I've been battling my body for as long as I can remember.
Self esteem, self-worth and self-loathing all wrapped up in a little black square sitting on the bathroom floor. My scale taunts me every morning to step on and determine my mood for the day, like a guessing game: will I be happy with myself today or will I go spiraling downward into a sea of self-hate? My happiness is based around a number, a size. I have this idea in my head of what I'm "supposed to look like", and as soon as I don't see that in the mirror, or on the scale, my entire mood shifts leaving me struggling to find anything "worthy" about me.
Last week, my friends and I had one last breakfast together before I got on a plane for Atlanta. The coffee was flowin', the omelets were "egg-ceptional" and we were sharing the photos we had taken over the weekend. As we scrolled through those happy memories, fresh as the sunburns on our backs, the only thing that went through my mind was:
"Is that me? Is that what I look like? These photos CANNOT go on Instagram without AT LEAST seven filters!"
All I could see was everything I hated. All I could do was compare my smiling face to my friends, wondering why I couldn't look like them in their bathing suits. All I could think as I got on that plane was "next time they see me, I will be skinnier."
I am an emotional eater. I never knew that about myself until last year. Stress can be fixed with a sugary snack. Anxiety, a cup of coffee and some carbs. Insecurity can make me order a pizza, and happiness? Bring on the cupcakes. My struggle to stay afloat with all the change and chaos around me last year was eased by food. Those cries from my body, begging for a reset, was quieted by cheese dip and chili fries. My emotional eating carried over into this year, as I tried to deal with the grief of Warner passing, the stress of Kyle moving in, the chaos of quitting the job I busted my ass at for 3.5 years and the anxiety of starting a new job. My feelings, reflected all over my body. My feelings, laying dormant under a pile of take-out menus.
I spent most of last week frustrated with myself: here I am striving for balance, working on joy and stuck in an emotional rut with a body I am so unhappy with. Somewhere along the way, I stopped listening to my body and its desire for balance over skinny, over scale. And now? It's time to get back in touch: for me, for my happiness and for my journey.
Today, I started Whole30. Not because I want to be on a diet and not because I'm hoping to lose weight (although if I do, that wouldn't suck). I'm hoping that in these next 30 days I can give my body the reset it needs, to stop using food to feel and start moving towards balance. I'm also giving up the scale for 30 days (to start, hoping it lasts for.ev.er.).
I love the show "Intervention", and one of the interventionists (Jeff VanVondren), always asks the interventionee if they're "ready to join the fight". Today, I feel like I joined the fight. The good fight against my bad body image.
Ps: If you're looking to boost your confidence, feel better in mind, body and soul without dieting, you should sign up for Finally Free Girl Talk with my uplifting, encouraging, green smoothie drinking friends, Paige and Simi. The FREE, pre-recorded call will be sent straight to your inbox, so you can listen at your leisure! Click here for more info.