Someone I used to be close to sent me a text last fall criticizing the fact that I complain about having body issues. It was worded quite cruelly and was part of a very painful, damaging conversation.
First, that person is no longer an influence in my life. And second, I don't care what a person looks like or acts like on the outside because you NEVER know what they deal with on the inside.
My struggle with my body image is a battle every. single. day. Do I wish I could love my body the way it is? Of course. Do I wish I could not see just my flaws when I look in the mirror? Absolutely. Do I wish it didn't have such a profound affect on me some days? Yes!!
Some days and weeks it affects me more than others. The reason I'm posting this now is because it has been particularly challenging lately. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but putting on a swimsuit certainly never helps. And summer requires that more than usual.
Where I live certainly doesn't help either. There are A LOT of thin, beautiful women in Utah. My friends and I actually had a conversation about how hard it is to go to the pool here and not feel bad about ourselves. And all three of us are fit and at healthy weights. Any time I travel somewhere, I notice the difference in the number of model perfect women in Utah vs. almost everywhere else. And since I can feel bad about myself just walking through Target because I literally can't go anywhere without comparing myself to other women, trust me on this. I told you. It is a constant, daily struggle.
I don't like comparing myself to other women. I want to be able to go swimming or simply grocery shopping without feeling bad about myself. I work on it every day. If there was a switch I could flip to change the way I think and feel about my body you bet I would flip that sucker and break the switch right off!
However, my body image challenges may be something I struggle with for the rest of my life. It may be part of my mortal test. I hope not, but the reality is that it may always be something I have to work on and struggle to overcome. Yet I will continue to do the things that will help me learn to love my body, and I will refrain from verbalizing my struggles in front of my girls.
In spite of my own body hatred, which is the most accurate way to describe it, I can still set a good example for my girls by focusing on the positive, making an effort to be healthy, and modeling positive eating habits. Just because my body image is my challenge does not mean it has to be a challenge for my daughters. I can still set a positive example of finding the good about my own body and can continue helping them focus on all the amazing things their bodies can do and what beautiful instruments their bodies are.