There was a point in my life when I was afraid to look at myself in the mirror. I literally hated my body. I remember thinking:
I feel and look disgusting.
Truth is, I felt like a whale but I only weighed 120 lbs. Distorted thinking at it’s finest. I felt burdened but it had nothing to do with weight. I was carrying the weight of the world as result of emotional abuse and severe bullying.
I wanted the perfect body to compensate for how imperfect I felt. You know, tiny waist, wide hips, perky breasts, thick thighs, and a rounded booty. But, my desire to look like a video vixen came at a cost.
Welcome to the world of disordered eating!
At a very young age (16 years old to be exact), I started a path of unhealthy eating and exercise habits. I became the weird kid in high school drinking Slim Fast, eating from the teacher’s salad bar, buying weight loss pills from Walmart, and actually trying to burn calories in gym class. After school, I would run around the yard until my knees hurt.
I wish I could report that I came to my senses in college but my bad habits continued. Freshmen year of college, I ditched the slim fast and started restricted eating, severely. I started waist training with a corset to achieve that perfect hourglass figure. I slept in my corset some nights and woke up light headed and out of breath. I counted every single calorie and exercised at 2:00 am after finishing homework or one of my two jobs.
At one point, I ditched my hourglass dreams and moved towards stick figure goals! My last semester in college I enrolled in a full semester of fitness classes. I worked so hard to have a laid back final semester of college, so I thought, “why not exercise all day?”
I exercised from 8:00 am- 3:00 pm five days a week and followed my own workout regime on the weekends.
After walking around looking like Mr. Bones and feeling weak all of the time, passing out at work was my wake up call.
Rediscovering my body…
After recovering from my health scare, I decided to adopt a healthier mind and body. I knew that I needed to HEAL, in a major way. After regaining my strength, I got a personal trainer and nutritionist. Instead of counting calories, I met with a nutritionist and adopted a plant based lifestyle. My personal trainer created a fitness program that was healthy for me and provided fitness coaching.
After a few months, I started seeing my body in a new light. I loved my reflection in the mirror and I felt stronger than ever. I fell in love with my body for the first time. I remember wearing a bikini one summer and literally smiling so hard I cried. For so long I did not treat my body well. I allowed my distorted thinking to control me. I had to forgive myself for all of the negative beliefs and rediscover my body.
Rediscovering my body was such a spiritual process.
I started practicing mindful eating, writing, balancing my chakras, routine spa days, and I withdrew from sex. Yes, no sex for two years! In my mind, I needed to respect, love, and become one with my own body before sharing it with someone else. The journey was rough but I am so grateful for my friends and my therapist!
Yes, I said therapist.
Through therapy, I realized that I was punishing my body for reasons that had nothing to do with looking like a video vixen. I needed something to control because deep inside I felt worthless.
Sadly, some people do not realize that they are participating in self-destructive behaviors until it is too late.
Learn to love, protect, and nourish your body.
There are healthy ways to manage weight and it all starts with your thought patterns.
I have been vegan for years and I follow a healthy exercise regime. Now, I show myself grace on the days that I cannot make it to cycle bar or the gym. Instead of punishing myself, I grab my planner and move my work out to a different day. I allow myself to eat vegan ice cream or cookies sometimes. And most importantly, I accept all of me wholeheartedly. It is all about grace and flexibility.
You are beautiful Sis, no matter what size you are. In fact, you are a masterpiece; a beautiful creation and don’t you ever forget it!
If you desire to change your eating habits or lose a few pounds make sure you evaluate your thinking, FIRST. Ask yourself,
Am I adding to a masterpiece or do I feel worthless?
If you are feeling worthless, as I did at one point, please schedule an appointment with a therapist immediately. You are not alone.
You got this Sis and I am here for you!
Tips to safely manage weight
Here are some tips that I found helpful on my journey of rediscovery:
- Set clear, small and obtainable goals.
- Consult with your doctor. You may need to add supplements to your diet especially if you are thinking about transitioning to a plant based lifestyle, even if it is temporary.
- Start a “what I love about my body journal.” Write three things that you love about your body each day. End your entry with “I love and accept myself as I am today.”
- Seek support from your friends. Share your small goals with them and ask from their support.
- Keep a thought log so that you can challenge those negative thoughts!
- Read positive affirmations each day. Check out my Instagram page for some ideas.
- YOGA! Yoga is a sure way to help you get in alignment with your mind, body, and soul. I found so much healing in yoga.