Lately, I've been having these "morning reflection sessions" that's what I'll refer to them as because I'm not sure how else to explain it. Basically, something will come to my mind and I'll ponder it intensely. I'll wonder why I'm thinking about it and try to arrive at an explanation as to how it applies to me. This morning it was body shaming. Warning!!!! Brace yourself because I'm about to go on a rant.
For the past few months I've been trying to pin point the very moment I started picking apart my body. When everything suddenly seemed so imperfect. I've never been one to really concentrate on imperfections. Never concerned myself with cellulite or calories. I was just me and I was genuinely happy in my body. I grew up with an excellent example. I never heard my mother talk negatively about her image. There was never any pressure to look a certain way. I grew up confident in who I was. There was never any reason to participate in body shaming.
Then one day that all changed. I found myself joining in on these horrible body bashing conversations. It was like a light switched. Suddenly my thighs were to big. My butt, something which I've always taken a certain amount of pride in, was way too big. My stomach wasn't tight enough, my boobs weren't big enough. I could go on. But the point is, this started out as me expressing the small dissatisfaction I had with some part of my body and resulted in me hating everything about it. It became ugly. And quite frankly, depressing.
As many of you probably know my recent obsession has been crossfit. Along with this obsession has come a significant amount of growth both physically and mentally. Physically speaking, I'm in the best shape of my life. Everyday that I go to the gym I'm floored at what my body just accomplished. I've never considered myself to be athletic so this is a huge victory for me. My body has definitely changed. I discover a new muscle every day. But this physical growth brought on a new phase of body issues, a fear of becoming too muscular, too bulky, too manly. UGH! It's literally so exhausting.
Then this morning I had this thought...why do we do this self hating ritual? Where did my obsession with it come from? And how can I stop it? I decided the solution was simple. I need to stop engaging in that type of behavior. It might seem stupid but I never realized the impact my self hate could have on other people until my realizaton this morning.
To my ladies out there hating on their beautiful bodies, stop it and here's why...
We think we're engaging in a harmless conversation about our own body struggles. How could our body dissatisfaction have any impact on anyone else? We've convinced ourselves that this type of behavior has no impact on the women who lend a listening ear. But have you stopped to really think about it? We think we're only pulling ourselves apart but we are completely unaware of the impact on other people. We're tearing eachother down one senseless comment at a time. We've all been there whether we recognize it or not. We're hating on something that's a flaw in our eyes. Of course, because we see it as a flaw everyone else in the world sees it to. Wrong! That flaw could possibly be our best attribute in the eyes of another, somethING they've have admired about your beauty. And you're ripping it apart. All of the sudden, this harmless behavior has caused a complex for someone else. You know what I'm talking about...one tiny person comments on how big her thighs are. Instantly the thought crosses your mind "if her thighs are big, mine are huge." One person thinks they look "fat" in a photo and the whole group hates how they look. Do you see the vicious cycle?
For me, as of lately it's been my traps. I've become so focused on them that I've forgotten how hard I've worked to earn them. I looked at them as a flaw instead of a badge of honor. And today, that's coming to an end. I encourage all of you caught up in body shaming to join me in declaring your beauty. Make a personal pledge to stop the self hate and start a journey to discovering the goddess that you are. Because we're all fucking gorgeous and that's the bottom line. (Sorry for the profanity but some situations warrant it.)