My body is my temple. From my love scar (C-section) to my curves, I’m learning and struggling to love every inch of me. As I try different diets and exercise inconsistently, I think of girls that I come across who hate their bodies. Who are too quick to replace their bodies, rather than loving their bodies first. I understand changing your eating habits and regiments to be healthier, but love who you are and love your progress before you aspire to pursue those Beyoncé abs.
Growing up I was always a stocky girl. Being told to eat and enjoy but not to eat too many Cheetos. It’s okay to eat ice cream but not too much so you won’t get fat. One day, I just accepted the fact that I would never be skinny and that’s okay. It was never my desire to be skinny, but to be and feel healthy. When I was in the tenth grade I had lost a lot of weight and dropped 3-4 dress sizes. The previous summer I had walked every day continuously, for more than 3 miles back and forth with some of my friends.
I was ecstatic about losing weight! I felt like I was more comfortable to fit into more stylish clothes. I had more confidence to try and wear more makeup. Of course at that age, I was beginning to be noticed more by men. I liked my new body but felt the pressures of having or at least physically and psychologically telling myself that I had to maintain this weight, or I would get fat again.
By the time I entered college I took kickboxing classes and joined a gym. My freshman year I dropped another dress size. It wasn’t on purpose, it was just the result of a more active lifestyle. A few close family members and friends were starting to say, “don’t get too skinny,” but still shared the fact that they loved my figure.
After graduating from college I tried to remain activity but life got a bit busier. I no longer felt like I had the time that I had before to join a gym and participate in classes. I was now part of the working world and interested in other things. I began to just accept and love myself for the way I was. If no one can accept me for who I am, why should they be in my life? I started not caring so much about having to maintain my weight for society’s standards or for anyone else’s. At this point, I was into eating vegetarian and healthy for health reasons.
For a long time, my obstacles have been just feeling comfortable in my own skin. Specifically, deciding on whether or not I should lose weight to feel more beautiful or not; and just to learn to love myself the way I am, whether I lose weight or not. I’m coping with this by looking at my daughter and remembering the total unconditional love that I have for her. By truly listening to my husband when he tells me that I’m beautiful, even at times when I feel I am not.