Ever since I was a little girl, I had issues looking at my body in the mirror. I always felt somehow inadequate. You see, I’m the youngest of 3 and my sisters have always been size zeroes. So you can imagine how growing up in their shadow took a toll on my self-esteem. They got to have all the fun and use each other’s clothes. I remember thinking how everything just looked beautifully perfect on them. Heck, there wasn’t a single dress, blouse, skirt, or pants that didn’t fit them like the designer created it especially for them. So while my sisters were shopping together in the XS and size 0 section, I would make my way to the M/L and size 10 section.
This may sound silly now, but it was something that never felt good and it always bothered me. I’d find myself thinking that if I could only look like them, then I’d finally feel confident and pretty. When you have a little belly with you at all times, it’s hard to see yourself as beautiful. At least that’s how it was for me. And that thought also splashed into my personal life.
I remember when I had just turned 20, my sisters and I went on a girls trip to Argentina for 2 weeks. It was the first time that we traveled together just the 3 of us. There we ended up making some new friends. This included a boy that was probably about 5 years older than me. We would hang out together almost every day and one day he told me that he liked me. You want to know what my reaction was?
I wish that this were a joke. But the shy and insecure 20-year-old me asked him why he would like me when my sisters were there too. Needless to say he was so shocked to hear me say this. Believe me, this is not an easy story to share. But I find it an important one. Because I know that I am not alone.
So many of us walk around feeling inadequate because we are not happy with our bodies. And it’s this lack of love for our bodies, that typically takes us on the yo-yo-diet rollercoaster of hell. Depriving ourselves from food. Labeling foods as good or bad. Experiencing fear of gaining weight every time we eat something. Trying to make up for binges by being extra good. And let’s not forget the guilt and feelings of failure and disappointment. Because here we go again. Not being able to “stick to the diet”.
I want to say one thing to you. You are NOT failing the diet. The diet is failing you!
Take a moment to think about that one. It’s not about pointing fingers at someone else. It’s about practicing forgiveness and love towards self.
Succeeding when it comes to healthy eating all begins with loving yourself and your body just as you are. You see, when we do things out of fear or as punishment, it sets us up for failure. If you don’t see your body as a beautiful miracle NOW, believe me when I say that even as a size 0 you won’t be able to see it. Because your eyes are being trained to only find the flaws. And as you know, we are all perfectly imperfect.
So before rushing to jump on another diet, I ask you to stop and reflect on your “why”.
Why do you want to eat healthy? Is it because you don’t love your current body or is it because you want to love it endlessly with amazing nutrition.
We all have our insecurities. Remember that. Even the ones that we see as beautiful and perfect. You will only find happiness and contentment with self once you learn to make peace with your body, once you learn to love it endlessly. It’s time to stop letting our insecurities get in the way of living our best lives. Start living from a place of love. Because you are worth it!