I Love My Body
Ok guys and girls, it’s time to get real. In today’s society of fat activism, skinny privilege, supermodels and average women I feel compelled to write this post.
My name is April, I’m 21 years old and weigh 47.5kgs, am 158cm tall and when I tense real hard (like, give myself a hernia kind of hard), I have a 6 pack. If you follow my instagram, you can see my fabulously filtered photos that I enjoy putting up of myself to show off my progress – butt, abs, arms; whatever part of my body happens to have a pump I will not hesitate in hashtagging the shit out of it #lookatme. But, this isn’t about my filtered photos. This is about the real me.
When I’m not filtered, when I’m not tensing and when my pump is all worn off, the above is me. Bad posture, stretch marks, cellulite, and uneven shoulders. Oh, lets not forget huge thighs, larger hips than my shoulders (I believe this is called “pear”) and knobbly knees. Am I what society defines as perfect? Probably not. Am I what I define as perfect? Yes. Because perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Here, let’s see a close up of my beautiful stretch marks:
I think I’m beautiful. No, I know I’m beautiful. And not just because I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend that tells me so every day (except for when I burp or fart, apparently then I’m just gross.) but because it is my body and I have made it what it is. I want my body to look fit and healthy so I make it look as fit and healthy as I am willing to. I say “willing to” because I’m pretty sure my actions in this photo I sent my boyfriend last night is not helping my body look fit and healthy at all:
The first part, however, of loving my body was first of all accepting that genetics have already pre-defined it’s shape. My structure is my structure. Example – I don’t have the capability of that “thigh gap” because my mum went and gave me bloody thunder thighs. You don’t even know how much angst those thighs caused me throughout puberty. I hated them! Finally, instead of just hating them and staring longingly at pretty girls with their pretty little thighs and their thigh gaps, I decided that if I couldn’t remove them I would simply make do with them and use them to my advantage. Once I stopped letting other people tell me what perfection was, it was easy. My journey to body acceptance came through fitness. Yours, and everyone else’s could be completely different. But it’s the first step – if you are tall then you need to accept that, if you are an endomorph (larger structure), then you need to accept that too. But the rest of it is your oyster! You can create fat, remove fat, create muscle, remove muscle – it is all possible.
How could I hate something that I have complete power over? It seems silly, really, doesn’t it? Naturally, if you don’t like something then you should change it. I do it with my bedspread all the time (not just because it’s been on for months and I really ought to wash it). And that, my friends, comes down to motivation. How badly do you really want to be happy with yourself? Whatever your goal may be, if you are not motivated to achieve it then you won’t. If you want to gain weight, you genuinely need to put effort into that. If you want to lose weight, you genuinely need to put effort into that. There’s no shortcuts. Results you have worked hard for always feel better anyway. The satisfaction of achieving something you have worked really hard for is second to none!
I know that I’m almost seemingly adding fuel to the current “media crazed version of perfection” fire by posting filtered photos to pronounce my abs, or posing in certain ways to get the best effect; but I do it, not to get validation from others or make anyone else feel bad about themselves, but because I like to see myself looking my best. Kind of like when you have a messy room, and then you clean it. Or you are going to a formal occasion – swapping the trackies for a dress and popping a bra on. I like to see myself enhanced. Because it is still my body, I haven’t altered it in any way, I’ve simply filtered it or adjusted the exposure to highlight bits that the raw photo doesn’t quite capture. It’s all still me. My beautiful self.
People that tell me I look great, I appreciate that, but I haven’t brought up that age old argument of “other people see you differently, you are your own worst critic” because this isn’t about anyone else. Their opinions on my body genuinely do not matter to me. Whether positive or negative, their opinions are just that. Their opinions. For the negative opinions, I know how hard it is not to listen to them; believe me, I really do, but once you learn to start ignoring it, it only gets easier. Use the positive opinions as fuel, but don’t let it lead you. Don’t lose sight of yourself and your own validation. And your validation is the goal you have set yourself. It’s your own validation that matters.
Your body is your body. You only get one in this lifetime. And it’s not some mystical thing with a mind of it’s own. You control it. By the food you eat, the activities you perform, how much you sleep, the way you sit…all of it. All of it is controlled by you. So, if you don’t love your body, why not? What is stopping you from loving your body? What is stopping you from changing it?
The four words that will fix us all have to come from ourselves for ourselves. You can’t say it for anyone else, because they don’t care. You must say it for you. You must say it with conviction. You must say it and mean it. I LOVE MY BODY!