So last week, I was reading Sloane’s contribution to her freEDom From Perfection campaign about body checking, and it inspired my own post today.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge body checker. More specifically, for years whenever I was alone with a mirror, I would pull my shirt up to see how much my stomach stuck out.
This picture I had on Sunday’s post?
A year or so ago, I never would have had the balls to post that on the internet.
I have an “apple” body shape, so my body tends to store fat on my stomach. I’ve always been extremely aware and incredibly self-conscious of that fact. Even at 10-11 years old, I desperately wished that all that “excess” on my stomach would just GO AWAY. I’ve gone to great lengths to hide my little stomach bump, and I know I would have had a massive issue with displaying what I’ve always considered to be my greatest physical imperfection on the internet. We are our own worst critics, aren’t we?
When I started therapy several years ago, I knew body checking was one of my worst habits that needed to be broken. Every time I went to inspect my stomach, I needed something to remind me that I didn’t need to do that. So, this is what I did:
Every time I go to check out how far my stomach is sticking out over my jeans, this is what I see.
It reminds me that it’s not necessary.
My body is my body, and I’m learning to accept its imperfections and show myself unconditional self-love. I’m not yet at the point of total acceptance, but I am hoping to get there. Really, do I need a flat stomach in order to be happy? Of course not. And dieting and restricting myself to a six-pack won’t do anything for my happiness either. Of course, I wouldn’t complain if it flattened out a little bit (who would?) but I’m not going to base my life and my happiness around it. I’m not going to deny myself when I have a craving or kill myself at the gym in an attempt to get a flat stomach– it’s not worth it to me.
I still do body-check on occasion, but I have made great strides with accepting what I see. My body is not perfect, but it’s the only one I get. While there’s parts of it I love, I’m working on loving the parts that make me insecure as well.
<— Do you have tattoos? Would you consider getting one?
<— How do you learn to accept the less-than-perfect parts?