Body Conscious

1:47 PM

Whoa, was the last time I blogged really in January??? Well, I have a lot of big things going on, but that's a different blog post entirely.

Today, I want to write about body image, body consciousness if you will. Recently I've spoken to sooo many women who are unhappy with their body. I'm talking skinny women who want bigger everything, plus size women who want less everything...even women who I look at and think they have the perfect body are so caught up in the next best thing. I figured I'd share just a little of my own story.

Here is a picture of me when I was at my skinniest:

 A smile was constantly plastered on my face because people would constantly tell me how "good" I looked. Little did they know that behind that smile, I was constantly getting sick from not eating. That's how I got that small and stayed that small...not eating. My hair fell out (which is still a problem I suffer from today), my nails wouldn't grow, I was weak a lot. Physical activity was a burden. I was short of breath. Malnourished, dehydrated...that's what the doctors would tell me when I finally went. How did I get this way you ask? Depression from recent life events which are also another blog post entirely. I was just unhealthy. But, on the outside I was skinny...and that's all people seemed to care about. So, I didn't think much of it.

Now, here is me at my heaviest: many things I hate about this picture. One, what is up with my hair? Remember that hair loss thing I told you about...yeah, like I said, still an issue. Why I chose to wear that sweater with those pants is still a mystery to me. I hate this picture of myself. But I kept it...I kept it because I needed to know how far I had let myself go. Like, seriously? I was no longer not eating (obviously) but my sedentary/semi-active (and by active, I mean walking the dog) lifestyle was clearly not working. I would monitor any photos my friends took of me and try to perfect ways that I could look smaller on camera. But really, the problem was me. So I set out to change that. I joined a running group. I started actually working out, which was something I'd never actually done. I was a "husky" girl growing up, as my family liked to put it. When I had gotten skinny (and stayed skinny for a few years), I just simply didn't eat. I definitely was not exercising or doing it the healthy way. This time, I gave it a shot the right way and it paid off.

Here is what I look like nowadays:

I can say that I'm much healthier. I enjoy physical activity now, even though I don't get to work out as much as I would like to. I've learned what clothes flatter my body shape. I look in the mirror and I love myself. When random strangers come to me and say that I'm beautiful, it means so much more to me now. Because I worked at it. And I feel it inside more than anything.

So, what am I getting at? Basically, we're not all meant to be skinny. I'm not saying that we all can't be, I'm sure that some would argue that. I just believe that each person needs to find a place where they are healthy. When I was "skinny," people telling me I looked good had no idea how awful I felt inside, how unhealthy I was. That was me at my most unhealthy. When I was at my heaviest, that was the second most unhealthy stage of my life. Now, it's all about balance. I lost 25 lbs and kept it off. I could stand to lose more, but I feel great! I eat healthy, and I look good in my clothes. Where you feel the most beautiful and at what weight is a journey you have to find on your own. All I can say is that for me, right now, I'm definitely the most aware of my body that I have ever been. And I love myself.

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