For a long time, as mentioned in my Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017 post, I’ve struggled with an internal battle against my own body. It’s a continuous war that one part of my brain has against the rest of me – my mind, my self image, even my life. And it’s bloody exhausting.
In the past four years, I’ve struggled with my self image constantly – possibly a week or two at a time where I’ve felt comfortable. I’ve also yo-yoed in this time from very underweight to the cusp of being overweight to a weight where I feel a lot more comfortable (but would still like to lose a few more pounds).
At the age of 22, I’m finally learning to love myself. Maybe it’s just today that I’ll feel this, but what’s sparked it is my younger brother taking candids of me whilst we went on a walk this afternoon. Those thighs that bother me so much normally? Well, those tree trunks didn’t look the way they do in the mirror. My flabby upper arms that I prod and poke to see how they wobble? Just normal arms that anyone would be content to have.
I’m always going to be the woman who enjoys a few glasses of wine (or gin or cider, really, I’m not fussy) and gets a hangover pizza. But, no longer am I going to feel guilty for not looking like a Victoria’s Secret model. I have stretch marks and scars showing the map of my history. I have boobs, I have a bum, I have those tree trunks and they are MINE.
Maybe it’s time we all stopped focussing on that misconstrued person in the mirror who stares at all the faults we see every day, picking and poking the flaws apart constantly. Maybe it’s time we start focussing on that beautiful smile that can light up any room, those eyes that look like a thousand stars, even our feet that get us from A to B without fail. Maybe we go even deeper than that and focus on the person beyond the mirror, rating ourselves on our intelligence, strength, kindness and the rest of our inner beauty.
Our body is our tool, but is certainly not everything about us. We are all more than a pretty face.