Is it Time to Stop Hating our Bodies?

For years, I hated my body. I was too short, too stocky, not thin enough. I exercised like crazy. I counted calories. I measured and portioned out my food. I followed every dietary trend and fad that came down the pike. I lost weight. I gained weight. I lost weight again. And no matter what size I was, I still wasn't happy. I could never be happy where I was because I was always trying to get someplace else. I didn't feel good enough as I was.

Eventually, I just got tired of kicking the crap out of myself and decided I'd had enough. I lay down my weapons. I stopped counting calories. I stopped restricting food groups. I stopped demonizing and started legalizing. I broke up with the scale. I got into a bikini, stood in front of the mirror and took a long, hard look at myself. I decided that this is who I am, for better or for worse. Maybe I don't love my body yet, but I can at least stop hating it.

I chose to celebrate my body for what it could do instead of how it looked. I wore clothes that were comfortable and I liked, without regard for what other

people would think. I exercised for health and wellbeing instead of how many calories I could burn. And each day, I hated myself a little less. I felt a little better about who I was. I decided I could be beautiful and perfect now, no matter how much I could pinch around my midsection or how many dimples may or may not be on my thighs.

This is my body. This is my home.

Everyday I hear women, beautiful, strong, smart, intelligent women, beat themselves up and say horrific things about their bodies. And it breaks my heart. I hear women say that they are "disgusting" and wish they could "cut this off" while grabbing at their belly. Imagine if the body parts that you are cursing could talk. What do you think they would say?? How do you think they would feel about you hating them so violently? What if someone else said those things to you? How would it feel?

Twenty-two years ago, I got into health and fitness so I could get paid for working out and hope to earn my worthiness. Now, I just hope to share my heart and love with those beautiful, strong, smart, intelligent women who need to know that they are worthy and perfect just as they are right this minute. That they are more than a body. They deserve to be cheerleaded and encouraged into health and wellness. They deserve to have their own love and acceptance. And that is why I do what I do.

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