Hey guys so this post is late but it was really difficult for me to write, especially when I haven’t been feeling great about my appearance. But right now I’m focusing on accepting what is, because for so long I focused on what I wished for. What I’m doing at first felt like resignation, but I realized that it’s not. I still want to be healthy and I continue working on that, but I am learning to do so in a way that is conducive both to my lifestyle and mental health.
Hello gorgeous readers! So I wanted to touch on something I haven’t really talked about and that is body image. So if you haven’t seen me in awhile I got fattt!!! I’ve always been curvy but right now I can say that I’m the biggest I’ve ever been. I really couldn’t bring myself to write about this till now, because I felt angry and ashamed, and frustrated. But I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where I can give some support to anyone who feels like I did and do.
So a little about my weight journey. I gave birth to my first son when I was 19 years old. I was probably around 145lbs when I got pregnant and after having him I never went lower than 160lbs. I never understood why. My doctors never said anything about my weight but the charts on their walls said I should be less than 137lbs, so I believed that. Even though I thought I should weigh less and I would research how to eat healthier and made a lot of switches like eating whole wheat bread instead of white bread, I felt pretty good about how I looked naked so it never really occurred to me to do any hardcore dieting…until years later when I gave birth to my 3rd child. Then suddenly I was 175lbs and it showed. I had a double chin and I hated how I looked in pictures. And that’s when I started working out and using a diet plan. I lost the weight quite quickly and I felt pretty good. But over time it became difficult to stick to and then life got REALLY stressful and I completely gave up on any kind of diet eating. By the time I weighed myself again (because I don’t have a scale and I only weigh myself like once every few years), I was 192lbs. I couldn’t believe it. Fast forward to present day, after a 4th baby, and I’m even heavier.
A few months ago I was starting to get depressed about my weight. I really hated it when people would take pictures of me at unflattering angles, showing my rolls and double chin, then post it on social media. BTW if you don’t know this, that is SOOOO RUDE!!!
I didn’t understand why I was gaining so much weight, I definitely didn’t eat more than any other time in my life, in fact I ate waayyy less. It’s one thing to not be able to lose weight but quite another to be gaining when you’re not even eating that much. Was it my age? Hit your 30’s and you’re done for?? Was I secretly waking up in the middle of the night in a trance, driving to Jack in the Box and bingeing on my beloved oreo milkshakes and then hiding the evidence from myself?? I was just about to join another online weight loss group when I came across a cool chick named Dalina Soto of Your.Latina.Nutritionist on Instagram. Dalina is a registered dietician who is anti-diet and promotes HAES- Health At Every Size. She is Dominicana, speaks Spanish and with over 32,000 followers, a very needed voice in the Latina community. I joined her Intuitive Eating group and I learned so much! I began a whole new way to look at my body. To put it simply, You and I are not just a weight.
There are so many factors that can affect your weight that have nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise. I did not really understand this. Even though I had been following the body positivity community for awhile, I had never actually spoke to a dietician who broke down the facts for me. There’s so much to unpack but today I want to focus on how you can feel better in your body no matter what your size because I know what it feels like not to. Here are just a few things I learned in Dalina’s group coaching sessions:
Disclaimer: All things written here are of my own opinion based on my own unique experience.
- There is a thing called Body Respect. Body respect, to me, means you stop punishing your body, whether that means mentally like telling yourself negative things about your body or comparing it to others, or physically like by buying clothes that make you feel like shit or manipulating your food choices to try and force it into a different, unsustainable size. When I think of Body Respect I think of treating my body like a human being and accepting it for who it is. All bodies, even at their healthiest, are meant to be shaped and sized differently!
- The media is brainwashing us. This by now is pretty common knowledge I would say. But I never realized how much it’s brainwashing me to think I need to look a certain way. Everywhere you look there are things that say eat healthier, stop eating this or that. I almost got the point of fearing everything I put in my mouth. And then of course thinking that healthy meant looking like a fitness model. Get toned! Get muscular! This mom of 8 looks like she’s 18 and has an 8 pack! If I’m not muscular or thin then I’m not healthy. Guess what? SOOO NOT TRUE!!!! Many factors affect your health and the way you look is NOT one of them. We need to accept all people and all bodies. Body shame is the actual culprit of many diseases.
- The best exercise for your body does not have to be hardcore but it can be. It just depends on what you enjoy. Every form of exercise is good exercise. My very needy and rambunctious toddler makes it hard for me to get a workout in without wearing myself out, so I’ve been trying to get walks in, especially nature walks and I feel so good on days I go on them. I try to lift weights when I can because I like to. Exercise makes you feel better about your body WHEN it’s the right exercise for you.
Ok so I will be writing another post on my experience so far with Intuitive Eating, but here is a list that I devised to help you feel better about your body by Friday!
Monday– Get some comfortable, flattering clothing for the body you have today. Get some sexy undergarments. Throw out any clothes that don’t make you feel great.
Tuesday– Un-follow any social media that makes you feel bad about your body. Start following social media that makes you feel good and celebrates all body shapes and sizes.
Wednesday– Get active and add movement into your life. You don’t have to do hardcore workouts but you can if you enjoy them. You can also do smaller increments of movement throughout the day or longer ones a few times a week. You can walk, dance, play soccer with the kids, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get up from your desk to stretch every hour or 2. If you are unable to use your body you can even do visualization techniques. It doesn’t matter, just whenever you think about it get moving.
Thursday– Get to know your body. The way it looks, feels, and moves. What makes this body feel good? What makes it look good? What scents work with it? It will give you a new sense of confidence when you know every inch of your body. Do NOT body bash. I understand that if you have been avoiding your body then people have been known to have a good cry after the first real look (it’s me, I’m people). Try to focus on getting to know your body and not thinking about what it should or should not look like.
Friday– Today is a day to pamper your body. Bodies need massages and body butters and pedicures and hair products. Do whatever you can to make your body feel special and celebrated. It’s also a day to show your body that it’s important by making those doctors and dental appointments and whatever else contributes to keeping you safe!
Saturday– Start telling your body things you like and love about it, even if it’s something small. Say things about your appearance and also things about what your body does for you. I started a practice of thanking my body each time I’m able to accomplish something, like my nature walks, or carrying the baby around.
Sunday– Start focusing on things you love about life and stop focusing on what your body looks like. Know it, care for it, celebrate it, and move on.
Think about it… What would life be like if you just accepted your body the way it looks today, and moved on with your life? I’m not saying ignore your health, I am only talking about body image right now.
If that sounds crazy, I FEEL YOU! I would get so frustrated when I started out and people said, what if your body is fine the way it is? “It’s not!!!”, I would want to scream. But as I’ve continued my journey, I’ve realized that by focusing on what I want my body to be, instead of what it is right now, I was slowing down my progress and making myself unhappy.
This is me. I’ve given birth to 4 children. One was a 10 pounder who came out the womb set to break me down so that I could become a stronger person. I deal with depression, panic, and stress. I’ve been hard on myself for gaining too much weight and not losing it quickly enough. I’ve not listened to my body when it told me it was hungry or full. I’ve exercised too much and exercised not enough. I’ve neglected myself because I was just too tired. But my body is still here for me.
I hope my journey inspires you to take another look at the way we treat bodies. What is your relationship with your body like right now?? Leave me a comment down below! And stay tuned for my next post on Intuitive Eating!
WIth much love and encouragment, LC xoxo
Here are some resources for you to check out!
Must Read!: The Body Is Not An Apology