Ever felt you are not worthy of love, friendship, a career achievement because of your weight or your body shape?
I did for many years. And I want to share here about what it felt like for me.
But first I want to share a quote I read a couple of days ago from author Anne Lamott:
“If you’re not OK with yourself at 185 pounds, you will not be OK at 150, or even at 135. The self- respect and peace of mind you long for is not out there. It’s within.”
As a young girl and later in my teenage, I’ve experienced the stigma about my weight and some form of body shaming. I’ve always loved dancing and when I joined the dance classes at the age of 5 I realised how good it is to move your body to music, let your feet go freely and create a nice flow on the dancefloor. I was thrilled! I had found the way to express myself and my emotions. I absolutely loved it and still do!
Back then it was difficult for me to wrap my head around why, when it was up to performing at some event, the teacher would always pick the girls that looked prettier, which would equal slim and harmonious in their movement. And I would end up sitting in the audience bearing a grudge or sobbing in bed at night.
When I was in my teen age, at school I’d be often called various names for being overweight and I ended up dropping the dance classes, and again sobbing in bed at night. I just wanted to be invisible and slowly developed the belief that I could only be worth of attention, love and self-expression if and when the number on my scale would dramatically drop and my body shape change.
Little I knew then that I had ended up internalizing all those experiences and believing that everything I was told was absolute truth and represented who I was.
Those limiting beliefs accompanied me for many years, bringing me to try every diet and workout, but nonetheless I’d end up wanting to escape this body of mine, blaming it, definitely not loving it.
Sometimes I’d think it was due to my genes, being angry at what nature gave me. Then I’d go mad at my circumstances and so on, in an infinite cycle of beating myself up.
It took me such a long time to learn that when I struggle with something, normally it’s because I’m trying to avoid it and just accept things as they are or blame others for my situation.
Struggling against myself or blaming others was not going to change things. I needed to make peace with the past, learn to feel compassion for those who called me the worst names (I know, not easy at all) and learn to accept myself for who I am and as I am.
That’s when the healthy self-care routines very slowly started to sediment and bring their fruits. But this time, from a space of love and not from resentment and anger.
It’s a lifelong journey. It’s an inside job, as Anne Lamott described quite well. But I’ve seen that number on the scale lose its power on me and I’m even losing any excess weight with much less stress.
My story, and the opportunity to connect with women with a similar history, is what makes me so passionate to work with women who want to change from inside out.
To all of them I say: I hear you and I’m here for you.
Have a mindful day!