The lovely Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful has just released her book and to celebrate she has challenged her readers to write about “changing the way you see not the way you look”. To me this comes down to what we say to ourselves about our bodies. For far too many years I would continually put myself down – I was too fat, had too many freckles, etc. Sure it might have true but by focusing on the negative it became harder and harder to find the positive and therefore strive towards the life I wanted. And while to could to control (or in my case, not control) my weight I was totally powerless in regard to my freckles.
I’m still on my journey to find my ideal healthy body but with losing a substantial amount of weight and getting a whole lot fitter my attitude has shifted and I really believe that’s the key to reaching our optimal healthy body. While I’m far from thin I know I am healthy because I fuel my body with the right foods and I know I’m reasonably fit because I make time to do some kind of activity every day (and I love it). But the biggest change has been how I talk to myself. The fat talk has ended. These days I feel comfortable in my own skin (most of the time). Sure it still needs a lot of work but I can see the positives. I have lovely red hair, clear skin, fit comfortably into my clothes, have defined muscles in my arms and legs, can ride my bike and, at nearly 40 years old, feel in the best shape of my life. And I can even laugh about my different sized legs (due to a blood clot), saggy skin (due to weight loss) and stretch marks (due to babies). After all we are so much more than how we look. And that’s the biggest thing to realized in learning to love yourself. These days I eat and exercise before it makes me feel good! And that in turn makes me look good – in my own eyes at least. And I find the better the feel about myself, the better I treat myself, the better I talk to myself, and it keeps going round.
One thing that Operation Beautiful has taught me is that so women don’t see themselves the same way that we see them and even hate their bodies. I never realized it was quite so previlent in our society. It’s just so sad. Us women spend far too much time and energy not loving ourselves but thanks to Operation Beautiful I hope that will change and women, esp. young girls, will learn to love themselves however they look.