I have always been very open about my body image issues. I was a competitive cheerleader my entire life and, unfortunately, that came with comparing my body to the other people on my team and constantly wanting to get into better shape to be like the athletes on my team. This is something that has never gone away, and I constantly compare myself to other girls I see or Instagram influencers.
Recently I have started listening to Jordan Lee Dooley's "SHE" podcast, and it has started to change the way I view myself and weight loss. In one of her episodes, she talks about how wanting to lose weight to feel good and be healthy is the positive mindset you should have compared to my previous attitude, lose weight and you'll hate yourself less. I have been trying to restructure my mindset, diet and exercise practices.
Apparently, that isn't OK with some people.
I get it. I'm a size four. That's not overweight, but with my body type my size four does not look or feel healthy. However, a lot of people around me seem to be frustrated with the fact that I talk about exercising or what I am eating or ways to be healthier.
I keep hearing "You don't need to lose weight, you're skinny" and "stop dieting you look fine." Every time I hear this I just want to shake people and say, "You aren't in my body, and you don't know how crappy I feel ALL THE TIME!"
I think it is healthy to want to eat more fruit and lean meat while also trying to walk more and practice self-care, but not everyone sees it that way. I live in an environment that doesn't support the journey I am on, and it makes it very difficult to continue to live a healthy life when you don't feel supported.
However, I can recognize that the healthier and more fit I am the less time I will spend crying in the car after I try on bathing suits. I will enjoy stepping on the scale to see my progress instead of being angry. I will feel better on the inside and more fit on the outside.
It is so important to look to the inside when on a journey to lose weight and get healthy, but that is the step I skipped for so long. That "get healthy" part is the part that people ignore while telling me I'm skinny enough already. Even when it gets frustrating, I can now have the mindset to look over the negativity I am surrounded by and, hopefully, build some healthy practices that I can carry into the rest of my life.
If you are in a similar situation as me here are a few tips I have found that help my journey.
First, walk more. Even if this is taking your dogs on a long walk, going to a bathroom on another floor of your office building or taking more trips to your room while doing chores, walking more will help kickstart toning your body.
Second, drink a lot of water, but make sure some of it has lemons or fruit in it. The lemons and fruit will help flush out toxins and keep you feeling more hydrated in case you end up drinking too much water.
Third, get on Pinterest! It is totally OK to not know where to start. I use Pinterest for recipes, meal prep ideas, workout inspiration and self-care tips constantly.
Sometimes, you may not have a community lifting you up on your journey so make sure you act as your own support system! You've got this!