I have always been skinny. People would make jokes about my size. Sometimes it was funny, other times they were cruel, and it definitely affected my self-esteem. I wanted to gain weight but no matter what I did, I couldn’t. When I entered high school, I joined the color guard/dance team. Our workouts were very intense because the only way to make it dancing out a twelve-minute show on a football field was to be in shape, you had to have endurance. This ignited in me a passion for fitness. I worked out regularly outside of guard and did my best to eat healthy meals.
Between the workouts and dancing I began to gain muscle. My thighs got bigger, butt rounder, and my calf’s and arms were extremely toned. I didn’t immediately notice the difference in my body but when I would visit family members here in Louisiana (I lived in Georgia at the time), they would all comment on the weight gain. No one was ugly or rude, but it made me feel uncomfortable. I learned to tune it out or take it as a compliment because I felt great. Not long after graduating high school that passion for fitness faded. I returned to eating what I want and practically never exercising which meant back to being told that I am too skinny, a stick figure, have a flat chest and butt, not developed in ways that are viewed as attractive, fine, or sexy; these are comments people mean to be funny but are hurtful. I remember a time, maybe four years ago, when I was talking about the guy I was dating and a coworker said to me “real men like real woman, not skinny girls like you”. In that moment I felt crushed. I shouldn’t have allowed someone else’s words or views to affect me that way, but it did. It affected the relationship I was in. Not being confident in myself and in turn questioning his attraction to me no matter how beautiful he tried to make me feel.
Last week I began working out again. Honestly the purpose was to decrease anxiety and give myself something to do in the morning during quarantine. The level of anxiety I was encountering has decreased tremendously and instead of dreading it, I wake up excited to work out each morning. Last night I was looking at myself in the mirror and noticed that my body is changing. In seven days, I’ve already began to tone up and my butt has lifted. I said to myself “if I keep this up, I’ll start looking like a real woman”. Nearly a decade later here I am, still battling those same feelings I did as a young girl. I decided that I would not allow myself to go another day believing that there is something wrong with the way that I look.
I know that I am not alone in this. Every girl, and guy has something they aren’t secure in and that is natural and normal. But it’s not okay to feel like you have to change yourself to measure up to society’s standards of beauty. We are all beautiful and sexy in our own right, but we must embrace this ourselves. For the next seven days in addition to my workout I will be saying these affirmations in the mirror as I view myself.
I am full of vitality and health and others enjoy being around me.
I am comfortable in my own skin and I exude confidence.
When I look in the mirror, I see a beautiful woman staring back.
My body is sexy and gorgeous.
I am blessed with my natural beauty.
My body is fit, tone, and in shape.
If you’re struggling, join me! Or write out your own affirmations. Decide how you want to feel about yourself and state it until you believe it.
Beauty starts in your head, not in your mirror.
Create YOUR beautiful moment.