I am the number one perpetrator of forever wishing I had the body I had in high school. Especially the past two years. These past two years I have really struggled with body image. I would constantly look back at my pictures from my junior and senior year of high school imagining what it would be like to have that same body I did two years ago. I would always tell myself that looking back at those pictures was my “motivation” to get back into that same shape I was once in.
But…in reality it was encouraging my inner dialogue of self-hate and self-judgement. It wasn’t motivation, it was just a way for me to get even more down on myself for my body. The girl in these images weren’t even me anymore, so why should I keep comparing myself to something in the past?
I, then, thought back to high school and realized I was thinking the same thing. I was very insecure, I felt fat, and I sure as hell didn’t want anyone to take pictures of me especially when I was in a bathing suit or shorts.
But here’s the ironic part: I was 15-20 pounds lighter back then and I STILL felt fat. I genuinely thought I was fat back then. Thinking about this now, I’ve realized that this isn’t about how I look or my actual weight…it’s about me dealing with my self-confidence, and it’s all about working on the idea of “self-love” that we all hear.
I thought to myself, “I don’t actually hate myself” but I was treating myself like I did. We are so hard on ourselves. We tell ourselves things that we wouldn’t even tell our worst enemy. SO many things go through our heads during the day that we don’t always realize how many harsh things we tell ourselves. But time after time we let those thoughts in and soon it’s all we can focus on. Slowly, we nurture these negative thought seeds and in time they grow to beings that are full of self-hate.
So, it’s okay that I won’t ever get my high school body back. It’s a blessing in ways we won’t notice. It’s okay that my shoulders are broader than they used to be, it shows how much stronger I’ve gotten. It’s okay that my thighs are thicker than they used to be, that my butt is a little bigger now, and that I have some more curves than I did, it shows that I’m turning into a woman and I’m not just a little girl anymore.
I am no longer the person I was in high school, so why should my body stay the same? I have changed in so many ways and my body has followed. Being healthy is important…but the MOST important aspect of life is loving and accepting yourself, for everything that you are.
Because if you don’t, how can anyone else?