It’s not always easy to love your body. Sometimes I find myself staring at the mirror – completely unhappy with the image I see staring back at me. There are days when the quotes posted around my bathroom mirror do nothing to lift my mood. When I can’t even find something on Pinterest to make me smile. Days when I go to the gym and leave feeling like my body has failed me – or worse, I’ve failed my body.
No one said loving my body was going to be easy. It’s a struggle. I feel like I should be able to run faster and harder and further. I can’t believe I didn’t go three miles. That piece of candy was too good to say no to. I want to be at my goal now. I’ve inbarked on the biggest patience test I’ve ever taken – being patient with myself and my progress, and sometimes, my lack of progress.
On the days when I find it difficult to love myself, I focus on liking myself instead. Liking myself enough to eat healthy. Liking myself enough to understand when my body needs a break. Liking myself enough to listen to what my body is trying to tell me. My body and I are on the same side – it’s a team effort and we’re learning how to work together instead of fighting with each other like we’ve been doing for years. My body wants to be healthy and I want to get it there. On the days when I don’t love my body, I like it instead.
Love is difficult. It easier to be harder on yourself than anyone else. It’s easier to deny yourself love and feel like you don’t deserve it. Even when I know I have a great support system that wants to see me succeed, there are days when I still beat myself up over the little things. Things that will seem so unimportant in ten years, but for now, I think that piece of chocolate is keeping me from my goal.
Learning to love my body is realizing that some days, it’s okay to settle for liking my body instead.
However, I will never hate it. Never. No matter how badly I feel I’ve failed myself, I will never look at my body with disgust.
My body is my home. It’s where my soul dwells. One day it will hopefully house my growing children. It’s a map of all the places I’ve been. My scars and bruises and imperfections are battles that I’ve won. The small mole on my arm is unique to me – there is no one else like me. My feet are big and my front tooth came in at an angle. The scratch marks on my stomach are proof I’ve worked hard to get some weight off and a reminder that I have more to lose. My thick fingers remind me that I’m changing – they’ve already gone down a ring size and there’s more to come. My mind is filled with a million stories waiting to come out.
There are days when it’s not about loving my body. There are days when loving my body is difficult. There are days when I want to throw in the towel.
But I don’t – because there are days when learning to love my body is about liking it first.