A few months into my first year of college, and bam. It hit me. I was standing in the American Eagle dressing room, trying on a pair of jeans (the same pair that still reigns as my favorite to this day, highly recommend AEO if ya catch a good sale), and I stopped in the mirror. What happened to my legs? Didn’t they used to be smaller!? Am I making this up? Is it the jeans?
Deep breath. Woah.
And so it began. I started noticing my arms. Then my hips- love handles? Did I just not care about them before? It started turning into a want for other people’s body types instead of mine, too. Girls with the “perfect” arms or a tiny waist were the ones I noticed All. The. Time. How did they get like that?
The habits kicked in soon after- eating fruit and calling it a meal, skipping meals to compensate for eating “unhealthy” food, finding any excuse to weigh myself, making myself squeeze into the smaller jeans to remind myself that this body needed to change. Friends, it was not a highlight of the kickoff to college-ing. I wish I could say the body hate left. Gone. Vanished. And I’m all better now.
Sorry to disappoint. I can’t say I’m back to loving my body as much as it deserves… but I can promise you with a 100%-bet-on-my-dog’s-life (which is a big deal) guarantee that I don’t hate it anymore. Over the two-ish years since this body-hate started, what’s changed? Well. I don’t have a cliche, over dramatic, life-changing answer to tell you exactly what happened, but it started with the realization that I was the only one who noticed (and cared). Nobody else hated my physique- I had it stuck in my head that everyone noticed my figure, but in all reality, I highly doubt a single person has even thought about it twice (and if they have, it probably wasn’t because they thought of it as terribly as I did).
Secondly: I started thinking more about the amazing things my body’s done. It’s been with me through literally all of the best times of my life, it hasn’t failed on me through some of the worst- seems like an obvious thought, but do we think about it enough? Your body has done everything for you for your entire life, isn’t that crazy?! It’s. Got. Your. Back. LITERALLY. (insert cringy laugh and eye roll).
I don’t have life’s secret to not hating your body anymore, and every walk is different, but I do hope you find a reason to start loving it. It does amazing things on a daily basis, and it deserves to be taken care of.