Our culture makes it easy to assume that those in thinner bodies just naturally love themselves, because that’s the dream we’re fed from the diet industry.
We’re taught that losing weight = happiness, confidence, and this super fun life, so it makes logical sense. But that is just not true.
Body hate does not discriminate based on body size.
My body happens to naturally weigh less than the average American woman. I didn’t pick it, I’m not forcing it, it is what it is. Despite always having a smaller frame, I STILL spent a decade of my life believing it was not good enough.
At my lowest weight (about 15 pounds less than where I am now), I hated my body SO MUCH.
Whenever I looked in the mirror or at photos of myself, all I saw were my flaws, which I strategically dressed to minimize their prominence.
I would spend time grabbing the fat/flab from various parts of my body while criticizing myself – thinking that would motivate me into losing weight.
I would daydream all the time about my ideal body while not feeling comfortable in the skin I was in, even though I was in a smaller body than most.
I would wish my legs would grow about 4 inches, my thighs would have much less flab and look long/lean, my arms wouldn’t jiggle when I waved, my stomach wouldn’t have a crease-mark in it when I stood after sitting, and my hair would be straight instead of curly/frizzy.
I had super low confidence, self esteem, self worth, and I was extremely fixated on doing what it took to lose weight.
I tried everything that girls in larger bodies who want to lose weight try: calorie counting, meal skipping, various name-brand diets, fat free/sugar free everything, lots of caffeine diet pills, crazy long workouts every day, you name it.
Nearly all of my brain power went to obsessing about food, shaming and criticizing thoughts about myself, and what else I could do to lose weight. I was always hungry, irritable, had low energy, and my super low self worth took a HUGE toll on my life in many other ways too.
I had to fight like hell to get to my lowest weight and I had to fight like hell to maintain it because my natural weight set point wasn’t that low. And no matter how low it got – it was never low enough.
I learned later that it’s not just me.
Over the years I’ve worked with women of all shapes and sizes, and have seen no correlation between the number on the scale and the amount of unhappiness with their body.
Bottom line, no one is naturally immune to body hate.
Our body composition, shape, size, and weight are largely pre-determined from genetics and we have a lot less control of it than we are lead to believe. I mean if it were up to me I would be 5’8 and have long legs! But it’s not.
I think about it this way: why spend the rest of my life beating myself up for having the body that I have – that I can’t change anyway?
In my journey I have learned that my body is uniquely mine. It is the only one I will ever have, and it is perfectly imperfect.
At my lowest weight I was the most unhappy, and here I am 15 pounds heavier – I have my dream job, an amazing husband, a great house, the best dogs in the world, family and friends that love me, and so much mental peace/happiness.
I have also learned that feeling and life we’re told comes from being physically smaller starts is an inside job. It stems from a choice, and a mindset shift.
You do not need to be a certain size or weight to be healthy or happy.
And one final thing – comparing yourself to someone who has a body similar to what you would like yours to look like tends to happen automatically in our brains, just be careful about passing judgment along with it. We never know what someone’s internal battles are.