My Body Acceptance Journey! Plus Intuitive Eating + Exercise
My whole life I've had a love-hate relationship with my body. When I was a little girl, I was always chubbier than my friends- I retained a lot of my weight in my hips and butt, and I was the first to have to start wearing a training bra. I remember being around 10 years old and BEGGING my mom to make my butt smaller; I hated how big it felt and looked. All my friends were slim and had no curves. I hated mine. When I approached middle school it got seemingly worse. My hips became so wide and large, and my boobs grew up to a size D, and my butt also didn't stop growing. I felt so uncomfortable in my own body, I'd dress in oversized sweatshirts and straight cut jeans just to conceal my body. I could say that high school was definitely the worst of it all. I had gotten so heavy- reaching 185lbs. I had just quit playing basketball in my junior year, and really neglected my body- I didn't work out, I excessively ate and didn't nourish or treat my body right AT ALL.
17 year old me definitely did not think that losing 50lbs was feasible, but after 3 years of doing just about everything- crazy fad diets, strictly cardio, hiring a personal trainer, calorie counting- I finally found what works best for me this year and stuck with it. I am so embarrassed of what I look like in the first photo, I made excuses for myself when I looked like that, that I was "just made that way". That just wasn't and isn't true. My body on the left was a result of eating strictly processed foods and way too much of it, while not performing ANY form of exercise. Since going to college, I really took the time to learn about exercise and perform it, as well as doing my research on foods that my body loves and gets nourished from. I've accepted that I'll always have really wide hips compared to my waist, that I'll always have big thighs- that's just how my body is shaped 🍐 Everyone has power within themselves to reach and obtain what they set their minds to! Change doesn't happen over night. Be persistent and stay positive and progress will be made no matter what your goal is.
Now, I'm sure you're curious what exactly worked for me to lose the weight and be happy with myself? The answer is living my life INTUITIVELY. By this, I mean listening to my body and acting accordingly. For instance, whenever I ate dairy, I would become extremely bloated- I mean to the point where it felt uncomfortable and in pain. It'd also make me break out like crazy in cystic acne. So what I did was cut out dairy! I now search for dairy-free alternatives: dairy-free ice cream, cheeses, and nut milk *drools*. I should note that sometimes I do eat dairy! But I limit it because I know it makes me feel bad. Meat also scares me, so I don't really eat that at all hahahaha.
On the other hand, I also eat what I want when I'm craving it. This is such an important thing to remind yourself if you want to eat intuitively. If I want to eat matcha Oreos, I'm going to eat matcha Oreos. However- this is all in moderation. When you allow yourself to enjoy the foods you want, you create a healthy relationship with food and are less likely to binge eat. When I was in the whole diet-fad mode, I would hardcore restrict foods like chips, or even vanilla iced coffee, telling myself that these were bad foods. By viewing food this way I would binge eat ALL the time, and then beat myself up for it. It turned into this really bad vicious cycle. Remind yourself that all foods that you enjoy are good foods, even if the media tells you that they aren't.
The hardest part for me of learning how to live an intuitive lifestyle is intuitive exercise. I've been a victim of forcing myself to do exercises that didn't feel right and that I didn't enjoy doing. If I missed a day at the gym because I was sick, I'd be so mad at myself. My biggest advice with this is do exercises that you enjoy and don't dread! Also taking day(s) off is ok- your body needs to recharge and replenish itself! Experiment with certain exercises and find what makes you feel good and powerful.
Overall, the message I'm trying to get across is: be easy on yourself and LOVE yourself every step of the way. Do things for yourself. All the validation and love you need comes from within you. Eat how you want, exercise when and if you want to, doing what you like. I eat whatever the fuck I want. I show my body love and my body shows love back. You should do the same!