5.10.18 18

My Journey With Negative Body Image One Year Later

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!

My Journey With Negative Body Image One Year Later
 

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.

What’s next?

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!

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18 Comments

  1. Biana Perez wrote:

    I think it’s wonderful that you’ve pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and seen a positive shift in your mentality. You look incredible and I echo what your sister said – you’re just as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside!

    Published 1.28.19
    Reply
  2. Debra Stachelski wrote:

    I think your honesty here will help a lot of women because I think we all deal with this in varying degrees but don’t talk about it enough! I agree, we as women are very hard on each other. When I look at you, all I see is a beautiful woman!

    Published 1.28.19
    Reply
  3. Kristy Simon wrote:

    Every time I show someone a picture of you, I say “isn’t my sister so beautiful?!” I am proud to have a sibling that is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside!

    Published 1.28.19
    Reply
  4. I think this is something everyone struggles with on some level, but I’ve always admired your honesty. Learning to give ourselves grace and love our bodies is so important- even if we still have things we want to improve. You are beautiful both inside and out!

    Published 1.28.19
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    • Awe, thank you! It’s true that we’ll probably always have/see flaws in ourselves, but it’s all about learning to love those imperfections.

      Published 1.28.19
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  5. A wrote:

    I agree everyone struggles with it, it takes a lot to post about it online like this. It does help to read that others feel the same! I also agree that you look great!

    Published 1.28.19
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    • Thank you! Obviously it’s not lost on me that I’m the only one that struggles with these issues, so my hope always is that I can help someone else feel comfortable enough to talk about it.

      Published 1.28.19
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  6. Thanks for sharing. I LOVE your hair. I know that is not the point of this post, but I am happy to hear that you felt the confidence to cut it because it is so cute on your and shows off your beautiful face. I think it sounds like you have come a long way in your journey. I too struggle with this a lot and go through periods of time where I have a lot of negative thoughts then other times where I feel okay. I think we all have our issues that no one else even thinks about or sees.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    Published 1.28.19
    Reply
    • Thanks so much, Amy! That’s so sweet of you to say. And you’re right – there’s so much we don’t see/know about people these days that I’m always just trying to be transparent and share my own truth.

      Published 1.28.19
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  7. first off, congrats on making it a year girl. sometimes it can be hard to see how far we’ve come when we still have issues. don’t get yourself down though – you might feel like you’ll never be ‘cured’ but that’s okay. i am several years into my journey after my epiphany and i’ll never be cured either, but i am worlds away from where i was, and you will be too. like you said, work in progress, but you’ll continue to improve and positive thinking will come easier to you. and like you said, you’re aware of certain situations/clothing items that make you feel a certain way. there’s nothing wrong with that – i avoid certain things because of how they make me feel, but years ago i didn’t want to wear shorts because my thighs were fat and my butt was huge… honestly, both of those things are bigger than they were lol but now i don’t wear shorts often because they simply aren’t comfortable. i can’t help my bones and my hips have always been bigger than the rest of me. anyway. the way you think about things is seriously one of the most important things and you should be super proud of how far you’ve come. highest of fives to you girl.

    Published 1.28.19
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    • thanks for your kind words and encouragement, friend. You’re right in that sure, there’s certain items of clothing I try to avoid because of how they make me feel, but I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’m just not the biggest fan of sleeveless shirts. I prefer sleeves/tees, so it’s kind of a win-win in both comfort and then I’m not berating myself for something. The mental side of things probably always will be a work in progress, but it is important to remember how far we’ve both come!

      Published 1.28.19
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  8. Caroline wrote:

    I understand what you are going through and I think that a lot of other people do. Especially women. We should definitely be kinder to each other about this too. I also think that you always look beautiful and you go girl! 🙂 Oh and have a great weekend! 🙂

    Published 1.28.19
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  9. As women I think that feeling negative about our body is something that we might all struggle with. That’s awesome that you even though you still struggle you still feel good most of the time, and that you’ve lost weight too! Good luck on running the 10k this summer! It’s so much fun to increase mileage!

    Published 1.28.19
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    • I agree with you! I know we all struggle with it, so that’s why I try to be open about my own experience in hopes that it’ll help someone else. Us women have to stick together! And, thanks girl! I just did my first 5k of the season this weekend, so now I know what I need to work on to increase that mileage.

      Published 1.28.19
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