I Used to HATE My Body

I used to hate my body.

I used to stand in the mirror, say mean things, call myself fat, grab my love handles, cry. [Side note: this is when I wore a size 0.]

Photo by the lovely  Katelynn Carlson Photography

Photo by the lovely Katelynn Carlson Photography

I received compliments often, but not from the person who mattered most: MYSELF.

I wasted SO MUCH TIME trying to change my body. I micromanaged my food. I wouldn't leave the house if I felt fat. I let the scale dictate my mood for that day.

I let my pursuit of perfection in my body ROB me of my joy and happiness.

My obsession with my body made me play small. It kept me stuck. It prevented me from sharing my message and gifts with the world because I never felt worthy or good enough.

So while you may view me as someone who's confident in their own skin, who "has it all together" (lol that one is my fave), and who loves herself no matter what... IT TOOK ME MANY YEARS TO GET HERE.

And I'm still not done improving - I never will be.

I've worked on loving myself every single day for the past 5 years. Some days it comes easy to me, other days it doesn't.

But what matters most to me is that I SHOW UP for you every single day, whether I feel good enough or not.

I have a purpose to fulfill in this world, and it will not be achieved by shrinking down, hiding, playing small or feeling bad for/about myself.

WHO'S WITH ME? 🌎💗

A Love Letter to My Body

Dear body,

I love you. I really do. 

I'm grateful for every single inch of you: the fact that I can walk, run, lift heavy weights, carry my groceries, walk up the stairs, bend, twist, reach, hug, kiss, touch, hold hands. You've done nothing but provide for me. You've given me the vessel and the flesh to share my gifts with the world in a tangible way. 

So why is it, then, that sometimes I secretly resent you?

Why is it that when I look in the mirror, sometimes I'm unhappy with you? Why are there still times when I wish so badly to change you? To correct you? To make you smaller, or leaner, or shrink down to fit a mold that I've created for you in my mind? 

The truth is: I love you, I do. 

But I've created this image in my mind that YOU are the source of my problems. 

That if I were smaller, leaner - that somehow, life would be better. I would be loved. Accepted. Adored. Wanted.... even more than I am right now.

You see, I've created these false illusions as a cover for what's really going on. 

I've placed so much unfair blame on YOU for my problems - because it's always easier to blame something (or someone) on the outside, than it is to point the finger at what's really the problem: the inside. 

I've come to realize that it's not YOU that I need to work on, my dear body. 

It's my heart.

It's my soul.

It's my belief that I'm worthy. 

I'm sorry that it was so easy to blame you for everything, instead of confronting what I was really fearing in the first place: going inside myself to the root cause of the problem.

So, body, it was never a problem with you, the way you looked, or how you made me feel... it was a problem with my self-worth and my image. 

OF COURSE when I place so much pressure on you to change, you're going to do everything you can to stop me. It's like when your parents tell you not to do something, you do it anyway. Same thing: by me telling you to be smaller, shrink down, get leaner for none of the right reasons, it's only natural to assume that you'd do the opposite of what I wanted.

And that's why you weren't able change much, despite my best efforts. 

Because if you changed, body... if you shrank down to what I believed I wanted you to be: a leaner, smaller version of yourself, I would've never done the real work I needed to do on my self confidence. 

Thank you, body, for showing me what's real.

What's real is that you are perfectly made, just as you are. There are no problems with you. Things I'd like to improve, yes - but not because I'm judging you or hating you, but because I do love you and know your potential. 

I hope you'll forgive me, body. 

I promise to never look at you in the mirror and berate you with negative comments again; or to wear frumpy clothes in an attempt to hide you on days I feel 'bigger'; or hide you with baggy clothes while I'm at the beach; or squeeze, pick, and prod at all the things I believe to be 'wrong' with you and wish so badly you'd change.

Those days are over now. 

This is my promise to you. 

You are my friend. You've always been here to support me, and now... I'm here to support you, too.

I LOVE YOU,

Julie

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