Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I've Still Got A Long Way To Go............

This topic has been something that's been on my heart and mine for a while now, I just have never had the guts to post about it. But lately it's been consuming me, and for me, the only real way to release that is to let it out in the world. Maybe someone can relate or it will spark meaningful conversations. As with almost everything I post, that's my goal.

So here we go. Here's my confession.

I'm still not confident in my body.

Now I know some of you are thinking "duh- no one is...that's part of being human". But I also know some of you are thinking "Stop being so hard on yourself!". So let me explain.

I've lost almost 150 lbs. At least once a week, someone says to me "you must feel so incredible". And I do- honestly, I do. I feel proud of myself, I feel stronger, and I feel healthier. But even after losing 150 lbs, I still don't feel super awesome in my own skin.

Some days are worse than others, of course. Example, about a month ago I was at a networking event. This thin, beautiful, athletic young woman said to the group "I just started the 21 day fix- I need to get bathing suit ready". I immediately started to compare myself to her. If SHE thinks SHE needs to fix her body, then clearly I have a LONG way to go!

I also wear clothes that are still just a little too big. I'm not yet confident enough to show off any skin or parts of my body. I wore a tank top on Sunday night, and the mental battle I went through to even wear that was incredibly challenging. I won't wear skirts or dresses to work our out if they are above the knee. I hate showing off my arms. And my legs are where a lot of my excess skin from the weight loss has landed, so I'm having some serious anxiety about wearing bathing suits.

I wear a lot of black or darker colors. I don't want to stand out. Not because I like to follow the crowd or because I want to fit in, but because I don't want any attention- negative or positive. I'm just not there yet.

I've tried to figure out why I am struggling here. Is it because of the excess skin? That could be part of it. Sometimes I just grab the little extra skin pouch on my tummy and wish I could peel it off. Sometimes I think about getting surgery to remove it.  But really, I think I struggle because....I'm human. I think there is a huge misconception that weight loss is going to be the magic cure for these kinds of issues. And while my weight loss has been the biggest gift I've given myself, and it's improved my life in nearly ever regard, I can't lie to you and say "yeah, I love my body!" Don't get me wrong- I love parts of it. I love my strong shoulders and calves and that I have curvy hips. But I certainly don't love the whole package.

But damn it, I'm trying. And that's all any of us can do. I didn't write this post for attention or to depress anyone- I wrote it to be real. I'm 100% the body positivity movement and I read nearly every article out there about loving your body. I also do not judge other people on their body- I'm loving and open to everyone of all shapes and sizes and find everyone beautiful- I know that sounds cliche and maybe a little hypocritical but it's very true. I'm slowly trying to adapt it to my own life. I'll get there, I hope.

I will end on a more positive note to say that while I'm not 100% loving my body, I am 100% loving what my body CAN DO. I can run 3 miles, I can lift weights, I can do yoga and run up stairs and move faster. For those reasons, I love my body. Also, not loving my body does not mean I do not love me, or that I think I am any less worthy of love, respect. I still think I'm pretty awesome.