January can be a very triggering month, especially when it comes to body image issues. At almost 32 years old, I’m finally at a place where I love my body. I thought it had to do with size, but it’s all about honoring and loving yourself. I’ve been on every diet from Cabbage Soup to Keto. At one time I was a size 12, but I’ve also been a 20. From an early age I developed this notion that my body was not acceptable. I started getting bullied about my weight in pre-k. I vividly remember being called “fat” for the first time and crying on the way home.
Food became my way to cope, which caused me to go through continuous cycles of weight gain/weight loss. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I would binge eat everyday after school. It seemed to patch up the emotional wounds from getting bullied constantly. I continued to use food to cope for many years to come.
I was put on an extreme diet by a pediatrician in 5th grade. My relationship with food became even more dysfunctional. I started to view it as something bad instead of enjoyable and nourishing. Yo-yo dieting became apart of my life for the next 20 years. I went to a nutritionist. I went to Weight Watchers. I got HCG shots. You name it, I’ve tried it.
I would lose weight then gain it all back because I didn’t resolve my food and body image issues. It was deep rooted from seeds that were planted in my childhood. In 2017 I started seeing a counselor for depression. One day while discussing my childhood, she asked if I still viewed myself as fat. The words spoken over me caused me to build a false identity around them. I had to disassociate myself with the toxic, unhealthy label that was placed on me.
It’s been a gradual process, but I’ve adopted an intuitive eating lifestyle. When I’m hungry I eat, when I’m full I stop. I don’t deprive myself if I want cake, but I don’t binge on 3 slices. At the end of the day I want to be healthy and able to eat sustainably for life. Nothing I was doing helped that cause. I don’t want to sink back into the yo-yo dieting cycle and this is definitely helping.
The biggest thing I’ve done was start loving myself, regardless of size. Even at my smallest, I still had body image issues. The problem was internal, not physical. I constantly look in the mirror and say “I love you”. I’m beautiful no matter what the scale says! I also read Psalm 139:14 to remind myself that God didn’t make any mistakes with me. Every curve on my body and hair on my head was intricately woven together.
No matter what your weight is right now, remember you’re amazing at any size. The scale does not define who you are as a person. Every day will not be perfect. You may eat too little or too much. You might oversleep and not make it to the gym. Just keep going! Take time out to honor your body and practice self love! It makes all the difference!
-xo Lorean 💜