It has been one year since I first opened up about my battle with negative body image. I remember how nervous I was to share that side of me on the Internet! But, it sure kicked off one hell of a positive year for me. Since I shared a six-month update on my progress, I wanted to follow suit with a post on my journey with negative body image one year later. Let’s bring it full circle!
I still struggle mentally.
To be honest, it took me a few times to write this post. I stood up in a wedding last weekend, and leading up to that event my view on body image wasn’t the best. I love to dress up but am horribly self-conscious doing so in front of a lot of unfamiliar people. My dress was sleeveless, and even though I’ve been working to incorporate light weights into my workout routine my arms were nowhere near what I hoped they’d look like. That led to a lot of, “my arms look fat” comments. I also was convinced that my face looked bloated, so anything that I did with my hair just accentuated my round cheeks … you get the picture.
I struggled with whether to share that side of things or not – my hope when I sat down to write my one year update was to shout I’M CURED! I LOVE MY BODY ALL THE TIME! But, that’s the thing. I don’t think I’ll ever be cured of this mentality. It’s just something I always will have to work at and try to put a positive spin on. At least I’m now aware of certain situations or types of clothing that heighten my anxiety. That way I’m able to take steps to minimize my negative feelings.
The positive side.
My biggest accomplishment to date? I’ve lost nearly 15 pounds! Weight loss never was my primary intention, but it sure feels fantastic. It’s the easiest way to remind myself of my progress. No, I don’t always see it reflected in the mirror, but I know that those extra pounds are no longer a part of me. My clothes fit better than ever – some are even too big. I just feel good. My weight loss was even one of the driving factors in my decision to cut my hair! I no longer feel the need to hide behind long hair. My bob haircut helps boost my confidence and show off my slightly slimmer facial features. As silly as that seems, my haircut was one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself in a long time.
As I move forward, I plan to push myself a little harder. Running is such a routine part of my life now, but I want to go further. My first 5k is in the books a couple weeks from now, but I’m also hoping to accomplish a 10k before the end of summer. As far as my mental and emotional health, it’s a work in progress. It might possibly always be. I plan to continue to ask for help and open up about how I’m feeling to those closest to me. Ryan has been the champion of husbands throughout all this, and I’m so grateful that I can lean on him for support.
Let me end on this note. Having negative feelings toward your body is not uncommon, particularly for women. We all seem to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders but also the biggest critics. It would be beautiful to see all of us come together to support, love and build each other up no matter the circumstances. None of us are perfect, and I encourage you to speak your truth! It’s the best feeling to just do you, and you might even better your physical and mental health along the way. We’re only given this one life and one body to live it in, so love and cherish yourself for all it’s worth!