17 Mar G Day Stories: Nat
So Much More Than A Silhouette
I remember being 4 years old, refusing to exit the change room at the beach, terrified of revealing my baby fat (literally!) to the world. My one-piece was shiny and blue with a little yellow sailboat on it. I loved it…until I noticed that my sister, who had a teeny tiny physique, was wearing a bikini.
My conclusion: Clearly, I was given a one-piece to hide my protruding belly.
That’s my earliest memory of being painfully self-conscious about my body. As I grew older…my negative body image worsened.
9 years old – I refused to wear shorts. I had decided that my “chubby knees” were going to be my little secret.
10 years old – I dreaded family dinners at my grandpa’s house. My grandpa’s love for unhealthy foods had nearly cost him his life, multiple times. It terrified him to think that that could ever happen to me. I loved him; but I hated our weekly weigh-ins.
10.5 years old – I asked the universe what I did to deserve these “thunder thighs.”
11 years old – Summertime sadness struck in the form of my oversized t-shirt at the waterpark. Somehow I was under the impression that a huge t-shirt would be much less of a poolside faux-pas than my stretch marks.
12 years old – By the time I graduated elementary school, sucking in my stomach had become as natural as breathing.
Sadly, I have a feeling that most of you, will relate, in some way, to those stories. And the reality is, the majority of women have body-image issues that start at a very young age. I, myself, only made a conscious effort to change these destructive thought patterns when I gave birth to my daughter. I knew that I couldn’t let my past experiences shape my little girl’s future.
So I changed my story…
- I allowed myself the freedom to fill my belly with breath, instead of stifling it with anxiety.
- Instead of starving my way to skinny legs, I lunged in celebration of the strength in my thighs.
- I scrapped the weighing scale. I learned to listen to my body. Now I know that how you feel every day is a far more accurate indicator of health.
- I try to spend time in front of a mirror everyday, with nothing on but a smile. Cheesy, but challenging.
- I quit the compulsive habit of doing a full-body scan of every female that I came across. Comparison is so destructive.
- I removed “thunder thighs,” “love handles,” “spare tire,” and other mean-girl terms from my dictionary.
And perhaps most importantly, I try and remember that there is so much more to us than our silhouettes.