By: Jaime Koenig
Hi, I’m Jaime and I’ve been attempting to love my body for about 30 years.
Who here truly loves their body?
As in, wakes up in the morning or looks at yourself after a big meal and thinks “Look at you, you sexy goddess! You’re beautiful and amazing just the way you are!”
If you are really one of those people, then I personally applaud you for loving your body no matter what! For most people, myself included, this has been one of the biggest challenges of my life.
A little back story: I have an athletic, bigger framed body - always have. In high school, I was a competitive swimmer and got in the best shape of my life. I was thin, muscular, had the lung capacity of Michael Phelps (when he was 12), and looked good! However, when I looked at our swimming pictures, which were taken in our swimsuits, what I saw was a girl whose thighs were too big.
Fast forward to college, the freshman 25 hit……..with a vengeance. There was dorm food, ramen, beer, chips, no parental supervision, and did I mention, beer. I did not workout and I was the unhealthiest I had ever been in my life. I continued this trend through my 20s and into the very beginning of my 30s.
Then, I met my husband and he works very hard to stay in shape and live a healthy lifestyle. At this point, I was already taking my single self to the gym at 4:30am and then to work. So when we made it official as boyfriend and girlfriend, we did a lot of going to the gym and taking long walks together.
We have incorporated health and fitness into our daily lives since we’ve been together. Now, where am I going with all of this, you may ask.
I’m trying to tell you that even though I workout with a trainer, go to the gym at least 4 days a week, and count macros like it’s my job ...
I STILL don’t always love my body.
And that is OK.
You don't always have to love your body, but your body always loves you.
Change Your Mindset
So, here’s where we dive into the question of the hour - WHY?
Is it because, as a woman, we’ve seen supermodels who are airbrushed and look flawless or because for some reason, we’ve been pre-conditioned to think that being thin means you’re better, smarter, and more desirable?
I know that the women we see in movies and on TV are thin and pretty and seem perfect but do you think they always love how they feel in their skin? Probably not!
The reality is that you will never love everything about yourself every single day. However, you can learn to appreciate the things about you that you think are less than perfect. Instead of thinking “I wish my legs were skinnier”, I have changed it to “look how strong and powerful my legs are”. I can appreciate that my legs are strong enough to deadlift 250 pounds and leg press 325 pounds!
Our bodies were all made the way they are for a reason and we need to embrace the power they give us, whatever that may be!
I still look at other women at the gym and think “dang, I wish my body looked like that”.
And I still look in the mirror some days and wish my stomach was flatter but I am learning how to love the skin I’m in and appreciate my strength more and more every single day. It does take awhile, and not every day is perfect, but with some time you too, can learn to love your body.
Now, a challenge for you.
Go find a mirror. Really truly look at yourself. Look at those beautiful curves. Those stretch marks there? Nah, those are signs of LIFE. Now I want you to look that mirror and say “Look at you, you beautiful human - you are beautifully and perfectly made!”
Deep breath out.
Whenever you're feeling down about your body, try to think of 3 positive affirmations to say to yourself in the mirror. This is a great exercise for learning to see your body and what it's capable of.
If you have any questions or you would like to be a guest blogger, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your favorite body affirmations? Drop them in the comments below!