They don't lie when they say; happiness comes from the inside.
I stumbled across this picture of myself from about 4 years ago on holiday.
At this time, my weight loss was still new. I think it had been about a year since I had started losing weight and embarked on my health journey.
I remember this vacation quite well. And more importantly, I remember how I felt: FAT and DISSATISFIED with my body.
Okay so I didn't feel obese or overly fat but I remember thinking that I still had so much weight I needed to lose and loads of areas on my body that I needed to improve if I wanted to be happy with it.
And how horrible is that!
I remember seeing this picture back when it was taken and thinking, 'look at the rolls on my stomach' and 'I wish my arms were slender and thin instead of these big logs'.
When I found this picture a few days ago I honestly had to take a second look - I can't believe I was ever this small and STILL felt like I was a big girl!
SHAME ON ME!
The truth is, regardless of how small I was then or could be today, the way my body looks will never be 'good enough'.
You know why?
Because we are our own worst critics!
And not only that...
We feed into our weaknesses daily through social media, TV and advertising.
Images of 'perfect' women with thigh gaps, toned arms and tight stomachs are flooding our minds and unfortunately, it's pretty dang near impossible to turn it off.
And even if you do achieve the 'perfect' figure, whatever it may be, I think you'll find that happiness will not follow. Because we are taught to want the things we don't have.
If you're skinny, images of curvy, big busted, round-bottomed women will make you think twice about being a size 8.
If your muscles are lean and defined, images of petite and dainty looking women will make you wish your arms didn't tear through any non-elasticated shirt sleeves.
If you're curvy, images of lean and toned women will make you hate that J-Lo booty of yours that makes most other women hate you and long for a taut arm that tears through shirt sleeves.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
I'm much bigger now than I was back when this picture was taken.
Some of it is fat and a whole lot more of me is muscle. And although I'm not a petite girl by any means, I pride myself on my body. It's strong and capable. It performs better than it ever has before and although my body and I don't always see eye to eye, we have the same mission: to keep me safe and alive.
But I'm no saint here!
I still look in the mirror and wish for things I don't have. I still suck in my stomach when I stand in front of the mirror and I still pose in pictures in a way that doesn't make me look like two arms with a small body attached to it.
AND THAT'S OKAY TOO!
Because if nothing else, I've learned to love my body for what it is and accept it for what it is not. And in doing so, I've come to learn that happiness isn't found in the reflection in my mirror.
And remember; happiness is not a reward that comes from achieving the perfect figure.
It's a reward that comes from the soul - when you find gratitude in your life and build meaningful connections with the people around you and even yourself.
I hope this post can help you find some peace and calm with your body. I hope it can help you cut your body some slack and start treating it as more than something you constantly have to 'work on bettering'.
Repeat after me:
I love my body for what it is and accept it for what it is not <3