Now that it’s officially summer and Indiana is heating up, shorts and tank top season is in full swing.
When I was in my eating disorder, I hated summer. Summer meant more of my body was exposed and that left more for people, especially myself, to judge.
Even though I have been on the other side of my disordered habits for almost 3 years, summer still strikes a bit of anxiety inside me. Even though I am the happiest I have ever been, I still get insecure and worry about if my thighs are too big for my shorts and if my arms are too large to wear any tank top.
I was thinking about the way I used to defend my body size when I was in my eating disorder to justify to others the insecurities I was dealing with. I would say that my joints in my arms were bad and I couldn’t lift weights and that’s why my arms weren’t solid and toned. I would say that I have a very low stamina (which I do) and that’s why I didn’t run and my legs weren’t rock solid.
I said these things, and honestly the real reason I didn’t do them is because I genuinely didn’t like them. I said them though, because I felt like I had to defend the body I was in.
I thought about how this plays into my dating life as well. When I meet a guy, I immediately worry whether or not he finds me physically attractive. In today, that means small waist, cute perky boobs, and a huge butt; all of which, I have none of. I have questioned whether or not I am “good enough” for a guy and whether I’m out of his league or not.
I was thinking about this today, and I realized just how stupid this thought process is.
The whole point of intuitive eating is to listen to and respect your body’s natural needs. It’s about accepting the shape and structure of your body and nourishing and loving it, rather than trying to manipulate it.
Your body is strong and beautiful no matter what size or shape. It is what allows you to do what you love each day. Your body is capable of climbing mountains, traveling the world, and running marathons.
Countless times in my life I’ve felt the need to defend my body size. At one point, this need felt so pertinent that it led me to an eating disorder and YEARS of disordered eating behaviors. I thought that I needed to be skinnier in order to seem attractive to guys, to wear a certain style of clothing, and even just to be seen as beautiful. I thought that a size zero meant I had more worth and the bigger I was, the less I was worth.
I realize now how completely ridiculous that thinking is, but when you have an eating disorder or disordered eating behaviors, that’s what your mind tricks you into believing.
It is so common in today’s society to body shame and to pick out people’s flaws instead of celebrating what our bodies are capable of doing. For example, you never see an article in a magazine titled “Rihanna performs 20 shows in 20 days. WOW, she works so hard,” but you always see articles titled “Rihanna looks like she’s gained a few pounds,” etc., etc., etc.
Basically, what I’m trying to say, is you should never feel like you need to defend or justify the body that you’re in and are blessed to have. You shouldn’t feel like you can’t wear something just because it won’t look exactly the same as it did on the girl who modeled it. You shouldn’t feel like you’re any less important because you wear a size 10 and not a 00. You shouldn’t feel like you can’t date a guy because you don’t have the “perfect” body. Most importantly, you should never feel like you’re any less deserving of love because of the size or shape of your body.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to defend your body size, because every body size is beautiful.