately. Why do people find it so necessary to put themselves down? Why is it that we feel the need to believe we aren’t skinny enough or strong enough or good enough? Why do we love to hate our bodies? Why do we love to hate ourselves?
I’m going to be real here: I’m a size 14-16 (women’s clothing sizes are dumb), I have a major sweet tooth, and I probably don’t work out as much as I should. However, I do meal prep to some extent every week, I include some kind of fresh produce in every meal, and I’m always looking for fun and creative ways to eat healthy, clean, nutritious ingredients. Additionally, I love to be active (most of the time) and try to incorporate some form of exercise, be it the gym or some outdoor activity, at least three or four times a week. However, as much as I try to live a healthy life, I am not perfect. I enjoy my ice cream sometimes. I occasionally eat take-out. I have some lazy days. I do what I know will help me live a happy, balanced life. And you know what? That’s okay. None of that makes me an ugly person or a bad person. None of that makes me LESS of a person. It just makes me a person.
Now I’m not saying I’m positive about myself all the time, nor am I saying I don’t want to make improvements. But here’s the cool thing: you don’t have to put yourself down to make yourself better. You don’t have to think you’re “too fat” to want to work out. You don’t have to think you’re “too skinny” to want to get bigger. You don’t have to be anything at all in order to improve your relationship with yourself. You don’t have to be anything or anyone else to live a healthy, happy, balanced life.
Something I’ve been noticing a lot of among our society is that self-love is incredibly undervalued, while a negative self image is glorified. In particular, I’ve been seeing a lot of people vocalizing their self-deprecating thoughts on social media. This practice can not only be detrimental to you and your own self-worth, but also can hurt those who are struggling with their self-image. Our society is so focused on putting ourselves down and obsessing over our flaws that we shut out any love we could have for ourselves.
By all means, work your butt off in the gym, eat your veggies, and drink your protein drinks if that’s what makes you happy (and yes, that makes me happy too). But do it in a way that honors your body and your mind. Don’t do it to spite yourself, do it to love yourself. Don’t do it to be better than anyone, do it to be a happier you.
Please, please remember that your body is completely and utterly unique. It will never, nor should it ever, be identical to anyone else’s. Continue to strive to be your best, continue with whatever journey you’re on, but understand that part of being your best is loving yourself no matter what you look like. It’s about loving who you are and honoring that. Health isn’t just about being skinny. It’s about strength, happiness, and self-love. Self-deprecation will only stand in the way of your health and wellness, and the sooner we all realize that, the happier and healthier we will all be. Self-love can be achieved regardless of your body type or fitness level, and it’s imperative for living a fulfilling, happy, balanced life. Just as you must learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else, you must first love who you are to truly love who you are looking to become.