Brutal honesty here: I hate my body. I have always hated my body. There are attributes of my character that I can appreciate, but I have never had a positive shred of confidence toward my physical appearance. I have tried to hide my body in shame, often not feeling comfortable in my own skin. My most hated part–my arms. It has only been in recent years, and out of necessity by living on the face of the sun, that I have acquiesced to wearing sleeveless tops and tanks.
This is how I know that I am changing mentally–I may not be happy about my physical appearance, and that’s okay–but I am learning to appreciate the work in progress that it is and everything that my body does for me. It sustains me, carries me, gets me through the day, and a whole host of things. You have to have a physical body, you might as well not abuse it.
I don’t like looking at myself in mirrors or pictures, because it just triggers a lot of negative thinking and once that can is open, it goes full force into self abuse. Yesterday was “arm day” at the gym and unfortunately all of those exercises using assisted strength training face mirrors. I spent what felt like an eternity doing a grueling workout with my gaze fixated on my most hated body part. But you know what, the negativity and self abuse weren’t there.
I looked at my arms, and yes, first listed all the flaws–the flab, my “bat wings,” my lack of strength. But as I kept going, I started to see good things–a little bit of definition in my muscle that wasn’t there before, the looseness caused by a need for toning exercise and not excess fat, a distinct difference in the composition of my arms that I hadn’t seen before. Dare I say, I was even a little proud of how my arms looked and could imagine what they will look like with continued progress.
Some of you may be thinking that is a lot of thought process for a glance in the mirror, but others of you understand that this revelation is huge strides in a positive direction. I’m excited. I’m grateful. I’m blessed. I am praising God for helping me to see with my physical eyes something positive about His creation that I have been filled with so much hatred against for so long.
So, for today, I’m learning to love myself. Imperfections and all.