I’ve been transparent about my mental health + body image journey since day one, but it’s still something I find difficult to navigate. I have immense respect for the shell that holds my soul, and I’m so grateful that it survived all of the bullshit I put it through over the years - and - there are times when I don’t like her, when I’m disappointed in her, when I wish she looked different. I think we all have these thoughts, regardless of how far we’ve come. And that’s the kicker - remember how far you’ve come!!!! If you can wake up each day and move your body because it feels good, if you can make a nourishing meal that provides you with energy to take on the day, if you can breathe into the discomfort - I consider these huuuuuge wins. Progress, baby, not perfection.
If you’re also working on healing the relationship you have with your body, I'm with you. It’s exhausting, intimidating, emotional, magical, amazing, exciting, all of the things. It takes time (lots + lots of time), so please be patient with yourself. Showing up for yourself consistently is what builds confidence and, ultimately, trust. Little by little, small wins result in beautiful transformation. It can be hard to know how/where to even begin, so here are a few things that helped me along the way:
Shifting my internal dialogue → If I spoke to anyone like I used to speak to myself, DAMN. It got ugly and mean real fast. My therapist gave me a homework assignment one week to start speaking to myself as I would to 4-year-old Molly - sweet, innocent, loving little Molly. I mean, how could I not tell her how wonderful, capable, worthy, and brilliant she was?! This changed everything for me. I realized how hard I was on myself and how that was really holding me back. When I started speaking to myself with more grace, patience, understanding + love, I felt soooo much safer inside my own skin.
Moving my body because it feels good, not because it makes me look good → Exercise used to be a punishment - a punishment for not being good enough, thin enough, outgoing enough, smart enough, the list goes on + on. I dreaded it and, even though I was in ‘good shape’ physically, I was so unwell mentally. I took years off of intense exercise while I recovered from my eating disorder, but slowly started to crave movement again. I started with walks, then restorative yoga, then gentle pilates, and gradually found a routine that worked for me. Today, I move my body because I want to, not because I have to. I move my body because it helps my mind + my spirit, not because I feel pressured to look a certain way. I move my body because I love it, not because I hate it. The focus on how movement feels + the possibilities that it opens up for me to live life fully - that’s the secret sauce, ya’ll.
Breaking up with the scale + restriction → Calorie counting and obsessive weight tracking can get the fuck out. A number does not define your worth. This goes back to moving the emphasis toward how you feel. Give yourself the freedom to listen to your body, pay attention to the messages she’s trying to send you, and honor the waves. Nobody said it was easy, but it’s really worth it - I promise :)
There are like 7 billion people on this planet. 7 billion!!! Each of these humans has worries, anxieties, triumphs, and big loves just like you and I. We're all fighting a battle of some sort and just doing the best we can. When you think about it like that, it’s hard not to have a lil extra tenderness for yourself. Be gentle with you today, k? <3