Before I launched into another diet or workout routine I consulted with my Body Positive Mentor Gillian Goerzen, as I was becoming weary of yet another program that wouldn't last. I decided instead to book weekly calls with her to get to the root of my body image as I've grown tired of the stories I've been telling myself to date.
Here is that story, and the resolution and mindset shifts I'm currently experiencing.
I rarely ever saw myself as not fat. There's maybe a handful of times I can remember feeling 'in shape' and 'good enough'. Never thin. I would never be thin, that just wasn't my body type or so I've been told since I was young. I'm 'bigger boned, bigger build,' they would say. Not thin and pretty like the other girls. So I rested on that fact and my body story began to develop.
I would and still to this day compare myself to skinny girls. I feel I couldn't beat them in looks, or beauty, so somehow I failed to be as perfect as them. When I'm around someone who's bigger or heavier set than me, I feel like somehow I've won! The beauty contest prize is mine!
It's disgusting. I'm ashamed to even say it. It brings tears to my eyes even admitting this as part of my story. How gross.
Where did this thought process of competition come from and how can I end it with myself?
I was with two gorgeous, thinner-than-me gals yesterday who looked to be 'owning' their femininity. Wearing beautiful dresses, shoes, hair, lashes and make-up done. I on the other hand showed up in jeans, a t-shirt, hair in a pony tail with a 2 minute face touch-up and flip flops. I felt like shit even though I felt fine about how I looked when I left the house.
Why did I have to look so frumpy? Why didn't I dress up too? Where does all this body-shaming come from and how does it stop!?
I can look back at any old picture of me and think "God, you weren't fat, but NOW you ARE."
To every single one.
You weren't then but you are now for 20 years.
What will it take to truly love the body I am in right now? Because as it turns out, it was OK.
Even in my thinnest moments I stil remember it not being enough. I still wasn't satisfyed. Those times when I did love the body I was in it was from dieting, exercise or extreme stress, none of which was sustainable.
If I let go of this story I fear I will let myself go.
But what if that doesn't happen?
What if instead I feel liberation and freedom to move my body my way?
What if the need to critize or judge myself and others for their body composition evaporates?
What if I could honour my body, see the joy in my skin and wish for all to also feel that elated no matter their size?
Can I own my body, my figure my shape?
Here's my response to the questions I asked myself.
The idea of competition has been engrained in our culture from the beginning of time. Survival of the fittest. Reprograming my brain to live in a neutral zone around appearance will take time but I am willing to do the practice. If I change my mind to "no girl is winning, therefore I am not needing to compete or win" it brings a sense of ease and relief to my bones. It will take time, but I am changing my mind.
I choose to feel good in the clothes that I pick out for myself each day. I get to choose. I get to pick what represents ME that day.
Our bodies aren't cars, RV's or motorhomes of our soul. They are living breathing organisms ever changing, growing, adapting, expanding, shrinking, living. Therefore the truth of your body now will never be again. So instead of dreaming of another model, S type, or fancy feature you could have, move into what is now and want that instead.
Body shaming is a made up thought. And I have the capacity and will to choose better.
What's your body story?
If you're interested in sharing it or learning more about your body image, I highly recommend working with Gillian from Super You. She has an incredible community of women who she supports and nurtures to understand and feel into loving their body they're in.
Watch my interview with gillian from super you
Coach Michelle Jackson is a Certified Life and Transformative Healing Coach, Motivational Speaker, Self-Published author of 3 books, Poet and Volunteer for NAMI Chicago (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and AFSP IL (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).
She's overcome severe depression, 4 suicide attempts, molestation, incest, and sexual abuse. Now she works with groups and speaks about forgiveness, healing, love, and purpose. Today she talks about bias behavior and the actual way to love someone is through acceptance.
Buy her best selling book FLPT on Amazon.
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Love and Light,
Adera is the Co-founder of SPIRO Creative, and a Business + Marketing Strategist to Entrepreneurs who are ready to make it their business to lead with their light. With over a decade in TV + Video she’s witnessed loads of talented amazing souls shy away when it comes to ‘putting themselves out there.’ She has a gift for helping those who once struggled to share themselves show up as authentic storytellers and joyful risk-takers, confident in their abilities to build businesses and connections that move humanity forward.