When it comes to body shaming, I'm pretty sure I would win an award for the most consistency.
I hate looking at myself in mirrors unless I magically feel extra pretty that day.
I loathe taking pictures. Anybody else?
I've NEVER been happy with my body.
Like ever. (Taylor Swift reference FYI)
Growing up, I heard, "you have such a pretty smile." Or "you have beautiful eyes."
I wasn't unaware that my body was chubbier than the other girls in my grade from fifth grade and up.
I was utterly self-conscious by the age of ten, and it only grew worse as I did.
I remember begging and praying to have a body like the girls I deemed the most beautiful.
I also didn't know how to take care of my body. I didn't know how to eat healthily or exercise.
All I knew is that I liked to eat, and I did — all the time.
I didn't know how to change. But I hated myself for not being like everyone else.
And I continued to hate myself as I grew up. Every day I would shame myself in my mind and talk down to myself.
And then, one day, at the age of 21, something clicked (KETO style diet), and I began to lose weight. But something else clicked in my mind, maybe losing weight would SOLVE all of my problems.
I could look a certain way, and people would notice me, and magically my life would be what I had always wanted it to be.
I would be pretty, and people would like me more, and all would be perfect in Megan's world.
But losing weight amplified my insecurities.
My unhealthy relationship with food grew even worse.
I began to think of exercise as a punishment.
So if I ate "bad," I would work out for two hours straight until I reached a certain amount of calories burned.
I grew incredibly anxious, and being self-conscious was a constant state of mind.
On the outside to everyone else, I had gained muscle and confidence. I was glowing, and I was happy. But the inside couldn't be more opposite.
I reached a breaking point, and I realized I needed help.
And what an amazing breakthrough when I realized I have value, just me.
I realized I had been running so hard in the wrong direction to solve my insecurities.
To fix me.
I didn't need fixing.
And neither do you.
You, wherever you are, jamming in your car, lifting at the gym, sitting in your cubicle, relaxing on your couch, YOU HAVE VALUE.
Your body size, shape, etc. doesn't give you value. Please don't listen to the lies that our culture and society feed us about our bodies. Perfectly shaped eyebrows and thigh gaps do not define us as women. Curvy or thin or everywhere in between you are YOU, and that is more than enough.
Whatever you hope to change about yourself won't increase your value because you're already VALUABLE.
One of a kind.
I'm recovering from hating me. I'm on the road to loving me, stretch marks and all.
I hope you find the same.
*Art Credit: MHN