I’m just gonna go ahead and warn you that today’s post is probably my most vulnerable one yet (I’m talking wayyyy more personal and emotional than this break up recap I did on Valentine’s Day). But, it’s all for a good cause because the topic is one that pretty important to me. So let’s dive in.
First off, I have a question for you ladies:
How would you describe “positive” body image?
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I’ve spent time over the past year or so asking myself this question and never really had a good answer. Does it mean you love your body no matter what? Does it mean finding the perfect balance between being healthy but not pushing yourself to fit a standard of beauty? Does it mean making the changes (whether it’s cosmetic, surgical or natural) to attain your standard of beauty and then being happy with that? Honestly – I have no clue.
To be completely transparent with you guys, I spent a good portion of my teens and early twenties with a pretty negative body image. No matter how much I worked out, restricted my diet, changed my style, etc. I never truly loved or appreciated my body. I’ve talked about this a little before, but for a little over a year in my early twenties, I struggled with an eating disorder. It was at a time in my life where I had extremely limited self confidence and was only interested in controlling and dedicating my energy to this one disgusting habit. And then, when I started to feel like I loved my new body (5’5 and 100 pounds – not good), I couldn’t seem to stop. I later learned that there was a whole mental aspect of the disorder that I had to slowly work my way through – and I did, thank God. It took me a few months, various therapist and doctor visits, and lots of candid conversations with myself until I was able to truly overcome and start putting my health back at the forefront.
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But surprise, that whole “positive” body image thing didn’t come right away. It’s not like you’re cured and then, bam, love your body. It’s taken me years to get there and it hasn’t been the easiest journey. I woke up yesterday and as I started trying on swimsuits for our trip, my mind instantly was flooded with negative thoughts. I squeezed the roll of fat peeping through the open back of the one piece. I couldn’t help but stare at the not-so-smooth thighs accentuated by the higher cut of the bikini. And then I thought to myself, “Lauren, you’re doing this whole post on positive boy image. Get. It. Together.” And that’s when the idea for this post hit me.
For the past few months, I’ve shared here and there how I’ve finally found this inner confidence that I’ve never had before. I’ve come to appreciate the curves and the slight imperfections and celebrate the qualities that I love about myself. I’m also on this new journey to a healthier me which means two-a-day workouts every now and then, a more refined diet to help keep my insides healthy, etc. There’s balance and I’m feeling good. And at times, I feel bad. But I think a positive body image is just having an honest understanding that feeling great about yourself as much as you can is the best way to live and sometimes you’ll have a little self doubt. The balance of the two and not letting the negative thoughts overwhelm and overpower you is the way to take control of a positive body image.
Or at least that’s how I choose to look at it. Everyone is different and for some, this might not be the way to go or to approach it. Either way, it’s up to each and everyone of us to define a positive sense of self and “image” and to take control of what that means for us!
SHOP THE LOOK
(p.s. I can’t believe I’m on here in a sports bra…but hey, that’s a step towards that good body image + finding a balance!)